Stroller Running Tips
Since my daughter was born in 2017, I have done a LOT of running with her in the stroller. Stroller running is a great way to build up core strength and endurance. In fact, I credit my postpartum PR's to the strength and stamina that I developed from pushing the stroller.
Don't get me wrong, stroller running is not for everyone nor do I think is it necessary to get stronger, but it worked for me. It was either learn to like stroller running, or get up super early to run before my husband went to work or late when he got home. Some moms rock at getting up early to run before their littles, and I applaud you! I could not for the life of me get up early until my daughter started consistently sleeping through the night at 16 months. Some days I waited to run later in the afternoon/evening, but I usually felt best if I got up and got my run done earlier in the day.
Not going to lie, I hated stroller running at first. It was HARD and slowed me down big time, especially on the hills around my little Ohio town. I stuck with it though, and over time, it became easier.
So whether you love or hate stroller running, here are my tips:
1. Just Do It!
Not to sound cliche or anything, but the biggest obstacle you have to get over is yourself. Just get out there and do it. Running with a stroller is tiring and hard and makes you want to stop, but just get out there and do what you can. If you can only do 1-2 miles and have to walk some...great! Do that! Over time your endurance builds and you'll be able to go further.
2. Alternate arms
Some people may worry that their form may get messed up by constantly pushing a stroller. My advice is to switch up the arm that pushes and try to run off to the side instead of directly behind the stroller. Again, this takes practice to feel comfortable, but work at it and you'll find your groove.
3. Feed your baby prior
If your baby is a young (6mo-1 year), feeding before runs usually works best. When I first started stroller running, I tried to time my runs right after feeds which was usually coincided with nap time. I would nurse baby prior and then she would usually fall asleep in the stroller. Now that my daughter is older she does not sleep in the stroller, but I still try to make sure she is not hungry before a run.
4. Nurse or pump prior
If you are breastfeeding, nursing or pumping prior to your runs will help you be more comfortable. In the early days, I had times when baby was extra fussy and I had to stop and nurse right at the end of a workout, but flexibility is key.
5. Snacks & toys
If your baby is older, bring along snacks and/or toys to keep them occupied. I'm lucky in that my daughter loves just riding and looking around, but as she has gotten older, I won't run without a snack (or two) and her cup. I also like to run with music playing on my phone and alternate my daughter's favorite songs to help keep her occupied. Sometimes singing or talking your way through the last mile of your run is necessary to prevent a screaming fit!
6. Alternate routes
As with running in general, switching up your route can help break up monotony and give you and your baby something new to look at. Now that my daughter is almost 2, I usually end our run at a park or a store so she can get out and play or get her favorite snack.
The biggest thing I've learned with running with my baby, is to be flexible! It's hard to plan an exact schedule when you have to run around baby's naps or feeds, but this does get easier as baby gets older!
8. Look for community
Find other moms who also run or walk with their babies. You can join a local running group or maybe start one yourself! A great place to start is looking up MRTT/SRTT (Moms run this town/she runs this town) and see if there is a group in your town. This is a national organization of female runners...can look up the directory here.
Do you run with a stroller? Please share any other tips you have in the comments below! I love to hear from others! :)