How To Run With A Jogging Stroller
By Whitney Sandoval
Pro-tip: Carry snacks. Carry all the snacks.
I started running with a jogging stroller after my daughter was born in 2015. I found a super cheap Baby Trend jogging stroller on a mom sell page and slowly began building my mileage. It’s been over five
years and that little investment has seen multiple babies and countless mileage. By trial-and-error, I have figured out what to consider before running with a jogging stroller.
Not All Strollers Are Created Equal
I didn’t do my research. I saw a stroller, it was purple, and I immediately pounced. Before joining a running group, I didn’t realize there were luxury strollers. Although all of my strollers have been secondhand, I have learned brand matters. Most women I know swear by Bob despite the steep price—they also note Bob has a high resell value which makes it worth it. Many Baby Trend strollers are designed so runners can attach a car seat to the stroller, allowing parents to start running before baby can hold her head up. The car seat does have to be a Baby Trend brand to be compatible, but the strollers tend to be more budget friendly. Decide what is important to you and spend some time researching different brands and styles to find the right fit.
My favorite thing about running with the stroller is that I can easily carry all my essentials—water, fuel, my phone. This also comes in handy when running with your tiny human. You can pack everything you
need for your little one, too. Some of my favorites include: diapers and wipes, snacks, bottle or sippy cup, snacks, toys, and more snacks. I like to be over-prepared and plan for anything that might impact
my run. It takes some extra prep time before the run, but having everything I think I could possibly need helps me get my miles in with less interruptions.
Learn Your Kid
Each of my kids have different tolerances for our stroller runs. I know which kid can’t run by the park without throwing a fit, which kid needs shoes because she’ll insist on getting out and running with me, and about how long each kid can spend in the stroller before whining. I’ve learned to end runs at playgrounds and bribe them with swings to get some extra miles. I know what time of day most likely guarantees the kid will fall asleep and I’ll be able to squeeze some extra miles in. If I’m following a training plan, and my kids are being exceptionally well, I might rework that week’s mileage and take advantage of an unexpected longer run. There were many runs cut short and many frustrating miles, but eventually I’ve been able to figure out how to maximize my running potential.
Take Care of Your Body
Running with a stroller is hard work! The extra weight is challenging to your muscles and your heart rate and maintaining form is difficult when your body is tired. I learned I have to give myself grace: it’s okay to run slower with a stroller and it’s okay to walk. For me, stroller running was more than slowing down my pace. I also had to make sure I was taking care of my body after the run. Part of my post-stroller run routine includes stretching my hip flexors and strengthening my core. When my arms aren’t helping my stride, my hip flexors are prone to doing the work. Stretching and strengthening them helps keep me injury free. Eventually, I learned I needed to focus on my core as well. By doing so I am able to protect
my low back when my posture gets sloppy.
I love my jogging stroller. Training with one has given me some of my fastest race PRs. But it’s more than that. Not only does it give me the freedom to go for a run when caring for my small children, but it
allows me to share my love of running with my kids. Now that I have multiple kids, I’ve even started using my stroller runs as a way to get one-on-one time with each of them. When I’m able, I’ll grab one at
a time for a mile loop and make that whole mile about them.