I saw this meme recently that said, “no matter how fast you think you are, there will always be some mom running with a stroller that will pass you.” Isn’t that hysterical?
That is so true. Now, I’m not exactly a quick paced runner, but there’s something about pushing a stroller down the road that make you feel like a bad A. Know what I’m sayin’?
Here’s the deal though, mama. Running with a stroller needs some solid technique to not only avoid injury but to make your runs more enjoyable.
I love my runs with my Joshua. Getting to bond while I get a good run in and he eats his snacks. But, if I didn’t have solid technique, to be honest, it would be miserable.
So! Let’s dive right in, shall we? Here are my dos and don’ts for running with a stroller.
DO FIND A GOOD RUNNING STROLLER
There are strollers that are made for runners that are completely different from “normal strollers” (not even sure what normal means, but follow the bouncing ball here).
- Runner strollers are shaped completely differently than ‘normal’ strollers which makes air flow across it easier. Because of this, it will not feel like you’re running with a parachute.
- Strollers for jogging typically have 3 wheels and their wheels are much larger than that of a ‘normal’ stroller. The front wheel is hyper mobile to make steering a breeze.
- The handle on a running stroller is wide and sturdy with a soft grip making it easy to grab hold of and maneuver.
- I am not sure if these strollers have shocks on them or something to help with the bounce but it handles uneven roads like a champ. It’s a very comfortable ride for little man and he hasn’t complained once about things being too bumpy and we’ve gone off road a couple of times!
YOU CAN SEE FROM THESE FEW THINGS ALONE THAT HAVING A RUNNING STROLLER IS PARAMOUNT!
This is because it not only make the run more enjoyable for you, but it makes it more enjoyable for your tiny running partner. Below is a picture of exactly the running stroller I have which is the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Stroller, Gotham.
Mine has 100’s of miles on it, some unfortunate diaper explosions and stomach malfunctions from dude man, but it cleans up very well and still looks pretty new!
If you do purchase one of these running strollers or have one of these and the front wheel is sticking or won’t turn easily, spray it with some WD-40 and it will loosen right up and you’re ready to roll again.
DO FIND SOME SOLID RUNNING SHOES
For the longest time, my favorite running shoes have been Reebok Harmony Roads. However, they recently came out with the second generation of Harmony Roads and they are shaped differently and it’s too much for my foot.
I’m currently in the process of finding my new favorite running shoes. I bought a pair of Nike’s and while their running shoe game has really improved over the years, they still aren’t my favorite.
Brooks was also another favorite and I’m about to try their Revel shoes and I will report back on how that is going.
EVERYBODY’S FOOT IS DIFFERENT WHICH IS WHY IT’S HARD TO RECOMMEND A SPECIFIC BRAND OF SHOES.
Here’s what I can tell you in regards to running shoes and your foot. You have to find a shoe that will work for your stride and the size and width of your foot.
My foot is long and narrow, but wide at the ball of the foot. Which means that my shoes need to be wider at the top and more narrow towards the back.
THE SUGGESTION THAT I HAVE FOR YOU IS TO GO TO A LOCAL RUNNING SHOP STORE OR IF YOU DON’T HAVE ONE OF THOSE, A PLACE DICK’S SPORTING GOODS AND TRY ON SEVERAL DIFFERENT BRANDS OF SHOES.
Walk around, run in place, bounce around, be ridiculous. I mean, embarrass your kiddos for crying out loud. Because, why not? But also, to make sure that those shoes will be able to handle the beating that they will receive while running.
They should be soft and cushiony with no pinching or squeezing. If there is, try a different pair. Don’t be afraid to try on many different pairs
DO KEEP YOUR EYES UP AND ON THE ROAD AHEAD
Once you’re out on the road and you’re pushing your stroller down the street, keep your eyes up and on the road ahead.
While this might sound quite obvious, there are a lot of times that runners will watch their feet, or especially when running with a stroller, watch their kiddos.
If you are looking down, then it can actually restrict your breathing and make it even harder to catch your breath!
DO KEEP YOUR CORE BRACED
I’m sure that you hear that a lot of “keep your abs tight!” what does it even mean?
Well, the way that all of your different ab muscles are nestled in your belly, you can ‘zip’ them up like a pair of pants.
This means that you’re not just sucking in your belly, you’re engaging those muscles in your belly toward the middle.
This is so important especially with pushing that extra weight down the road! You can practice this at home of pulling your belly muscles inward and toward each other.
DON’T PUSH WITH BOTH HANDS
I personally have found with my runner stroller that pushing one handed really helps me keep good form.
The way that running strollers are made, it allows for easy steering with one hand. When I have both hands on the bar I tend to bend over and I lose lung capacity.
The only exception to this would be when running up a hill. This is where I need more leverage to push up the hill. But once I crest the hill, I go back to pushing one handed.
DON’T RUN ON YOUR TOES
Your typical stride for a run is a mid-foot strike rolling to the ball of the foot and pushing off of that foot to bring the leg forward and do it again. This is STILL how you run with a stroller, however, the tendency is to either A. get on our toes or B. to do what I call a foot slap where you land hard on all of your foot at once.
These two compensations are the tendency because of the extra weight you are pushing, but be careful to keep good stride!
Remember – the only time that you run on your toes is when you are going up a hill. Once you crest the hill, go back to your normal mid-foot strike
DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE
This goes hand in hand with keeping your head up nice and tall and looking straight ahead.
Fill those lungs with oxygen, sis.
To really be able to do this you have to expand your lungs. This does not mean shrugging of your shoulders, this means a focus of deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth by expanding your lungs.
Practice while you’re not running and you’ll see what I mean
WHILE IT MAY SEEM LIKE A LOT TO THINK ABOUT WHILE GOING FOR A RUN, IT REALLY ISN’T HAS MUCH AS IT SEEMS.
Take these one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be an expert stroller runner.
Another great thing about stroller running, is that when you run your half or a different race after having trained by pushing a stroller, then in theory, your pace will be quicker because you’re not pushing that extra 60-70 pounds.
I have found that running with my Joshua is an awesome bonding experience. He eats his snacks while I run and sometimes he even sings to me and will say “good job, mumum!”
Are there days that I want to run alone? Of course, but the times that I get to run with my little man are times that I will cherish, because, he won’t be little forever.
You’ve got this mama, don’t let the extra time it takes to get ready for a run with your kiddos keep you from getting out there with your little loves and enjoying a good run.