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Running with a stroller can be an excellent way to stay committed to your running routine and spend quality time with your baby. But before you begin, it’s essential that you understand how running while pushing a stroller will affect your performance and training plan.
Running with a stroller adds extra effort, which may feel like an initial setback in progress – but don’t despair – it doesn’t have to be all bad!
Is it Good to Run with a Stroller?
One of the most commonly asked questions by runners is if it’s safe to run with a stroller. Compared to running without one, running while pushing requires you to adjust your stance and focus on form.
Running with a stroller requires you to slow down. Jogging strollers can be heavy, and the extra weight puts additional strain on your joints.
Running with a stroller is best done with both arms free, so that your stride isn’t restricted and awkward. Alternating which hand you push with every 30 seconds or so helps avoid overuse injuries while improving endurance, balance, strength, and agility.
Many runners make the mistake of gripping onto the handlebar with a tight “death grip,” which can strain their forearms, wrists, and neck muscles. In fact, experts suggest grabbing just one hand on the handlebar and letting the other swing freely – this takes some practice but you’ll soon notice you run more smoothly and comfortably when doing this.
Is it Safe to Run with Baby in Stroller?
New parents may be eager to start running with their baby in a stroller again, but it’s recommended that you wait until 6 months old and your little one has good head and neck control before beginning any vigorous exercises with them. This is because babies under six months lack the capacity to hold their heads up while moving rapidly – which could prove hazardous for them if not done safely.
Running on flat surfaces like sidewalks or paved trails that are free from cracks and other imperfections is the ideal strategy. This helps avoid bumps and rocks from jarring your child or stroller, making it difficult to maintain a steady pace.
Kordecki advises against running downhill with your baby, as it can be hazardous for either of you. Furthermore, remember to carry water and snacks for both of you during the journey, she adds.
Before leaving home, check the weather forecast and apply sunscreen. It’s also important to make sure your baby is dressed appropriately; in wintertime it can help to layer her clothing in threes: a sleeper, long underwear and jacket or coat.
How Much Slower Do You Run with a Stroller?
Running with a stroller can be much harder than running alone, as you are pushing and carrying an additional piece of weight around with you.
If you’re new to running with a stroller, it can take some time for your body to adjust to this change in form. Start out with shorter runs and work up towards longer distances as you become more comfortable with it.
At first, it’s best to stick with flatter routes which make pushing your stroller easier. Steer clear of hills and other challenging terrain as much as possible, since these can be even more challenging at first.
To improve your form, try running with just one arm on the stroller instead of both. This will enable you to pump with your free arm while taking some stress off of your legs.
How Much Harder is Running with a Stroller?
Running with a stroller is significantly more challenging than running without one. Not only does the extra weight make it harder to push, but your biomechanics also change, forcing you to modify your form accordingly.
Running with a stroller makes it harder to turn, which could slow you down. However, if you are using out-and-back courses or gentle curves, this won’t be an issue.
As with any new training regimen, start slowly by doing shorter runs several days a week and gradually increase the distance of your runs.
Ellen London, a marathon runner and mom of four, recommends that you adjust your cadence and stride length to reduce the risk of injury. Increasing your cadence while shortening your strides will help you remain balanced as you move forward, so that your stroller won’t hit you during each step.
Stroller running is an excellent way to get in a workout and spend quality time with your little one. As long as you plan ahead and use safety measures, it can be both enjoyable and beneficial to add it into your regular running regimen.
Running with Stroller vs Without
Running with a baby can present an extra challenge, but it’s an excellent way to balance training and family life. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that time spent outdoors has numerous benefits for both kids and adults.
If you want to go running with your baby, a quality jogging stroller is essential. Look for one with three large wheels and an extended handlebar; this will keep the stroller away from your feet while providing strong grip on the handlebar.
Some jogging strollers come equipped with a wheel lock, which is an invaluable feature to have. This will prevent your stroller from turning unexpectedly while you’re running and potentially risking the safety of your baby.
Jogging strollers can also help you stay motivated to reach your running goals. Finding time for a workout when you have young children at home can be challenging, but running with a stroller makes it more manageable.
Do I Really Need a Running Stroller?
Whether or not you invest in a running stroller is entirely your choice. If it makes sense for your lifestyle and running goals, then purchasing one may be the right decision for you.
For instance, if you frequently run long distances, investing in a running stroller with a fixed front wheel could be beneficial to avoid tip-over accidents.
Additionally, make sure the stroller you select has adjustable tracking on its front wheels. This feature can make a significant difference in how comfortable and effortless running becomes.
Some products feature a swiveling wheel, which helps you easily maneuver around tight corners and other obstacles. However, these can be less stable than fixed front wheels so be sure to select carefully.
Some models of jogging strollers even feature adjustable handlebars that can be adjusted for different heights, making them a great help to those who are taller or shorter than average.
Why is Running with a Stroller Harder?
Many new moms are often surprised at how difficult it can be to run with a stroller. The extra weight makes running both physically and mentally more challenging.
The extra weight can alter your form, forcing you to lean backward in order to balance out the extra load on your shoulders. This can lead to numerous injuries and strains on the neck and upper body.
Experts suggest pushing the stroller with one arm while swinging your other. Switching arms every 30 seconds helps maintain proper running form and reduces the risk of overuse injuries.
You can increase the intensity of your workout. If you plan a particularly vigorous session, choose an area that’s not too hilly or difficult for strollers to navigate.
It’s essential to remember that your baby always comes first. So if your little one starts crying or you get tired, it’s perfectly acceptable to end your workout early.
Running with a Stroller Benefits
Are you searching for a way to stay fit and get outside with your baby, running with a stroller is an ideal option. Not only does it give you some quality time with your little one, but it also helps form healthy habits that will last a lifetime!
New research from Seattle Pacific University demonstrates that running with a stroller can actually increase your calorie burn more than running without one. The researchers found that pushing with two hands increases caloric expenditure by around 5%, while pushing and chasing increases it by an impressive 8%.
Stroller running is an effective way to build core, leg and arm strength as well as strengthen your body to handle the additional weight of a stroller. However, it’s essential that you start slowly and build up your endurance over time.