I recently posted a story on Instagram asking for what questions you all had about postpartum running as well as running with kids. I got quite a number of questions, so I wanted to highlight as many as I could today!
For many of these questions it is a personal preference so remember to do what you are comfortable with.
What is the coldest/warmest weather you will take your kids out for a run in?
This is tricky because I think it depends on what kind of items you have to help keep them comfortable.
For me when it comes to cold, the bigger issue is the wind over anything else. I have the Thule Double Rain and Wind Cover (I also have one for the single stroller). which helps to keep the wind off the boys and it really does keep them nice and warm! I also bundle them up and add blankets. I try to start later in the day during the winter, but that can be tricky with my youngest’s nap right now so I just do the best I can.
During the summer I have portable fans that I use for the boys. I have also used ice packs and lots of water bottles for them! I try to keep them in the shade as much as possible and start early to try and minimize the heat.
I really just try and feel it out. This morning it was 23 degrees when I got up and windy so I didn’t take them out on the stroller, but usually if it’s 30+ I will attempt it. My oldest is at the age where he will tell me if he’s cold so I’ll ask him and if he says yes we head back home, but I’ve truly been surprised just how warm the cover keeps them!
How do you know you are OK to run postpartum?
First and foremost make sure you check with your doctor! I didn’t run until I had clearance from my doctor both times but it was definitely a different experience with each pregnancy. If you have a pelvic floor PT near you I would highly suggest meeting with one prior to starting to run too! I never had this – but wish I had!
With my boys it was different both times. After I had Easton I felt pretty quickly like I was itching to run around 5 weeks and after I got the clearance I started. It felt weird at first and I didn’t feel great but I could tell that was just more from the time off than anything.
Rylan was a whole different story. I thought I’d feel ready at 6 weeks but because he had colic I was so drained. When I went in for my 6 week check I still have stitches that weren’t healed so she asked I wait 2 more weeks. I didn’t start to running until around 9 weeks and even then I felt very hesitant. I was really worn down from just life and adjusting to having two kids so it took me longer to feel ready.
My best advice I can give is to take it slow if you have the option. Really listen to your body and don’t worry about what others are doing! You are the one who knows your body the best.
How old were your babies when you felt comfortable actually running with them in the stroller?
I started with both of my boys between 9-11 weeks. I spoke with my pediatrician both times about this and they gave me the OK as long as I kept is head supported and stuck to flat/level ground. I didn’t go very long with them until around 3 months.
This should be what YOU are comfortable with. I didn’t move my boys out of the car seat adaptor until 6-7 months. They could have gone earlier based on the weight requirement but it is what I felt comfortable with and they both slept better in the car seat!
What is your favorite running stroller for running with two kids?
I get this question a lot. I have run with the Thule and with Bob and I prefer the feeling of the Thule. It is completely preference there is nothing wrong with Bob. I always tell people to go to a store that carries both if you live near one before you choose and test them out!
Do you still try and run on a near sleepless night?
I really base this off of how my body is feeling. If it’s one sleepless night then I might just try and go run easy. If it’s been a week of sleepless nights I might take a rest day.
Your body needs sleep! When your babies are young and not sleeping well it can make it so much harder for your body to recover like it needs to.
When I was pregnant and as Easton got older I used to get up before him some days to run, but during the first year of his life (as well as Rylan’s) I never got up early because that sleep was too precious to me.
As I’ve had to remind myself a lot – just remember this is just a season. It seems big when you are in it but it will pass and once your baby is sleeping it will make it easier!
How do you keep kids happy in the stroller at different ages?
0-1 years: This is honestly the easiest time for me to run with both my boys. I try to time it as close to a nap as I can and just feed them well right before we go. I always bring a bottle with me (or I’ve had to stop and nurse as well during a run) just in case.
Easton would never really take to toys, but with Rylan he will play with a few toys so I always bring a couple that I know will keep his attention.
1-2 years: This was the hardest time for running with my boys (well at least Easton so far). He wasn’t quite old enough to be able to distract by pointing out different things along the way but also now old enough to be more aware of his surroundings and the amount of time he was in the stroller.
I usually would still try to time it around the morning nap until he dropped his second nap. I did bring snacks, water, and toys. This was a time when I often would just be prepared he wouldn’t make it. Some days we’d have great runs and some days he wouldn’t have it more than 1 mile.
2-2.5+ years: I feel like this is when it got a little easier (in some ways) for us. I am able to talk with him and point out all sorts of things. I choose certain trails or roads that I know he will have a lot to look at. He doesn’t really use toys anymore in the stroller but SNACKS are my life savor. I bring 3-4 different snacks and tell him when he can have each one (at different miles, areas, etc.)
I have had luck with sticker books for the stroller and other small things he can look at but really with him snacks have been my biggest savior.
I know other Mom’s who have used the tablet to get more miles with the stroller. I have been tempted to do this but Easton is a child that if you do something one time he will want it every time so I am not willing to open up that can of worms yet! Ha!
Best thing you did in pregnancy to prepare for postpartum running?
The first and best thing I did (for as long as I could) was just keep running. I wasn’t able to run as long with my second because he sat much lower but it definitely did my best to keep it going and when I did stop running I continued to cross train.
One thing I SHOULD have done was be more consistent with strength training for my pelvic floor. The more strength you can keep during pregnancy I believe the better it will help your delivery and return to running postpartum.
How much slower do you expect your easy pace to be when running with a stroller?
My friends and I have joked about that they need a “running stroller pace conversion calculator” somewhere! ha!
In all seriousness, I think this greatly depends on several things. First, I am much quicker now with the single stroller than the double. It didn’t feel that way when I had nothing to compare my single stroller running against but now that I’ve run a lot with the double they are completely different!
I’d say I slow down about 30 seconds to even a minute some days if I truly want to be honest with myself on what “easy” pace is. I have attempted workouts with the single stroller but I would NEVER with the double.
The thing I like about running with the stroller (especially the double) is it really forces you not only to run easy but be honest with your body with what easy is. My goal when I am running with the boys is just to take my time, don’t worry about having to stop for snack breaks or random construction vehicles/truck sightings, and just enjoy running for what it is!
Ever feel annoyed your husband can just go run but it’s more hassle for you because of children?
I laughed out loud when I read this one! Do you want the honest answer? Sometimes, yes! When I have days where I feel like both kids are just not cooperating and it’s just a hot mess from the start I find myself cursing my husband who is out enjoying his solo run. But of course, I don’t really mean it!
What a lot of people don’t understand is that while my husband does run solo on his Saturday and Sunday runs, he also gets up at 3:30-4:00 am most mornings before we are all up to run before he goes to work. He doesn’t let his running interfere with our family time and he always makes sure he is 100% present with us.
Running is more than just his goal it’s also his stress reliever. It is what keeps him sane with his crazy schedule. I want him to be able to have that time and of course I want to support him in all his dreams! No matter what they may be.
If you are in a similar situation, my suggestion is to make sure you have open communication about expectations. We just had another one of these conversations last week as he begins his new job. It’s important that you are both on the same page. There will be days where you will get frustrated but at the end of the day I want him to have those few days where he’s not working to get what he wants in (in the daylight) and enjoy it! Then when he’s done training he is 100% husband and Dad and THAT is what is most important to me.
I received more questions but since this post has gotten pretty long I’ll have to save them for another time!
Have another question? Comment below and I’ll be happy to answer!