with a jogger stroller can help new moms to work in a run on the baby's
schedule. However it can pose some difficulties as far as gait, pace and
running economy is concerned. Let's look
at the physiological differences, how to reduce jostling the baby, and tips to
make running with a stroller easier.
Physiological and Biomechanical Differences in Running with a Jogger Stroller
If you have already gone on a run with your jogger stroller and precious little you will know that it feels very different than the freestyle run you are used to. Your body has to learn how to adapt to pushing a 25 pound stroller (with an extra 15 pounds if you are using a carseat) while running and this can be a challenge.
In fact, the challenge is so real that studies have been done that have looked at the physiological and biomechanical differences in running with a stroller and here's what they have found:
Your Rate of Perceived
Exertion (RPE), which is an individual's measure of how hard they think
they are working, increases when pushing a stroller at their normal rate.
Oxygen consumption increases
when running at your normal pace and stride.
There was no support found
between an association with pushing a jogging stroller and an increased
risk of orthopedic injury.
It is possible to maintain
your normal exertion level while pushing a jogger stroller. As mentioned
previously though you will have to slow your pace down. If you feel like
you are working harder well then, you probably are.
How to Reduce Jostling the Baby
easy to worry about the baby bouncing around too much while running with a
jogging stroller. Here are some guidelines to follow to reduce the impact that
the baby might be feeling.
A typical age to begin running with a
baby in a jogger stroller without a carseat attached is around 6-8 months. A
good rule of thumb to go by in determining an appropriate age is to base it off
of when your baby can sit up and support himself. If they are already doing
this they are probably ready to go sans carseat.
To prevent jostling when running without a carseat you can always use a headrest and maybe a couple of rolled blankets tucked into their sides. Also, use the stroller straps to keep them propped up securely. You can also do the same if you are worried about the jostling effect while running with an infant in a car seat.
Keep an eye on the road and out in front of you. This probably goes without saying but look out for big bumps. Slow to a walk when crossing sidewalks. Try not to swerve or turn suddenly causing the baby to veer or lurch and potentially hurt himself. You really can have quite a smooth run if you are aware of your surroundings.
Tips to Make Running with a Jogger Easier
Little Max loves his rides in the Baby Trend Jogging Stroller with his Daddy!
If you are just starting out
with a jogger stroller you more than likely feel some level of
discomfort. Pushing a large stroller while running when you are not used
to it can make you run with a different gait, reduce your stride length,
and your arm swing and generally all around effect your running economy.
Therefore, for the first couple of times, reduce your mileage, go slower
and help your body learn how to adapt to stroller pushing while expecting
it to take a little bit of time to get used to.
Keep your arms bent and close to the handle bar. This will give you more leverage and will make it so much easier to push that stroller up a big hill! The farther away your center of mass (body) is from the stroller the more difficult it will be to push.
As far as whether to use one
or two hands on the handle bar it is a personal preference. It can be
difficult to suddenly have to keep your arms still if you are just getting
used to a jogger stroller and have always had a healthy arm swing. I find
it best to use one hand and keep the other at a normal level and swing.
When slowing down or steering though it is best to use two hands to have
Focus on pulling your abs (belly button) in towards your spine. This will make it feel so much easier if you are using your abs to actually do the pushing instead of just your arms. If you recently had a baby and are suffering from any diastasis recti than use this belly band which is not only cheap but one that I found very effective!
Do you feel like you are
wrestling for room on the sidewalk? Run during the non-peak hours of the
day. Parks, running trails and the like are busier in the early morning,
before kids are off to school and adults off to work, and in the early and
late evening when everyone has finished with their jobs, school, etc.
Running during the morning between the hours of 9a.m. and 11a.m., and in
the afternoon between the hours of 1p.m. and 3p.m. (as long as it is not
too hot for you or the baby!) are your best options for beating the
Bring a drink and\or snacks
for your baby. You never can predict how your baby will behave. Even ones
that love being in the stroller out in the big outdoors can have an off
day and start fussing to get out. Take along drinks and snacks and maybe a couple of small toys to keep
him occupied while you finish your run. It's no fun having to walk home
carrying your babe with a stroller in tow especially if you’re a couple
Put a hat on the baby and an
extra blanket. You might feel warm on a breezy day after a couple of
minutes of running but baby is probably feeling a little bit of a wind
chill while sitting still and taking in the views. It's so easy for them
to pick up a cold or worse so bundle the little one up and play it safe.
Not sure if they are too hot or too cold? Feel their hands. On the flip
side, if it is a warm sunny day do not forget to slather on some sunscreen
on the baby! Remember it is much
easier to peel those layers off than it is to make the baby cold and
Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Gregory, D., K.
Pfeiffer, K. Vickers, A. Aubrey, J. Flynn, C. Connolly, and D. Coe.
"Physiologic Responses to Running with a Jogging Stroller." International Journal of Sports
Medicine 33.09 (2012): 711-15. Web.
Smith, John D.,
Jeremy D. Smith, Eric Dugan, Kevin B. Kinser, and Mike E. Reed.
"Physiological and Biomechanical Responses While Running With and Without
a Stroller." Medicine & Science in
Sports & Exercise 36.Supplement
(2004): S248. Web.
Hi! I'm Molly & I provide training plans and resources to help runners who want to turn into marathoners who aren't overwhelmed by the process!