During pregnancy, I couldn’t wait for the day I would strap up my baby for our first stroller jog. Fast forward six months, and getting started running with a baby is a lot harder than I imagined. Between adding more weight, new running mechanics and overall logistics, running with a baby is hard! Here are some pointers for transitioning to stroller jogging that will make it a bit easier!
- In general, babies are safe to join in when they have good head and neck control. This is usually between 6 and 8 months but can vary baby to baby. Always make sure to ask your pediatrician before jogging with your baby.
- Get a jogging stroller. This one is important. I was really opposed to getting another stroller because I didn’t want another to store, but jogging strollers are made very differently than a traditional stroller. They absorb shock better, have wrist straps and some even have hand brakes. They also have a lockable front wheel made for jogging at higher speeds. Don’t try to jog with a regular stroller- trust me on this one (I tried)!
- Practice with an empty stroller first. This allows you to play with the handlebar height and get used to the feel of running with something else. I ran about three time with an empty stroller so I could adjust everything before loading up Baby G.
- Check your form. When running with a stroller, run with one hand on the stroller while the other arm swings, then switch hands every 30 seconds or so. Using both hands to push can cause back pain. The one exception is when running uphill. On uphill stretches push the stroller with both hands. When jogging with a stroller you’ll also probably need to shorten your stride. Lastly, engage your core and stand up straight. Resist the urge to lean on the stroller to avoid injury.
- Starting with interval running is a great way to ease you and your baby into stroller jogging. It also allows time to check in on how you feel, as well as correct your form. I started with 1:1 intervals and eventually worked up to longer periods of running.
- Be flexible! To start, make loops around your neighborhood so you’re not too far from home if your baby decides they are over it. I also chose to focus on total time running versus distance while acclimating to jogging with a stroller. If you pay attention to your pace, adjust your expectations while you are starting out with a stroller.