Being a mom with two younger kids makes it a necessity to acquire a love for pushing a stroller; if I want to further my passion as a runner!
I have been hoofing it around town with 4 wheels in front of me for the last 6 years and here are some tips I can give you mamas aspiring to go out there and chase down your dreams even if that means bringing the critters along.
- Buy the right stroller for you! There are a lot of different brands and companies that will tout that their stroller is best; but like buying a vehicle, it’s really preference. Obviously there are some that are better than others or more expensive. What do I stroll with? I use a Thule Chariot. They are about as expensive as a your first car, but considering the miles I’ve put on them…the amount of functional bells and whistles it has (roll cage, five point harness, several attachments for biking, hiking, skiing, running, or walking, all season functionality….you can do it all with this stroller, and it has a ton of comfort and room for 2 boys) If you were like me and overwhelmed by your choices check out this site.
- Before you start shopping ask your self several questions to narrow down your search considerably: Do I plan on transporting this in my vehicle? Does weight matter (my stroller is HEAVY, something I would reconsider if I were in the market for a new one) How many children do I plan on pushing around? What kind of warranty does it have? (this was actually really important for me, as I have blown through 3 strollers from use alone) What am I comfortable paying? Do I run on in a hilly area? (if yes, consider a stroller with disk brakes) Do I plan on running rain or shine? sleet or snow?
- Once you have your stroller and start to take the kiddos out! Focus on correct form asap! I can’t emphasize this point enough! I see so many people running with their stroller way out in front of themselves; wrong! It is important to have an ergonomically correct alignment with your arms to the height of the stroller and your arms should always be bent with the stroller held closer to your body
- Start young. I had my boys in the stroller as soon as they were physically able. Some strollers will caution putting new borns in a stroller. However, my stroller had a newborn sling attachment as well as the ability to pop a carseat on top if I wanted so they literally went from womb to stroller. My boys are very used to movement. They are also conditioned to know that wether they are in the mood or not….mom needs her time too and this is your time, (even though your pushing your two little kings around town while they watch iPad eating snacks in complete luxury!)
- Do not take your kiddo out! again, DO NOT TAKE THEM OUT NO MATTER WHAT! once you give your little person an inch, they will take the rest of your miles! For fear of sounding like a broken record…be selfish, let this be your time, and let them go with the flow for 1/20th of their day…they will survive! (I probably lost a few of you there!)
- Bring age-appropriate snacks! My favorites for my boys include:these are great! they are easy to share, portable, dissolve quickly (less of a choking hazard), and my boys love both of those flavors!Big boy or little boy, both of mine love these! again, portability is critical. I love that I don’t have to stop and mess around trying to clean up epic messes or dissolve a dispute that inevitably happens when a snack isn’t being shared adequately….pack two of each and there won’t be a problem, (hopefully!)
- Pack water! your kid will always ask for water or complain of thirst as soon as you get in your grove, ALWAYS.
- Make them potty twice before leaving! again, it will be inevitable that someone will need a potty break if you don’t make them pee even if they just did, (my boys hate me for this…but I love that I don’t have the “i have to potty” comment right out of the gate)
- Go around nap time. This might be a bit controversial as some believe naps are best at home in a black-out shaded room. However, I am a big believer to multitask when opportunity strikes. Both of my boys love napping in the stroller and I love that I can kill two birds with one stone, sort-to-speak 😉
- Expect to go much much slower! I have set paces and distances I am supposed to hit with my coach. However, he knows my limitations when pushing the boys and I know that my results are going to be much slower if I want to maintain an easier effort. I can normally run a 6:40 pace easy breezy…but with my boys….14:00 mile pace going up hill is like giving birth, tough!
My biggest piece of advice is just enjoy yourself! if you don’t enjoy running with a stroller, don’t do it! I love it and will continue to do so until my boys are big enough to push me 😉 If you have any questions or concerns I would love to answer!