13 Tips for Running With a Jogging Stroller
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
Some jogging strollers have a fixed front wheel, while others have 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.
Most jogging strollers have a basket underneath, as well as other compartments or holders, so you should have plenty of room for things you might need during your run. Don’t forget diapers, wipes, water (for you and your child), snacks, extra clothes, and a toy or book to entertain your child.
Protect Your Child From the Elements
Remember that you’ll warm up because you’re running, but your child will not. So bundle her 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 (or leave your child with your spouse or sitter).
Strap Your Child in With the Full Harness
The harness will protect your child from falling out or getting shaken, so it’s important that you use it the way it’s intended. Even if you’re not moving too quickly, the harness will prevent him from reaching out and getting his fingers caught in the wheels.
Avoid Running Near Cars as Much as Possible
It is a good idea to run in parks, bike paths, sidewalks, or other areas where you don’t have to worry about traffic. Not only is it a safer option, but your child will have a much more comfortable ride since you won’t have to stop and start a lot to cross streets or avoid cars.
Schedule Runs Wisely
Before naptime 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 Run Hands-Free
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 easily get away from you, which is unsafe for your child and anyone else around you.
But You Can Push With One Hand
Pushing a jogging stroller impedes your natural arm swing, which makes it much tougher on your legs. So try pushing the stroller with one arm and swinging with the other. Keep switching arms so you get to work both sides.
Don’t Expect to Run Your Usual Pace
You can expect your pace to be at least one minute per mile slower than your normal pace. But you’re burning more calories with your effort and doing some resistance training, so don’t worry about the slower pace. In addition, you’ll find that the more you run with the stroller, the easier it will be.
Be in Control of Your Stroller
You should never be going so fast that you couldn’t stop the jogging stroller if needed. You’re responsible to use momentum 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. I like to run a couple of miles to a local park, let my kids out to play for a bit, and then pack them up and run back home.
Follow Race Rules
Some road races don’t allow jogging strollers, while others do, but ask runners to start at the back. If you’re going to run in a race with a jogging stroller, stick to the specific rules of the race.