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You’re a runner. Or you want to be a runner. Now you’re a mom, and life isn’t as simple as stepping out the door whenever you have the urge motivation to run.
My daughter is almost 2 (seriously how does time fly by so fast??) and there are times that it still takes us 45 minutes to get out the door for a run in the morning. When she was really little, we would get up, she would nurse, if she didn’t eat off of both sides I needed to pump the other side before we left, then of course she would need another diaper change before we left…I also had to strategically plan out the order in which I did everything – getting dressed, putting shoes on, filling a water bottle, feeding the baby, dressing the baby, sunscreen, going to bathroom… I’m not going to lie, I think there was once or twice that the morning routine went so horribly that I just gave up and lost all interest in the run at all and ended up staying home.
Fast forward almost 2 years, and just the other day I had to cut off about 2 miles of a run to make it to meet a friend at the park at our designated time because it took us so long getting out of the house.
Or the day before that, where the stroller must have been the worst invention ever, and we almost didn’t get to go at all because I could not overpower a 2 year old to convince her to get in the stroller. (We finally did, and compromised at a 2.5 mile run with playing at the park on the way home)
I have always loved running because it is a sport you can do anywhere, and it doesn’t take a ton of pre-planning. You can just throw your shoes on and go.
Although it is definitely still one of the easier activities with a kid, it’s not as easy as it used to be (is anything?)
So, if you’re now running with a stroller, or will be, here are a few things to keep in mind as you make the transition.
1. Running with The Stroller Takes an Alternate Mindset
These are not (generally) going to be your fastest runs. I must say, that running with the stroller has gotten so much easier, and I really don’t mind it (for reasons 2 and 6 below, specifically), but I’m not usually as fast as I am without it.
The bright side of this is that with the extra weight you are pushing, you’re getting a great workout, and you will see your times drop when you do run without it.
Bottom line, don’t get discouraged! You’re pushing an extra 30+ lbs with you. Sometimes it’s nice to just go out an run and not even wear a watch when you have the stroller.
2. Enjoy the Time with Your Little One
Keeping with the right mindset, just think about how nice it is to spend that time with your little one. Whether you’re a working mom who feels like you’re gone all the time, a stay-at-home mom who feels like you don’t get out of the house enough and needs a break, or somewhere in between, there is something different about the time spent outside with them in the stroller.
I LOVE being able to chat with my daughter about what we are seeing. We count the number of dogs we see, we talk about the trees, cars, people, you name it. When she was really little and started to get fussy, I would just start talking to her about how far we had been, how far we had to go, and turn it into a math lesson. She fell asleep right away, so at least I know how boring I really am.
Now, she has turned into my biggest cheerleader, and offers the best encouragement – “Go Mommy Go!”
Seriously, the time we spend outside running is the best. She is learning that exercise is part of our life, we get to spend some extra time outside, and it is quality time that we can chat about nothing without any other distractions. While it is still my quiet time too, I don’t mind sharing it with her, and really enjoy the company!
3. Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
Not everywhere is stroller friendly. There are places that are too crowded, too skinny, too uneven, or just overall a pain with a stroller.
Keep that in mind as you’re planning your route, because you want it to be a good time out there, and if you’re spending the entire time fighting the crowds or the concrete, you’re going to be miserable.
If you find somewhere that is more open, or you can go at a less busy time of day, that is ideal. I’ve found that people are not always accommodating to a stroller, even when it is clearly more difficult for you to maneuver. So instead, I try to eliminate as many frustrations as possible by planning the route ahead of time.
4. Be Prepared with an Alternate Route
That being said, it is always a good idea to have an alternate route in mind. You know, because things always go according to plan when you have a small child… 🙂
Some things you can manage with the original route and just deal with on the way home, but others… it would be nice to be able to cut it short and still know your distances, or just the easiest way to make it back to your starting point.
Who wants to continue with a long run when the baby has decided to start projectile vomiting? Has a massive blow out? Decides to scream at the top of their lungs? Gets out of the stroller on a break or at the park and gets injured? Yeah, sometimes you just need to get back home or to the car faster than you expected.
5. And Plan Extra Time
Like I mentioned earlier, it always takes me forever to get out of the house. Longer than I expect. Every. Single. Time. You would think I would have this figured out by now, but nooooo I still think we can make it out the door faster than we can.
So if you have to be somewhere at a certain time, always give yourself at least 15 extra minutes to get out the door, or get back, because we all know that plan A turns to plan B which can very well turn into plan C more often than we would like.
6. Celebrate the Free Water Bottle Holder
Or snack holder, phone holder, etc.
I have been a runner for over 20 years, and I rarely run with water. And when I say rarely, I mean like I have maybe carried water on me 3 times in over 20 years. I absolutely hate carrying it. It gets hot here in the summer, and I still refuse to carry water. I must say though, it is nice to be able to toss a water bottle into the stroller pocket and have that if I want it. I have found myself drinking it much more than I ever expected.
Also, its great to have that if you want to do a cool down walk after you’re done running. Same thing with the phone. I never run with my phone, but if I have the stroller, I always take it with me. I have actually had to call my husband to come pick us up, so it was well worth carrying it.
And with the stroller, you don’t have to worry about holding it in your hand or putting it in an awkward spot and having it jostle as you run. It’s perfect! If you’re going to have to push all that extra weight, you might as well make it work in your favor as much as possible.
Check the Tires!
Bonus tip. Always check the air in your stroller tires. Nothing is more frustrating than going out for a run only to feel like you’re suddenly pushing an elephant, and realizing the tires are all terribly flat.
Yep, happened to me on more than one occasion. That run I mentioned at the beginning that almost didn’t happen because the little one wanted nothing to do with the stroller? We also got to run with flat tires, so the run was even more difficult!
Note to self – you feel really out of shape and end up questioning your abilities when you run with flat tires. Just check them before you head out the door. Your self-esteem will thank you.
I think a lot of running with the stroller has to do with having one that you like also. I absolutely love the stroller we picked, and after much thought, it was definitely the right one for me. You can see how I picked this one here.
How often do you run with the stroller? Single, double, or triple?
What are your favorite tips for making it successful for both you and the kids?