Flashback to when I was pregnant with my first baby and people would ask me if I planned on getting a running stroller.
My ignorant answer? No…I like to keep my workout time as “me time”.
HA HA HA. If you’re a mom or a parent you know why I’m laughing. BECAUSE…..Your time is their time.
I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t want to be dependent on others for a workout/run (especially because my husband travels for work a lot). I invested in a running stroller when my son was about a year old and I haven’t looked back since! t was probably one of the best investments I made since becoming a mother.
I consider myself a seasoned pro with the running stroller using it pretty religiously over the past 4.5 years. I have run with a single running stroller, and a double running stroller. I’ve run with both the single & the double while pregnant as well! Today, I wanted to share some of my tips on ALL THINGS Running strollers!
WHY A RUNNING STROLLER
Like I mentioned above, I had always thought I would be able to plan my workouts well enough that I woulden’t need a running stroller. But between juggling work, life & parenthood it has been virtually impossible for me to get workouts away from my kids. Some weeks are better than others, but I usually get at least one stroller run in a week. My soon to be 8 month old rode in the running stroller for the first time today, so I’m excited to say that I’ll be back on the roads again with the stroller 1-2 times a week!
My biggest reason for purchasing the running strollers was not wanting to be dependent on other people for something that was so important to me- my fitness and health.
WHERE SHOULD YOU GET ONE?
Running stroller’s are no doubt a blow to the wallet. A good (NEW) one can set you back anywhere from $300-500. But, if you break it down, you would spend over $600 in one year paying a babysitter for one hour a week to run (for me that hour is the minimum I would use it!). Multiply that by the amount of years you will use it (I’m going on 4!) and it is totally worth it!
I highly recommend first looking on Facebook marketplace, craigslist and ebay for used ones. The quality is generally high on the top name brands (even used) and you can get a good deal. I also have seen them at thrift/second hand stores as well!
I unfortunately wasn’t able to find any secondhand, but I used a BuyBuyBaby 20% coupon on both of my BOB’s Strollers (and they were also on sale!). I only paid $425 for my double. I know it seems crazy, but if you run it is totally worth it. What could be more important than your health?
My husband also runs so we get double the use out of it. Especially now with having 3 kids, its all about dividing and conquering! So even if both of us are home, sometimes we take 1 or 2 with us (my oldest bikes now) and leave the other one at home.
HOW HARD IS IT?!
Ok, I’m not going to lie. It’s no walk in the park. But, I can say that my running strollers are the only strollers I used for everything once I hit about 5 months pregnant. Why? Because they are so EASY to push!! They literally glide. So, yes, you work hard. But, they are built to be pushed! Expect to run slower (duh), but don’t write your run off. I’ve had some great splits and runs with the single (and double). Think of it as great resistance training. I know that it has 100% helped me with my fitness, and when I run on my own it seems so easy! Well, easier. ha.
As far as my arms, I usually only hold one hand on the bar of the stroller to push and swing my other arm while I run. I usually rotate each arm.
I find that my apple watch doesn’t track my run because my arm isn’t moving all the time so I usually use Map My Run (its an app) to track my mileage, splits and time!
Ok, this is the million dollar question, right? How do you keep your kid/baby happy in the stroller? I find that the younger you start, the easier it is for them to be accustomed to you running with them! When they are little, it is pretty easy. They like being outside, being with you, and you can even plan it during their nap. The older they get it can get tricky. I try to plan a fun outing after the run ie. Run to the fire station to look at firetrucks, run to the farmers market, the park, or to a smoothie shop. if you don’t live in a city/village setting where you don’t have those options, be creative on something fun you can do with your child when you get back!
Here are some of my tried and true tips for having a HAPPY child & happy mom:
Timing: For babies, this is obviously super important. Always do it after you feed. One, so your boobs are empty. Second, they are satisfied and more likely to go to sleep. Don’t go at obvious times that could cause issues with toddlers (ie. lunch, dinner, etc.) Its obviously trickier wit multiple kids and their schedules but you can easily work around it! For example: Post nap was one of the best times for me to go for a run with the stroller about 18 months ago (when my two older boys had one afternoon nap at the same) I loaded my two older boys up with some snacks and hit the road. They were still half asleep and pretty placid! But today for example, I ran about an hour after the baby woke up (8:30 am!). He was fed, and it was far enough away from his naptime that he didnt sleep. My baby is actually a pretty happy guy so I avoid running at nap time and give him a toy or two to chew and he is a happy clam!
Nap time can be a great time to run, but also a bad time: If your child only naps once a day, I recommend staying away running anytime close to that nap. There’s nothing worse than them falling asleep for only 30 minutes and then refusing their only nap of the day. However, if you have an older baby (10 month and up) or young toddler who is still on 2 or 3 naps- this is a great way to get your workout while they sleep! I like to get things done around the house while my baby sleeps so I avoid running during naptime but if you have a bad napper (hey, it happens) or a fussy baby it might put them to sleep!!!
Snacks: snacks>>> everything!
Post-run fun: Like I mentioned earlier, plan a fun outing after the run for 30 minutes for the kids to look forward to! I usually stretch while they’re on the swings, playground, or sandbox. If we stop at the market or somewhere like that, I use the walk home as cool down and stretch at home.
Be excited: Have FUN bringing them along. They’ll read your energy levels and feed off of it!
Electronics: I know some people let their kids have an ipad or phone (I don’t) but just an idea if you’ve got meltdown city and you really need to get your run in!
I always bring my phone just incase something happens
I always play fun music!
I never bring water on my solo runs, but I always do with the stroller because I have the space to store it!
Lastly, Remember what an amazing example you are setting for your children by prioritizing fitness WITH them!
Happy Running, Mama’s!