When my daughter was about 6 months old, I started taking her for runs in the jogging stroller. In the beginning, I was nervous. Would she be comfortable? Would she be content to ride along? My dad and I would go to the park and take turns pushing her, and it ended up being enjoyable for all of us. After my son was born, we got a double jogger. He's almost one, and it took until a few weeks ago for me to get the courage to attempt pushing both of them.
Even though most joggers are easy to push when they are empty, it's more of a challenge with almost 60 pounds of kid in it. I had a hard enough time pushing them while walking, so I knew running would be tough. I picked a nice afternoon and made sure we were well-stocked with snacks and drinks before we headed out. The plan was to go 4-miles if I had the strength to make it that far.
Our route required us to use sidewalks most of the way, which meant other pedestrians had to step off the path as we passed them. I got a lot of looks from other walkers and drivers. Some looked amazed that I'd attempt to run up and down the hills in my area with two kids in tow. Others looked at me like I was crazy. I was just trying to look like I wasn't dying, even though I was breathing hard and my arms were burning. Although it's not something I'd want to do every day, my kids had fun speeding along and seeing some new neighborhoods we don't usually visit. They were content to eat their Cheerios, and I only had to stop a few times (to put my 1-year-old's socks back on, since his new hobby is pulling them off.)
Jogging strollers have increased in popularity over the past few years. If you're thinking of purchasing a jogging stroller, it's important to find one that suits your size and running style. You should also start off slowly, since running with a stroller can change your stride and running mechanics. That can increase your risk of injury if you're not careful to slowly build up mileage and pace.
A Texas A&M University study found no increased risk of injury from using a stroller while running. But according to the New York Times story linked above, "Some runners say that compromising form, pushing too much weight or increasing stroller mileage too quickly can cause problems."
On nice days when the kids want to get outside and I'd like to get some exercise, running with the jogging stroller is the perfect solution. I know I won't be able to do it forever, but for now it's another way to squeeze in a workout when I need it.
Have you ever run or walked with a jogging stroller? How was it?
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