Tips for running with the stroller

Running with a jogging stroller can be a challenge.  I’m sure you’ve seen people doing it and they make it looks natural and effortless.  When you first try it yourself, you might find that it’s anything but natural and definitely takes a lot of effort! These are tips specifically about the mechanics of running with a jogging stroller; check out my Tips and Gear pages for more information on running with your little one.

  • Age.  Before you beginning running with your little one, remember that they should be at least 6 months of age.
  • Be patient.  It will take you a while to get used to the feel of running with the stroller.
  • Skip hills to start.  Running uphill with the stroller can be a challenge so when you’re getting started, give yourself a break and stick to a flat route if possible.  Once you’re comfortable running with the stroller, then head for the hills!
  • Fill up.  Make sure you have enough air in your stroller’s tires.  If you don’t have enough air in your tires, the stroller will be much more difficult to push.  At the same time, you don’t want to overfill them with air because it can make the stroller more prone to tipping.
  • Swing those arms.  Running with the stroller causes you to lose your natural arm swing which is a challenge to get used to.  I recommend pushing the stroller with one hand.  Be sure to switch between which hand you use every so often during your run so you’re not making one side of your body work harder than the other.  Don’t forget to keep the stroller’s safety strap on your wrist at all times.  Over time, you’ll figure out what’s comfortable for you in terms of your hand placement on the handlebar.  I prefer to keep my hand slightly off center – so if I push with my left hand, I keep that hand slightly off center to the left.
  • Hold on tight, but not too tight.  You want to have a good grasp of the handlebar, but you don’t want to hold on too tight because than you’re expending too much of your energy on your grip.  You also might end up with arm, shoulder or neck pain from holding on too tight.  Just keep your hand gently, but securely on the handlebar.  Resist the urge to push and let go, push and let go, push and let go as you run.  It is not safe to run like that with the stroller, even with the wrist strap on your wrist because the stroller can easily get away from you.
  • Turns.  When you take a turn, then you need to use both hands on the handlebar and hold on tighter so you have better control of the stroller.  Then you can go back to your single-handed light grip.
  • Push with your legs.  You want to use your lower body strength to push the stroller.  You don’t want to hunch over the stroller while running – that will definitely put a strain on your upper body.  Plus, it’s a great workout for those glutes and quads!
  • Be mindful of your form.  Even when you’re running alone, you should check your form from time to time.  Just be sure that you’re maintaining good posture and not slumping.  This is even more important with the stroller because holding onto the handlebar and pushing your little one can make you start to hunch over.  Remember to pull those shoulders back and run tall, mama!
  • Watch your stride.  Running with the stroller can throw off your natural running stride and make your stride a bit choppy.  Keep your body far enough from the stroller than you can maintain a comfortable, open stride while you run.
  • Lock the wheel.  If you don’t have a fixed front wheel on your jogging stroller, you will need to lock it before you run.  Running with the wheel locked is much safer as the swivel of the front wheel can cause the stroller to tip easily if you hit a bump in the road.  Taking turns with the wheel locked is a challenge, but you’ll get used to it in time.
  • Don’t feel discouraged.  Running with the stroller is NOT easy! Don’t give up if it seems too hard in the beginning.  It will get easier over time.  You’ll figure out your form, stride and hand placement as you get used to running with the stroller.
  • Ask me.  I’m not an expert, but I have been running with my son for almost a year and have taken him running up to 10 miles so far.  Contact me if you have any specific questions I can answer!

Comments

  1. says

    Great tips! I began running with a jogging stroller in March – I’ve had it for years, but my two oldest daughters didn’t enjoy riding along, but my youngest LOVES it. I could have used this list a few months ago – thanks for sharing!

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