Running with a stroller can be so enjoyable! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that a majority of my running is with a stroller.
You can find the running stroller I have here.
When I started running postpartum, and very quickly began marathon training, I had to learn how to work around my baby’s schedule. As Mom’s I think that is what we always do right? I wanted to involve him in my training but I also knew there really wasn’t any easy way to do it.
I had two options:
- Put him next to me while I ran on the treadmill (as he got older this became increasingly more difficult)
- Put him in the running stroller and take him with me
Of course, always speak to your Doctor before beginning running with your little one in the stroller. I was given the OK to run with Easton once he had decent head control and it wasn’t bobbling in the stroller while using the infant insert.
The first time I started running with a stroller I remember thinking – how will I possibly ever be able to run with this stroller for one more mile?
Don’t judge stroller running by your first run. It does feel really hard at first. Add it on top of the fact that you probably haven’t been running that long postpartum and it can be tough, but I promise you it does get better!
Adding the stroller to your runs definitely gives you a different kind of workout. Even on the toughest runs I tried to look at it as a way to get stronger. I knew that if I could run with the stroller, then when I no longer had it with me I would feel even faster and stronger!
What Are The Benefits of Running With a Stroller?
Quality Time with Your Little One. Easton can’t really talk back to me right now, but for a lot of my runs I am carrying on little conversations with him or pointing out fun things along the way. I love that stroller running allows me extra one on one time with him. When I am not running with the stroller I truly do miss him.
Mental strength. We all know that mental strength is such a big part of running. In fact, I’d say it is even more important than the actual act of running. It determines everything we do. By learning to run with the stroller for your runs you work on increasing your mental strength and becoming a stronger runner (and Mom/Dad).
Resistance training. Want to kick your run up a notch? Adding the stroller in adds resistance to any run. It’s important to remember that for easy runs or workouts because it will alter your pacing. Running with the stroller enables you to get in a run, resistance training, and strength training all in one. What other type of workout can do that for you?
Time out of the house. Sometimes we all need our time. If you are anything like me then running tends to be your time. There are days when I have help and can get out on my own, but that is maybe 1-2 times per week. The other days it’s still important for me to get in my time. Even though it’s not alone taking Easton out in the running stroller allows me to still get in my time and do the things I enjoy.
Tips to Help You Master Running With A Stroller:
Plan ahead. I’m sure as a Mom (or Dad) you have already perfected the art of planning ahead. Each time I head out with my little one I have toys, a bottle, and sunscreen. Depending on how long you plan to be out there will determine how much planning needs to be done. Planning ahead will help to increase your chances of a successful stroller run.
Get a stroller organizer. I can’t tell you how helpful it is now that I bought the Thule Console 1. It allows me to take a water bottle with me (which is super helpful during the hot months) and also pile in other little various items of Eastons and keeps my headphones, keys, and cell phone easily accessible. There are also some great generic and less expensive options here and here.
Alternate your arms. There have been a few people I’ve seen who can run with two hands on the stroller, I was never able to master this art. The only time I use both is when I am going up a big hill. When running any other time I alternate my arms fairly often to ensure one doesn’t get overly tired. You’ll probably have one arm that you prefer over the other and when I’m doing faster intervals I hold on with that arm.
You CAN do running workouts with the stroller. I realized pretty quickly if I wanted to train I’d have to find a way to do the workouts on my schedule with the stroller. I won’t lie it makes it harder, but it also makes it even more rewarding when you complete it. Make sure to give yourself a little break and realize that your times may be different then if you were doing it solo. Do your best effort and of course make sure to find a flat area to do your workouts on with the stroller.
Walk when you need to. Even now that Easton is out of the infant insert I am still very careful to make sure he is not “bobbling” around too much when I run. We typically stick to the same trail every day that is flat and easy to run on, but there are a few bridges that are super bumpy so I still stop and walk over those. I always like the be more cautious when running (especially quicker paces).
Don’t forget your running form. The running stroller will cause you to alter your form pretty quickly. It’s important to pay attention to your form so that you don’t put any unnecessary stress on your body. Don’t lean forward (even though it will be very tempting to) and stand tall keeping your elbows in. When I start feeling tired from running with the stroller I turn my focus to my running form.
Few Helpful Last Minute Tips for Stroller Running:
Find a low traffic area to run. I don’t run in our neighborhood because it has too many cars going up and down our road very fast. I don’t want to take on any unnecessary dangers. Like I said previously, I go to a local trail where I feel safe running. Find somewhere with low traffic and relatively flat ground.
Plan your runs around baby’s schedule. If your baby is in a fussy mood it is going to make the run more stressful for you too. I usually plan my run around when Easton is going to be getting tired OR right after he wakes up from a nap. Either he will sleep through a chunk of the run or he be in a good mood from his nap and just play by himself in the stroller.
Be prepared to make adjustments. Sometimes baby has a plan of his/her own so you have to be willing to stop, cut a run short, or just make adjustments to your original plan. I go into every run knowing that I may have to make adjustments and that’s okay. Just do the best you can.
Always be more cautions. Running with your baby requires you to be more cautious of things around you and those passing you. Make sure you stay out of the way and when in doubt slow down and let someone pass or wait for a car. It’s better to be cautious when running with your little one.
The bottom line – go out there and have fun! Running with a stroller can be enjoyable and nothing beats running with your sweet baby, it is such a wonderful time together and I for one wouldn’t change it for the world!