If you thought running is a challenge sometimes just wait until you have to run with a stroller.
Strolling running makes the run so much harder. Many runners start off stroller running post-baby when getting back to the sport is already tough. Others start when their little ones are a bit bigger, meaning extra added weight.
Put simply, if you think running with a baby is hard, try running with a 30 lb. toddler plus the 30 plus lb. of a stroller.
Stroller runs are slower and require much more energy to get it done. Not to mention throwing the runner off when it comes to form.
This is why we sometimes prefer to avoid running with a jogging stroller at all costs.
Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of benefits of stroller running. I think of it as endurance training. It is harder and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is making us stronger with each push.
It’s also a great way to bond with baby or toddler. It lets them get fresh air and allows the runner to actually get their run in. This means no finding or paying for a babysitter. It also helps the runner to lead by example and show them that fitness is important and fun.
That doesn’t mean that we necessarily look forward to stroller running. Here are the best ways to avoid running with your Bob.
Run Early, Run Late
For those who have partners, here is the time for compromise. Let them stay behind with baby while you get a run in.
This might mean waking up really early to get a run in before they need to go to work. It also means running at night once they get home.
With this comes even more challenges like lack of motivation and other scheduling conflicts. But voice the importance of running to your partner and find that time at least once a week where it can be just you and the trails. A healthy body and mind mean a healthy parent.
For this runner, I comprise to bring the jogging stroller along for weekday runs. And my solo running time was early on Saturday mornings with a local running group. This way my husband was guaranteed to not be working, and chances are they were both still in bed when I got home.
Gym Babysitting Hours For The Win
No one prefers to run inside. Especially on the treadmill for that matter.
But this is where my gym came in handy.
My gym offers babysitting hours for an additional monthly fee. This allows me to take my toddler along for classes or when just looking to get some mileage in and say the weather is bad.
This isn’t a luxury or all, but definitely worth it for those looking for a gym membership anyway. The beauty is the kiddies are just in the next room and you can get a workout in without stressing about them.
Drop Off Activities / DayCare / School
Time your runs around the child’s schedule. If they are in a sport or activity where they can be dropped off, use this time to get a run in. Since we are talking toddlers this might not realistically be an option. But doing laps at their soccer practice or in the parking lot might be better than nothing.
Some have their kids in daycare or school. While this is difficult during the summer, at least time spent in school means free time for runs for those who can. Working parents might want to try to extend their after school program or daycare for an extra hour so they can get a quick run in between work and pick up.
Find A Runner Friend
Running with a friend is way better than running solo for some. But another benefit is they understand what it takes to train for races.
Bonus if this runner friend is also a parent.
That way you two can alternate who watches the babies when trying to really get in some mileage.
I’ve even have a saint of a friend who would offer to push for half of the run with there was no option of leaving my little one behind.
Plan Ahead For Races
The runner might need to run with the stroller during most training runs, but strollers are typically not allowed during longer races like half marathons.
So to avoid not being able to attend, plan for the big day. Arrange care for the night before and the morning of with a family member, friend or babysitter.
It does take some take to race long distances plus sticking around for post-race parties so plan for enough time to be able to run baby free and then meet up with family.
Just remember that running with the stroller isn’t the worse thing in the world. It does make the runner stronger and makes running without it easier.
Just try to run around nap time for babies and toddlers who don’t like the stroller. Plan accordingly for weather such as going early or late when it’s hot out and bringing a stroller fan.
Get a windshield for gusty fall days.