Parents provide insight on how to run with a stroller
Half marathon training has begun for many runners! Maybe you just signed up for your first half marathon. Perhaps you’ve returned to running after taking some time off. “But what about my kids?” you may ask. Take them with you! While strollers aren’t allowed on course during the 3M Half Marathon, that shouldn’t stop you from training with them. We asked the 3M Half Marathon Facebook community for advice on how to run with a stroller. Half marathon training is beginning and we want you to learn how to run with a stroller from the experts. Pro tip: this advice pairs perfectly with these 5 training mistakes you need to avoid.
Several runners recommended the Bob or the Double Bob. Whatever model you settle on, you want it to be lightweight! Also, make sure you have good wheels. Just like your car or bike, check that they’re properly inflated and have a decent amount of tread before every run. Check that your stroller comes with a wind/rain shield. It’ll protect your kid from water if a rainstorm appears. The windshield will also help keep them warm in the winter. Don’t forget to incorporate our summertime running advice!
What to carry
Everything! In the beginning, make a list before you take off and check it twice. Pack enough diapers, wipes, sunblock, extra clothes, snacks, and hydration. Make sure you have your stuff too! One mom recommended that you get a sippy cup leash and take your kid’s shoes off before the run. Kids think it’s funny to throw stuff out of the stroller during the run!
Form and pace
Don’t focus on pace when starting out, focus on miles. Obviously, you won’t hit the paces you normally hit when not running with a stroller. You want to start off slow, get comfortable, and build your endurance from there. Think of running with a stroller as a different form of strength training. Slow it down when going uphill and make sure you remain in complete control when coming downhill. Pro tip: maintain your original running form as much as possible. Don’t slump over the handle and switch your arms out if they get tired.
Plan your route
For your first few runs, stay close to your house or your car (if you parked at a park). You want to be close should you forget something or need to return quickly. If your kid is potty training, plan your route to run near bathrooms. Put a towel underneath them and make sure you bring extra clothes, just in case. Plan your route to entertain your kid! Pro tip: pretend you’re at the zoo and try to locate and name as many animals as possible!
Sometimes searching for animals at the zoo isn’t enough. You might have to bribe your kids! Some moms recommended having stroller-only toys, starting/ending at a park, pool, splash pad, or running with other moms and their kids (when possible and safe). Starting and ending at a park provides two options – you can let your kid play beforehand and get tired or reward them after the run is over. Pro tip: one mom makes tablet time stroller-only as an incentive for her kid.
Begin your half marathon training and take your kids along for the ride. The above advice will have you prepared to run with a stroller! Is there a stroller running tip you want to share? Let us know in the 3M Half Marathon Facebook Group or on Twitter.
Special thanks Samantha Santos for her contributions and photos. Thanks to the following runners for their advice and insight: Heather Harris, Andrea Albrecht, Molly Scott, Alana Walter Willis, Alma Christensen, Brittany Dino, Molly Scott, Brittany Dino, Michaela Aiken, and Terri Wallace.