Having children and running can sometimes be a challenge. Every runner with children should look into getting a jogging strollers. Being a runner and mother of three children it was important to me to get a jogger, even more important than getting a regular stroller. All three of my children have spent lots of miles in the jogger here are a few tips to make the run easier on both of you.
It’s always important to be safe when running but when you’re running with a jogging stroller, you have even more reason to be cautious. Here are some tips to make running with a jogging stroller easier, safe, and comfortable for you and your little one.
Make sure your baby is old enough
It’s not safe to run with a child under six months in a jogging stroller, unless your stroller has a car seat adapter. Using the jogging stroller with the car seat means that the baby’s head and neck will be stable and he won’t get bounced around too much.
Lock the front wheel
There are two types of jogging strollers one’s that have a fixed front wheel, while others have a swivel wheel that has a switch that allows you to lock and unlock the wheel. When you’re running with the stroller, it’s safest to lock the front wheel in place. This will prevent the stroller from turning suddenly and causing you to crash or fall.
Your child should be sitting in the upright position not laying down.
Most jogging strollers have a basket underneath, and lots of other compartments. This give you plenty of room for things you might need during your run. Things like diapers, wipes, water (for you and your child), snacks, and a toy or book to entertain your child. Snacks are a great way to keep a toddler happy.
Protect your child from the elements
You will warm up because you’re running, but your child will not. Bundle your child up in the cooler weather. If it’s cold and windy, you may want to use a weather shield for your stroller. On warm days, make sure your child is not overdressed and protected with the stroller’s visor as well as sunscreen. Keep your runs short on very cold or hot days.
Strap your child in with the full harness
The harness will protect your child from falling out. Even if you’re not moving fast it doesn’t take much only a quick turn the child is not expecting and they could be jostled out of the seat. The harness will also prevent them from being able to reach out and get their fingers caught in the wheels.
Avoid running near cars as much as possible
It is a good idea to run in parks, bike paths, or other areas where the roads are closed to traffic. If you don’t have access to parks run on the sidewalk instead of the road. Try to avoid roads that don’t have much of a shoulder.
Schedule runs wisely
Before nap time is often a good time for a run because the movement may put your child to sleep. It’s not a good idea to try to run right before a meal, when your child will be hungry and may not want to sit in the stroller.
Don’t take your hands off the stroller
You may be tempted to push your stroller a little and let it go, so you can run hands-free, but it’s not a good idea. The stroller could get away from you, making it unsafe for your child and anyone else around you. You could hold with one hand while the other hand is free after a few strides switch hands. Many jogging strollers have a strap you can put around your wrist in case for some reason you accidentally let go the strap will stop the jogger from going any farther.
Don’t expect to run your usual pace
Expect your pace to be slower sometimes up to one minute or more per mile slower than your normal pace. But you’re burning more calories for your effort and doing some resistance training. Just like when you started running the more you run with the jogger the easier it will become.
Be in control of your stroller
You should never be going so fast that you couldn’t stop the jogging stroller if needed. Use momentum when running down hill in such a way that you’re always in control of the stroller.
Mix it up a little
Toddlers and preschoolers may get restless in the stroller, so you may want to let them out and play for a bit during the run. They’ll be much happier and comfortable with a little break mid-run. If you don’t want to stop have toys/snack packed in one of the compartment that is easy to reach and surprise them it. Sometimes pointing out things as you run keeps them busy. You can also play do you see? If you run in areas where there are farms you could say to the child do you see any cows?
Follow race rules
Some road races don’t allow jogging strollers, while others do. You will most likely have to start at the back.
Running with your child can be stressful and fun. They see more of the area up close than other children in the neighborhood. My two year old son waves to all the cars as they go by us.