About a year ago I bought a jogging stroller. I had high hopes for Monday/Wednesday/Friday morning runs, pushing my little guy in the stroller while my preschooler was off preschooling.
Didn't happen. For starters, the second (third?) time I used it, I injured my knee/hamstring while running downhill. So I didn't want to attempt any hills while pushing the stroller (and my neighborhood happens to be all hills). And then I got serious about marathon training and I felt that my stroller runs weren't serious enough so I shelved them.
And then it was summer and my preschooler was done preschooling and with two kids at home, the jogging stroller did me no good. With the exception of a week when the preschooler went to camp, running when the kids were with me meant running on the treadmill. No big deal.
Now, I am (knock on wood) injury free. And my preschooler has become a kindergartener and is off every day kindergartening. I have one kid at home. One kid who fits nicely in the jogging stroller.
So recently I've been running while pushing my 30+ lb son in the jogging stroller. I love it!
|Check him out -- my jogging stroller buddy. With toys. And refreshments. And double hats!|
It's your lucky day. I happen to have picked up a few along the way that I'd like to share. Here they are:
It doesn't hurt to start the stroller run with a minute or so of walking. Pushing a stroller while running is tough. Easing in to the run makes it, well, easier. Cut yourself some slack and walk to warm up.
Don't look at your pace. Really. Just don't. Not much good can come from trying to maintain your non-stroller pace while stroller running. Seriously. When I first started, I thought I'd be off by a few seconds. A few seconds!?! Such folly! I was off my pace by about a minute. Not 30 seconds. Not 45. A full minute. It was disappointing. I felt like a weakling. As I've gotten better at this stroller running thing, I'm still off-pace by about 30 seconds. The difference is, I don't care. And you shouldn't either.
Hills turn ugly when you're stroller running. Oh, hills. How I used to love you. Now, you simply make me sweat -- a lot -- and feel like I am going to pass out. You are hard to conquer. So, sometimes, I quit you. I simply walk. And that's OK. I am not ashamed to have to slow to a walk when stroller running up a hill. Not ashamed at all.
But with one small adjustment, hills can become a little easier to climb. Get this: Just by shifting your foot strike, you take back the hill. I always ran up the hills just landing as I would if I wasn't pushing a stroller. Then, one day, I started to land solely (ha!) on my toes. What. A. Difference. I practically glide up the (shorter, not-so-steep) hills now. Try it: Tippy-toe run up the hill. I bet it will work for you, too.
Downhill running, however, is another thing entirely. Downhills can get you. They got me. Last November, the downhills got me baaaaad. I was trying to run down the hills, but my quads/knees/hamstrings were putting on the brakes. They were trying to protect me from flying down the hill and, potentially, flying over the jogging stroller and landing, mortified, on my face. Smart body parts I have. Not so smart is the fact that by putting on the body brakes, I strained my muscles and tendons and was injured for almost two full months.
I've learned my lesson and hope you can learn from it, too. Use the hand brake on your jogging stroller to slow the stroller when you are running downhill -- don't make your legs have to do the braking. By just putting the hand brake on about halfway, I can slow the stroller enough so that I pretty much still have to push it on the downhills. It is much safer that way. Take my word for it!
There is nothing -- and I mean nothing -- wrong with a little bribery. Toys. Snacks. Drinks. Promises of future tv shows or usually-reserved-for-dessert snacks. It is all good. Whatever you need to do to keep your little one happy while you are running is fine. All good. Feel no guilt.
Thanks for stopping by!