10 Tips for Running With a Jogging Stroller
A stroller that you can jog with is a long-term investment in both your physical and mental well-being. There are many options to choose from, but you ultimately need to select one that fits your lifestyle. Features that you need to consider include a locked or swiveling front wheel, adjustable tracking, and shock absorption. Also look for any special features like cup holders, pockets, snack trays, speakers, and odometers. To select the right jogging stroller, really think about how much running you’ll be doing. This will impact the maneuverability and features that you ultimately choose.
1. Stick to Less Crowded Roads
Jogging with a stroller is intimidating at first and the last thing you want to worry about is traffic. If you do jog on a busy road, be sure to run against traffic so you can see cars coming at you. It’s a lot safer than running with cars coming at your back that you can’t see.
Sticking to roads that are less congested around neighborhoods that you are familiar with will make for a more comfortable experience. Drivers on streets in quieter areas are often more mindful and considerate of joggers and walkers. Chances are they are probably your own neighbors!
Also check out local bike paths, running, and walking trails that will avoid all traffic. All you’ll have to watch out for are other runners and people sharing the path.
2. Don’t Worry about Pace
Running with your best jogging stroller will slow your pace approximately 20 to 30 seconds more than running alone. It’s unlikely that you’re going to hit your personal record while pushing a 25 to 35 pound stroller so keep your solo pace and your stroller pace separate. The benefit to pushing a jogging stroller is that you use different muscles than you typically use while running without the stroller. It’s a different kind of workout that will supplement the runs you do alone. Think of running with a stroller as another goal that you can work toward. You can also still swing your arm like you do during a regular run. Keeping a light grip on the handle will let you easily maneuver the stroller and feel that your arms are still able to move naturally.
3. Fill Up Your Baby
There’s nothing worse than a hungry, crying baby while you’re out in the middle of a run with miles to go before you’re able to feed him or her. You’re already planning your run, so include planning your baby’s meals as well. If your baby is on a regular feeding schedule, arrange your run for right after baby has had a bottle or solids if they’re old enough to eat. Also consider activities that your baby might need while during the run so he or she doesn’t get bored. Maybe that means playing music through the stroller’s speakers, snacks for your baby to enjoy, or toys to play with. With so much to see and take in, your baby will likely be focused on learning more about the world.
4. Check the Safety Features
Double check the harness or buckles that your child is strapped into to make sure that they are secure before your run. Since it’s likely that your child will be jostled quite a bit while running over bumps, it’s important that your child is buckled in securely so he or she does not somehow get out of the straps and fall out. You may find that you like to use a safety wrist strap to secure the stroller to you. Some strollers come with a wrist strap. A wrist strap can also be purchased separately if desired. Strollers may also have a hand brake that allows you to easily slow down.
5. Buckle Your Child Every Time
Make sure that you hear the click of each buckle before heading off. Most strollers use a five-point harness that goes over the shoulders since it’s more likely that a child can fall out of a three-point restraint. Even if the child is asleep, use the buckle every time.
6. Be Careful When Opening and Closing the Stroller
Make sure baby is out of the way when you open and close the stroller. Until you get used to it, maneuvering the stroller can feel a bit awkward, and the last thing you want to do is hurt baby accidentally. Some strollers require more force to open, so don’t only keep baby out of the way, keep any siblings far enough away as well until the stroller is locked and in place or packed up in the car. Watch out for yourself too, so you don’t get a finger stuck while opening and closing the stroller. Even when you are comfortable with the stroller’s functionality, continue to use precaution each time you fold and unfold the stroller.
7. Use the Brake
Jogging strollers typically come with a hand or foot brake. To prevent a jogging stroller from rolling away from you, always use the brake when the stroller is not in motion. All it takes is a slight incline or minor bump for the stroller to take off. Using the brake keeps the stroller stable when taking the baby in and out. Too many accidents happen as a result of a parent not using the brake. Even if you are stopped for just a minute to say hello to a friend, or tie your shoe, use the brake every time.
8. Avoid Hanging Items on the Handlebars
As tempting as it is to hang items from the back of the handlebars on the jogging stroller, it’s not safe. The stroller can tip backward as a result of the weight from a bag. Even adding clips to the stroller’s handlebar can throw off the balance of the stroller. The safest way to secure items is to store them in the stroller’s basket. If you anticipate carrying more than can be stored safely, consider using a backpack style diaper bag.
9. Dress Yourself and Baby Appropriately
Runners typically dress for 10 to 20 degrees warmer than the actual temperature. It comes down to what you are comfortable running in. As mentioned earlier, since the stroller does have storage capacity, you can dress in layers and take an outer layer off if you do get too warm. Dress baby for the actual temperature but consider the wind element.
Avoid using blankets if possible. If a blanket comes loose, it could get stuck under the front wheel of the stroller and cause an accident or injury. Instead, dress your baby in layers and remove any if baby gets too warm.
10. Other Considerations
- Never take your baby on stairs or an escalator in a stroller. If stairs are your only option, hold your baby, collapse the stroller, and carry it up or down the stairs.
- If your stroller has cup holders or other places for storage, don’t put a hot drink that could easily spill onto your baby in the holder or store items that could become dislodged and get caught in the wheels.
- Practice how your stroller works. Learn if the seat reclines and how all straps are fastened. Even take a test drive of the stroller around your house, so you are comfortable with how all of the safety features work before introducing the baby into the new mode of transportation.