Stroller Running 101

What’s Included?

  • Jogging Stroller Features
  • Form
  • Pacing
  • Kid Tips

It’s no lie that having kids can make finding time to train a bit more challenging – but it’s NOT impossible. When you have little ones, there may be days where it might not be possible to get your run in alone and this might mean you need to bring them along. Stroller running isn’t easy by any means, but if your goals are important to you, then it might be worth it to you. While the run might look a little different than you had planned, it’s still a great way to work towards you personal goals while juggling your life at home.


Jogging Stroller

What should you look for in a jogging stroller?

  • Option for locking the front wheel
  • Larger stable wheels
  • Adjustable handle bar
  • Canopy for sun-blocking

Once you have one picked out, make sure you start easy – especially if you (or your child) has never run with one.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is not recommended that children who cannot sit up on their own be placed in a jogging stroller. If your stroller is compatible with your child’s infant seat, you can hook them into their seat and safely click the seat into the stroller. There are also adapters for car seats if your is not compatible with the stroller. If this is the route you have to take because of the age of your child, its important to remember the additional weight that the car seat is adding. Don’t get discouraged and just remember to take it slow!


Form

Remember that you are still running. It will feel different when pushing a stroller but do your best not to completely lose your form. Here are a few tips for how to maintain your form while running with a stroller:

  • WEIGHT: Don’t lean too heavily on the handle bars; try to keep your posture upright as you normally would while running
  • STRIDE: Avoid over or under striding; it may seem uncomfortable when you first start to coordinate your stride with the stroller…start with run/walk intervals to find your groove & then increase speed gradually as you get comfortable.
  • ARMS: At least one hand is obviously always going to be on your stroller, try your best not to cross to far over your mid line with your other arm.
  • HANDS: It can be helpful to frequently switch hands when pushing and placing your hand towards the middle of the handle bar to help keep the stroller moving steadily in a straight forward motion. You may be more comfortable with both hands on the handle bar- that’s ok too. Just remember not to put your weight onto the handle bar…you grip should be nice and light.

Pacing

  • ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS: You won’t be moving at the same speed as you would be if you weren’t pushing an extra 30+ (at minimum) pounds. It’s okay to start slow & to adjust your expectations. You could try to use stroller runs as your easy runs to ensure that you keep things nice and light. Don’t forget, this is just one season of your life and it’s okay if it looks a little bit different from other season – the work you do during this season WILL pay off.
  • FOCUS ON OTHER AREAS: This is a great time to focus on your breathing and practice different effort levels on the RPE scale.
  • SURFACES: If you’re new to running with the jogging stroller start slow and on smooth, flat surfaces.
  • GRACE: The pace may be different but the effort will still be there…always give yourself grace when running with the stroller and just remember…it’s a mom’s (or dad’s) secret training weapon! If you can run with a child (or 2) and a stroller…imagine how great it will feel without them!
  • ADAPT: Be ready to adapt a workout if needed! Some workouts are going to be difficult to do with the stroller…that’s ok! Do what you can & adapt or modify when you need to. Something is better than nothing.

Kid Tips

Now that you’re ready, what about the kids? It is inevitable that not all kids are going to love the stroller… but don’t get frustrated. If they have never ridden in one it may take some time to get used to. Here are a few tips to make the kids happy during your stroller runs:

  • PLAYLIST: Try a special stroller playlist of songs. When I run with my kids, I put my phone in an arm band and wrap it around the front stroller bar with their own play list playing! They love it.
  • SNACKS: When do kids not love snacks? And now you have a place to carry your own also!
  • STROLLER TOY: Try bringing something special that is only for when they run in the stroller.
  • GAMES: Try a few simple I spy or scavenger hunt games to engage them during the ride. If you’re in an area where this is possible- let them choose which direction you turn at each road. My kids personal favorite- speed up, slow down! They love to tell me I’m not going fast enough (thanks…it sure feels like I am). So we play speed up slow down…they get to shout it out and I either go faster or slow down!

Katie Desiere
UESCA Certified Running Coach
Run with Aim, LLC

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