When I have my little guy on my runs and I’m pushing him in his stroller, it adds a whole new level of hard to the workout. I’ve talked to several mom’s that want to run with their baby or little one but find it to be more of a chore than an actual workout. Here’s how this post is going to be laid out – we’re going to go over the top two reasons that I’ve found that women feel like they can’t run well with strollers, how to fix those issues, and then we will address running form. Which when proper running form is applied with the solutions for the top two issues, will totally change your running game. You will become THE ultimate baby jogger.
The Top 2 Issues facing Stroller Runners based on my research:
- The stroller is hard to push and/or is not easy to steer
- It feels like you’re pushing a boulder down the road
So let’s start with number one!
The stroller is too hard to push, is not easy to steer, or both. First, 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. **Pro-tip- 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.
- 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!
It Feels Like You’re Pushing a Boulder Down the Road
The only and I really do mean the only downside I have against this stroller is that it is big. You can remove parts to make it smaller, so that does help with the size of it. Although though it is a fairly large stroller, the size of it would not deter me from purchasing it again. It’s sturdy and overall a fantastic stroller. So! If you want to check it out you can click the picture below and order it on Amazon! Let’s now move on to #2.
Well, from the ease of pushing perspective, we have solved that problem with the stroller. As for the issue of it being extra weight, well, it is! Again, with the right stroller and form it really will not feel as bad as it has been.
Here’s how to look at that extra weight that you’re pushing down the road and up those hills. Pushing that weight will burn extra calories and bonus, when you run a race and you don’t have your stroller, you will absolutely fly through the race because you’ve lost between 30-50 pounds of excess weight!
Moving on to running form with a stroller – 5 Tips
Now that we have our awesome running stroller and it’s easier to push this extra weight down the road. I have 5 tips that will help take your stroller running game to the next level. *ahem* Here we go!
Side Note – Remember that when you’re running or walking you are to be on the left side of the road (this is for The States). You should be facing traffic. I cannot recommend enough that you always run in safe places such as walking trails and specific areas meant for runners. This is ESPECIALLY true if you have a stroller, make sure that you are in neighborhoods or on sidewalks. It really isn’t worth jeopardizing safety with all the crazy drivers out there. Yep, I’m looking at you Ms. texting-while-driving.
Back On track… 5 tips
- Keep your head up.
While pushing a stroller it’s easy to get tired and use the handle bar for support. This is bad for several reasons but the main one being that it doesn’t allow enough oxygen to pass through your lungs! Why? Because you’re bending over! Think about how you run without a stroller, right? You keep your head up and look out and around you; or you should anyway.
- Abs pulled in tight.
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!
- Deep breathing.
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!
- Watch your stride.
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 (you only run on your toes while running uphill). 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!
- Push one handed.
I personally have found with my runner stroller that pushing one handed really helps me keep good form. The way that the stroller is 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.
Lots of Info…
But I really hope that you found it helpful! I love running with just Izzy, my German Shepherd, and having the early morning just to myself. However, I also love the added challenge of pushing that extra 50-60lb of the stroller with little man in it. Plus, sometimes that’s the only way I get to run is if he goes with me, so I’ve learned how to make it work!
This biggest thing is that you don’t want to give up your runs just because you have to push a stroller. Just like with anything else, you make it work!
I hope that my trial and error has helped you!