8 Stroller Running Tips You’ve Never Thought Of

8 Stroller Running Tips You’ve Never Thought Of

Guest Post by Whitney Heins of The Mother Runners

Most mother runners have pretty great instincts when it comes to stroller running with their kids. Pack lots of snacks. Pack toys, games, diapers, and wipes. Don’t go when they’re hungry. Be prepared they may fall asleep. Make sure their heads and necks are supported. Get a weather shield.

But there are some strategies you may not have thought of to make your workout smooth, successful, and fun for everyone involved. I’ve talked with other mother runners and experts and am sharing their wisdom here:

Manage expectations.

Stroller Running Tips - Manage Expectations
Image credit: https://www.thebump.com/a/best-jogging-strollers

Like with everything that comes with parenting, be prepared to be flexible. You may head out the door planning to get 6 miles in, your kids may have other plans. That’s okay. You’re still getting exercise. They’re still getting outside and learning about healthy living. And, also, don’t forget, you’re burning extra calories, too. Bonus!

Take the road less traveled.

Once I was running with my two-month-old baby girl when a man in a truck tried to run us off the road while yelling obscenities. Needless to say, I learned to take the road less traveled. Seek out quiet streets with less stops especially if you have a sleeping baby. This may mean running back and forth on a single road.

Lock the front wheel.

Speaking of sleeping babies, a sudden jolt can disrupt a peaceful slumber and kill your running mojo. Opt for a running stroller that allows you to lock the front wheel to keep from turning suddenly. Lock it, once you’ve gotten on your route and don’t need to turn a lot. (Check out the most popular running strollers according to mother runners here.)

Play games.

All mother runners who have successfully conquered the stroller run have one thing in common—they make it fun.

They count squirrels with their kids, hunt dogs and cats, play eye spy, or try to wave to as many people as possible.

“I run my kids past entertaining spots like construction sites or end at a playground,” says mom of two, Lindsay Adams who also listens to music and sings songs with her boys.

Another useful tip, if your kids are watching a tablet, make sure it has a protective case should it get thrown out or dropped.

Pay attention to form.

Running with a stroller is hard work and lends itself to hunching over.

Patrick Gildea, director/head coach of the Knoxville Distance Project, advises moms to try to run upright to avoid low back and hamstring injuries and switch arms every 15 minutes to balance the body.

“When you switch, it will feel awkward and you’ll have the temptation to switch back. But give your body some time to adjust,” says Gildea.

8 Stroller Running Tips for Moms

Don’t pay attention to pace.

Plenty of studies show that running with a stroller is harder than running without. Therefore, don’t expect to run your usual pace. If you want to ensure you’re getting the same workout, focus on heart rate.

Bobby Holcombe, running coach and founder of Knoxville Endurance, says for a training run such as a tempo or endurance power workout, aim to have your heart rate at 85-88 percent of your max heart rate. Your max heart rate is roughly 220 minus your age.

Time it right.

Image Credit: http://myoutdoorslife.com/gear/camping-and-hiking/best-hiking-stroller.html

If you want to get extra miles in, run right before nap time because there’s a good chance your babe will doze off due to the movement. I had my longest stroller runs when my kids fell asleep. It was magical for both of us.

Change your mindset.

Running for most moms is a chance for peace and quiet. That’s likely not the case when running with your kids.

Instead of looking at it as a disruption of “me time,” view it as a special time with you and your loves.

Sarah, mom of twins says, “Yes, it’s hard. Yes, they are heavy. Yes, they bicker and ask for more snacks than you could possibly imagine but it’s still worth it. Because I get to share my time and my sport with my little ones and show them what strong looks like.”

Admittedly, sometimes I’ve found stroller running frustrating but now my 5-year-old daughter loves to run and compete. I know that seed was planted from our stroller runs early on. And one day, she and I will run together, no stroller involved.

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Whitney Heins is the founder of The Mother Runners, a place where moms who run or want to run can find information and inspiration to chase their dreams. Whitney is a former journalist who works from home with her two small children. She is currently training to qualify for the Olympic trials in the marathon. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @themotherrunners.

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