Running can be challenging enough on its own, but add in a 50-pound jogging stroller and an unpredictable infant and you could be in for quite an experience! Jogging strollers can be a true boon in helping you get back to pre-pregnancy size and weight, but don’t dive in head first. You should know a few things about working out with a baby jogger, and you’ll find it definitely gets easier over time.
Before my daughter was even born, I bought myself a BOB Revolution SE since I love to run, I’m a former high school and college cross country athlete, and I’ve been itching to do a couple of 5k races each year. Plus, I wanted to hasten my journey to getting back in shape after baby. I picked out the BOB jogging stroller for its awesome reviews and the rugged construction. I also liked that I could get it in orange, my husband’s favorite color and one of mine, and I loved that it seemed like a good fit for our needs. The basket underneath is plenty big enough for my phone, keys, water bottle, and numerous things for the baby. I also feel the hood provides ample shade and protection from the elements, a little drizzle here and some serious sun there.
Still, when I first took the jogger out a couple of months after having my daughter, I think I surprised myself with how challenging it was on the first use. My upper body really felt it, plus, it was weird running without my arms. I’ve noticed a few things in the nine months or so since then, which seem to help my jogging stroller runs along a little better. Not only that, but the better I do with the jogger, the better my times and runs are without it. I’ve even taken my dog along for 3-mile jaunts with the jogging stroller around my neighborhood. It takes more coordination than I usually feel comes naturally, but she enjoys it and the baby does, too, so it’s worth it to me. Of course, I have a very well-behaved dog. I wouldn’t recommend running with a jogging stroller and just any dog. You’ve got to remember all the squirrels and other dogs out there, causing enough distraction to derail your whole operation!
So, without further ado, here are my favorite tips for running with the jogging stroller:
· Plan your runs around your baby’s schedule. Ensure she’s fed and changed and comfortable. You’ll get more running time before she gets fussy in most cases.
· If your baby will sleep in the jogger, you can also time your runs a little before naptime so she gets to enjoy the fresh air, but also doesn’t interrupt your run when she’s ready for bed.
· Keep some of your baby’s favorite snacks and a few toys in the basket below in case you need a distraction.
- Take advantage of a pacifier clip to ensure your little one doesn’t lose the paci (nuk, binky, pacifier, etc.). These things are well worth their weight in gold!
· If your baby starts to get really fussy and you aren’t on a loop that allows you to turn back early, try singing one of his or her favorite songs. It is challenging to run and sing, especially on mile 3.5 of a 4-mile run, but it’s worked for me on several occasions.
· Even though you can’t use your arms as you would without a jogging stroller, you can still alternate arms as you jog around your neighborhood or favorite trail. Hold the stroller’s handle with one arm and pump the other a few times, then switch. I noticed my friend and personal trainer Jessica Rapp of Unique Physique for Life doing this when we went running together as she gave me a break from the stroller. I tried it a few times later and noticed an immediate and unmistakable improvement in my overall time and my mile pace.
As always, ensure your infant is properly dressed for the weather and that you’ve applied sunscreen to keep his or her skin safe. Avoid crossing busy intersections or running along highways and other busy roads. You can never be too careful, especially with the rate of people texting while driving despite common sense.
Remember to always put your child’s safety first, above and beyond all else. As your little one grows, he or she may enjoy your runs more and more, and you may even find that your son or daughter wants to run with you after outgrowing the stroller!