I used to HATE running 😦
I always wondered WHY some people love running. I always felt like my body was too heavy for it and I never found any fun in doing it. Like the title says, I was more of a couch potato mom. Actually, it is still me but I’m now a couch potato mom who runs 🙂
How? Because I found stroller runs.
Running with a stroller was a whole different experience from running on my own. It was easier, fun and stress-free. Running was not a torture anymore, it was more of just a stroll around the neighborhood with my lovely (most of the time) baby. And to my surprise, my baby seemed to enjoy it, too. We started when she was 15-months-old. Yeah, it took me that long to build up a courage to start this.
It has been almost a year since I started my stroller runs (with Fit4Mom DC! – Stay tuned for my other post). I wanted to share a couple of points I remind myself when I go for a stroller run to enjoy it! I hope it could maybe encourage you to start your first stroller runs!
1. It’s not a training, it’s just another way of transportation or a nap time.
I try not pressure myself when I go for a stroller run. In fact, stroller runs are more like my way of transportation. I get my workout done and get to where I need to be. Especially in our neighborhoods like Capitol Hill or Upper West Side, running is pretty much the fastest way for me to get around with my toddler. And if I’m lucky, she falls asleep while I run. This is the golden formula of my day. I get my workout + groceries + easy naptime + some alone time at home done because of a stroller run!
2. My stroller supports me.
If you have never been a runner, running with a stroller could actually be your advantage and not a burden. As a matter of fact, I still feel more comfortable running WITH my stroller than when I run on my own.
My stroller gives me both physical support and emotional support. It’s physically supportive because I can lean on it when I’m tired or it pulls me when I need more power. It is also my emotionally support because I feel like it gives me some room to be less stoic about my workout. After all, you’re not running alone and you’re also caring for your child(ren). This is important for me because when I run on my own, I feel too much pressure to run “well”.
3. My running coach (2 years old) is always there to motivate me.
“Mommy, running!! Running!” That’s what I hear when I stroller run with my now 2-year-old. In fact, “running” was one of the first English words she learned. If I slow down, she usually starts screaming to make me fun faster. I am very happy that when I run, she gets to experience it with me. And she gets to see other runners running beside us. It motivates me that this gives her a good opportunity to learn how fun exercise can be and hopefully she will enjoy running later in her life too. (And not be afraid of running like I used to all my life!)
But to keep my coach happy during our stroller runs, I need some tricks. My three tips are snacks, snacks, and more snacks!!! I’ve tried all different kinds of toys and books and so on, but snacks seem to work best for mine. I usually pack a couple of different types of fresh cut fruits, some crackers, and mini sheets of seaweed 🙂 And don’t forget, if you are going to give anything to your toddler in a stroller, you need to clip it to your stroller. Or you’ll end up running over her favorite book or snacks that she threw out from her stroller, for NO reason.
4. We are geared up.
I first started running with my Uppababy Cruz stroller. It was fine, but the wheels soon started to become wobbly and I had to exchange them. (Uppababy did this for free of charge and within a couple of days. Amazing service.) But I got to try BOB jogging stroller from one of the moms in my Fit4mom class, and it was mindblowing… It is so much easier to push and run. After a couple of months of running and knowing that running could be my long-term hobby, we invested in a BOB Revolution Flex stroller. I am telling you, BOB IS MY CAR! Its bicycle-like tires and car-like suspension make running so easy. Once you have the momentum, you can literally push your stroller with one finger. It makes the runs super easy and not dreadful.
5. I don’t have to always “run”.
When we go out for a stroller run, we never run for one hour straight without stopping. For me, that is just impossible. One; because my toddler could get bored and she needs attention (i.e. snack time) and two; simply because I get tired so easily. But I tell myself that is okay! When we can’t continue our stroller run, I would just fast-walk, stop by on a bench, or even take my toddler out of the stroller and walk together. The key is to keep your expectation low and don’t assume that you can continue your planned run without any issues.
Lastly, I have a couple of tips on running form.
1. Don’t hunch over the stroller. Keep your back strong and straight.
2. Take big, confident strides.
3. Swing your arms big and let them help you to move forward.
4. Lift up your knees, keep your shoulders relaxed.
5. Guide the stroller one-handed and use both hands when making a turn.
6. Don’t be afraid of speed! But always stay cautious and have control over your stroller.
These are some of the things I try to remind myself all the time. Remember I am still a beginner stroller-runner, but hopefully, something in this article could be your help to make stroller running a new mommy’s hobby!
If you have any questions or more tips to add, please comment below! Would love to hear from you.
*SPECIAL THANKS* to all my Fit4Mom friends who made my first classes so easy.
Keep stroller-running FUN!!!
#mommyworkout #strollerrun #strollerstride #Fit4Mom #Fit4MomDC #momswhorun