Updated: Oct 9, 2020
IT SUCKS DON’T DO IT!!!! .......Just kidding! 🤣
If you were a runner before getting pregnant you probably had a similar dream like I did: It’s a lovely light crisp day , you are enjoying a peacful run with your little bundle and it’s absolutely magical.
Fast forward to reality: Your kid is yelling at you for snacks, telling you the snack your brought is wrong, they want you to sing baby shark with them while you are barely getting enough air as it is while running and then you step on a random lizard and have to hold a quick lizard funeral. (These events have almost all happened—-minus the actual stopping for a lizard funeral. I usually just say a prayer and try not to look )
The BEST piece of advice I ever got was to let go of what I think my run is going to look like because stroller running isn’t like normal running.
But in all seriousness stroller running can be one of the funnest things. You get your workout in, you all get some fresh air and kids absorb SO much while in the stroller. You may not be able to zone out and jam out to all the heavy rap music you normally do but there are so many "wins" to packing up the stroller and using that time to it's fullest .In fact, I count stroller running as a full body workout and it makes me more of a mindful runner.
A few of the physical pros of stroller running I've found:
I’m switching hands and using arms to steer and help propel the 50+ load ahead of me.
I need to be sure I’m not hunching over or leaning too far back like a lot of runner tend to do as we get tired.
I have to control my breath to run as well as to answer whatever questions pop into my little ones head. All of us parents know---there are some doozies!!
With the inevitable stopping and starting I build my mental toughness and how to strengthen my resolve to keep going.
Truth be told I am just getting back into running with the stroller now that my little one will sit for a longer period of time and WANTS me to run. Before she wanted me to only hold her hand and I just couldn’t do it while running no matter how hard I tried so we took a break from running together. I decided to add it back in this past week as I continue to dip my toes back into the workout vibe after my overtraining (You can read about it HERE) . I'm still trying to get out there without pushing myself too far, too fast, too soon. So why not push a whole other person with me?!?
(For those not fluent in sarcasm---this GIF is dripping with it)
Our first run was tiring but I actually came back with a huge smile. A sense of gratitude came over that I GET to not only run but share this awesome sport with my daughter.
After we got back from our run I felt like I pushed myself and still had some energy left. I did just over two miles all broken up with walk breaks, snack breaks and some good old chilling for a few minutes near the water views we are lucky to have in FL. It was nice to just break up my workout and enjoy the beauty around me. It’s something I take for granted often since I've lived here my whole life. But instead of being hyper focused on pace, distance and growth I just ENJOYED the run.
We giggled at the Halloween decorations going up in the neighborhood and yelled “SPOOKY” seeing a huge fake spider. We waved to a HUGE Osprey (Pictured to the right) and I had to have a very in depth discussion about a squished frog that was in the road (my kid is big into “Whys” and “What’s that” right now). She told me I needed to go faster and asked if I was running when I clearly was. I got little claps and cheers saying “Go momma!!” “You got this”. It was like having a mini coach yelling at me while simultaneously trolling me mercifully for being slower than her liking. It was perfect.
I have learned a few trick of the trade though that I hope to pass along to you and help you enjoy the run. Granted, every kid is different so if you laugh at the below list and say “Yea, ok. My kid would be over that in 5 seconds” I’ve been there and done that MANNYYYYY times but every once in a while something sticks soooooo here we go!!
What works for me---For now at least:
Bring snacks and water—plus extra. Even if your child normally eats and drink like a bird they will undoubted get famashed and dehydrated the moment you take your first step
Try to avoid the technology if at all possible. Take the time and point out animals, plants, flowers, etc. Ask them how many birds they see, what they see that’s green, or even how many cars are passing by. After a few runs they’ll start doing it with you and it helps to keep them engaged since every day is different. (I’m in no way shaming the use of technology though—-if you need some peace then by all means make sure the tech of choice is fully charged!)
Be ok that they may want to get out and run with you---and let them! The first time my little one asked to run with me my heart exploded with pride and joy. It’s now my favorite question she asks---Ok, probably right behind "Can I have a hug"
Plan stops around your route where you get a break and they get your attention. Stop at a park, a river bank, a house with cool decorations, etc. It makes them have something to look forward to and also gives you a spot that you can use for motivation to keep pushing (in every aspect).
(Snacks and Sunset---Who Could ask for more?)
I'd love to hear if you are a stroller runner, hope to get into it now that it's cooler or if it's a complete NO. Also, if you are a stroller runner momma---What do YOU do to keep your little one happy while also getting your run in? Tag me in your stroller runs on instagram @runningandschmidt and use the hashtag #runningandschmidt so we can all continue to grow and help other #motherrunners
Also: After your stroller run don't discount the after run beer---It's AMAZING