Tips for Running With a Jogging Stroller
It’s the middle of the holiday season and I’m trying not to pack on the usual 5-10 holiday lbs. Running with a jogging stroller keeps me active and gets me out of the house, especially helpful when there’s no one around to babysit.
My daughter loves it, too. She loves being outside and often yells “faster Mommy, faster”. I’ve run a lot of miles pushing a jogger and have run a few local races with my daughter in tow.
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Here are some tips to help you get started with a jogging stroller:
It is not recommended to use a normal 4-wheeled stroller for jogging. That’s not what they’re made for. Running with your child requires a smooth-moving stroller with stability. A normal 4-wheeled stroller can tip very easily and the wobbly wheels can feel like they’re going to pop off. If you’re a new parent serious about running, a jogging stroller is a worthwhile investment.
The safest strollers have a wrist strap that’s connected to the handlebar. Use it, especially if you’re running downhill. Jogging strollers will pick up speed going downhill, and if it slips out of your grasp, the strap will prevent the stroller from getting away from you.
Any good jogging stroller should have a lever that you can flip to lock the back wheels. If you have to take your hands off the stroller for any reason before or after your run, lock the back wheels.
Be sensible about whether the route is safe, or if the weather is too extreme, or if it’s too dark, or any number of other factors.
It is recommended that your child be at least 8 months old before joining you on your runs. This is because their necks need to be strong enough to hold their own heads up and withstand the occasional bumps that come with running.
Try to avoid overly crowded areas when you‘re running with a jogger. You can’t weave in and out of people like you can running solo, and that can get frustrating when you’re forced to slow down trying to pass walkers. I like to run along a path around a lake that’s near me.
Maintain Your Stroller
A jogging stroller needs to be taken maintained in order for it to ride as smoothly as possible. A fine-tuned stroller performs the best, while one that’s creaky or worn down will make your run more difficult.
Inspect the tires before each run and make sure none are going flat. I would recommend airing your tires at least once a month. It makes a huge difference. Pushing a jogger with soft wheels can feel like pushing a couch around, so heavy.
Also do a general inspection of the stroller before going out, for safety’s sake. Make sure there are no loose screws or anything else out of place.
Watch Your Running Form
I usually keep my right hand gripping the handlebar, while I pump with my left arm. I do have to remind myself to alternate hands.
Try not to lean into the stroller, stay upright and keep your elbows bent.
Signing Up for Races
Some races, particularly smaller, local 5Ks and 10Ks, allow strollers on the course. Some don’t. The race website will usually specify if strollers are allowed. If it’s not clear, contact the race organizers and ask.
You are unlikely to go as fast with a stroller as you would running solo, but I find it’s a great resistance workout.
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