I have hit the sweet spot! At nearly a year and half old, Braxton is obsessed with going outside! He loves running all over the place as well as going on rides in the stroller. Lucky me, because I love being outside too! But, the running with the stroller part did not come easily. I was able to get out several times when he was an infant, but it was very unpredictable how long or how often I'd be able to go out. For me, getting into a good running groove again has taken time and a lot of trial and error. Here are a couple practical tips I've come up with:
1// Pick Your Running Stroller
While testing out a stroller in the store is great, I really didn't know what I was looking for so I chose to go the online route. I chose my jogger through online reviews written by runners (click here for an article I found helpful). I knew I wanted one that was used by actual runners for its comfort and easy transport. I planned to use just one stroller for everyday outings as well as my runs instead of investing in two. I ended up choosing the Mountain Buggy Terrain Jogging Stroller, an investment well worth it for me.
2// Time Your Runs
Practicing consistency in my running has helped. Experiencing stroller runs over and over has acclimated Braxton to the feeling of the ride. Planning the right time of day is important too. Most often we go out in the morning when Braxton is fresh and ready to start the day. Running soothes him and he often goes down for his nap soon after a run outing.
3// Run A Short Out-And-Back Or Loop
Running a route that is never too far from home is crucial. I most often run a one-mile loop at a park nearby. This allows me to get in some mileage, while never being more than a mile from my car. Running the same loop repeatedly is not my ideal, but it is much better than trying to run three miles back home with a screaming baby who just isn't interested in a run that day.
4// Manage The Weather
I keep this lightweight muslin blanket as well as any extra clothes in the cargo compartment of my jogger. I like having it with me for extra warmth or for covering Braxton's legs to protect them from the sun. The strollers's sunhood can adjust for shade from the sun no matter where it is coming from. Depending on the day, I usually keep it open for at least 10 minutes for Braxton's skin to be exposed to the Ultraviolet B rays for his skin to benefit from Vitamin D development. I manage how long his time in the sun is each day, instead of using sunblock, which is why utilizing the sunhood is so important.
5// Bring A Snack + Water
In part to keep my babe occupied, I always have a snack on hand for the run. Water is also essential, especially on hotter days. I'm not a huge fan of pre-packaged baby food pouches (not that I don't resort to them sometimes because they are so easy to grab), so I usually pack a cup like this for on-the-go snacks. I also love this heavy duty hook for carrying essentials like my glass waterbottle (that is too fat for my cup holders) and Braxton's mini version.
6// Bring Your Headphones
I love my time during my runs when I can throw my headphones in and listen to a Podcast. Sometimes I'll play music without the headphones so Braxton can enjoy it too.
7// Bring Shoes + Allow For Baby Run Breaks
Braxton is a runner already. Now that it is warm out, he goes barefoot in the stroller a lot, so I make sure to pack his shoes so he can get out and run around. I usually get my workout in first before I let him get out and do his exploring.
8// Share + Observe With Your Little One
I am always prepared to stop and talk about what Braxton sees. We both absolutely love nature, so currently a lot of our run is soaking in the relaxing environment. I most often go to run at a local park where we see ducks, geese and dogs. Now he beats me to it, but I try to point these things out for him. As Braxton starts talking I think playing a game like "I Spy" would be great for stroller rides.
9// Use The Front Wheel Lock, Wrist Strap + Brake
I learned to tighten the front wheel of the stroller just enough for it to move with ease in a straight line. This makes for a much more smooth ride for baby and ease of steering for me. If I'm running a loop I won't necessarily tighten it because of how often I need to make turns. I frequently alternate which hand is holding on so that I can pump the other arm like I normally would when running without the stroller. When I'm on a downhill I put the wrist strap on for safety. I wouldn't want the jogger getting away from me on a hill! I also utilize the brake when I'm on an incline to help with keep the stroller from flying down the hill. While I disagree with his take on locking the front wheel and using the wrist strap, I think this article has some other great tips as well as benefits for running with a jogger.
10// Be Flexible With Your Goals
Don't give up! If your runs keep getting interrupted because Baby doesn't want any part of it, try again the next day! Starting when they are young and persisting to figure out how it looks for you and your baby is a big part of succeeding. I've had to change my mindset on running and remember that workouts with a jogger are very different than without one. Walking and taking breaks to talk to Braxton happen and I'm okay with that. I realize that my times are slower than before, yet I can still work on my split my consistency. I run flat trails mostly, but I'm excited to find some hills to challenge myself. I view pushing the extra weight as a bonus and look forward to discovering more unique ways to workout with it. Currently, I track my milage with the Strava GPS Cycling and Running App so that I have something measurable to use for improvements.
Do you run with a jogger? If so, what are your best practices + tips? If you haven't tried it yet, head out there and let us know what you think!
Check out this article for some benefits of running with a stroller that you may not have considered.
Hi. I'm Suzanna.
I like running outside, eating real food and crafting beautiful images. I am captivated by documenting everyday life–revealing what authentic, adventurous and lovers of life we all are.