There’s no denying running with a stroller is a tougher challenge than running without. After all, You’re pushing an extra 10 to 15 kilos, plus the weight of your baby, and at least one of your arms has restricted movement from having a hand on the handle bars (not to mention the brake). For many women, however, running with their child in tow is not only a pleasurable experience (there’s nothing like the grins you get from pushing your baby at high speeds), but often the only way to get out and active whilst being a mum.
If you’re used to a regular stroller, however, getting to grips with a running buggy can take some time. So, armed with the latest offering from Bugaboo – the Bugaboo Runner – we took to the streets to give you our top tips for running with a stroller.
1 – LEARN TO STEER
At just over 12kg, the Bugaboo runner is relatively lightweight, and comes dripping in running-buggy essentials. One of these is a fixed front wheel, which, in the case of the Runner, also comes with tracking control to adjust any deviation. Having a fixed front wheel may be essential in a good running buggy, however it can also take time to get used to if you’re more accustomed to deftly navigating supermarket aisles with your regular steed.
Confused as to why a fixed wheel is necessary? Well, you probably wouldn’t want to navigate even a tiny pebble with a swivel wheel when running at high speeds – this could make the pram veer off in any direction, putting both you and your baby in danger and increasing the risk of falling. The only option, then, is to get used to steering with a fixed front wheel.
To do this, you simply put extra weight on the handlebars, tipping the buggy slightly onto the two back wheels, at which point you can swivel in any direction you need. It’s much easier when you’re not jogging, of course, as bearing down on the handlebars interrupts any rhythm you may have worked up. However, we found it’s easiest when the tyres are pumped aright up nd the handlebar is adjusted appropriately for your height. Thankfully, the Bugaboo Runner accommodates this with a height-adjustable handlebar (this is also a winner if your taller – or shorter – partner wants to take the buggy out for a run). For more gentle changes of direction, all you need to do is nudge the handlebar in the opposite direction, and you’ll find yourself following the path.
2 – PLAN A SAFE ROUTE
In an ideal world it would be possible to head out on your regular run with baby in tow. This isn’t always the safest – or most practical – option with a running buggy, however. Roads (preferably those with minimal incline) work best with running buggies, but avoiding cars and heavy traffic is also key. Cycle paths, coastal walks and parks therefore offer the best environments for running with your stroller. For those of you living in Sydney, head to Centennial Park for a great workout, or pound the cycle path around Botany Bay.
3 – ALTERNATE YOUR HANDS, BUT DON’T LET GO
As with most running buggies, the Bugaboo Runner comes with a safety wrist strap attached to the handbar. Slip your wrist through this, but don’t be tempted to let go of the handlebar altogether. Should you face even a slight descent, it would be easy to lose control of the buggy, so it’s best to keep one hand firmly on the handlebars.
Of course, if you stick with one arm, you may find your other swings harder than usual, so, to avoid bad habits creeping in, try alternating the arm you use to hold on to the buggy. This will also ensure both arms work equally hard during your run.
4 – FORGET YOUR PB
Let’s face it, you’re not going to run a PB when you’re pushing your baby in a buggy, so let go of any desire to do so. Besides the fact you’re pushing extra weight, it’s important to slow your pace so you stay in control of the buggy. Never lose sight of the fact you have a baby on board.
5 – SAFETY FIRST
Of course, safety should be your top priority right from the start, so chose your buggy carefully. The Bugaboo Runner comes with a 5-point harness to securely constrain your child in the buggy. The air filled tyres and suspension also ensure a smooth ride for baby, whilst the fixed front wheel and easy-access brake (positioned on the handlebar) guard against running-buggy disasters.
6 – TIMING IS EVERYTHING
It may not be running related, but everyone has a nicer experience if you time your run within your baby’s routine. If she’s fed and happy the run will be far more enjoyable than if your little one is over tired or due a feed. With a spacious under-basket and straps to keep your baby’s essentials in place, there’s plenty of room to store a small nappy bag in case of emergencies – and the cross bar is perfect for fixing a favourite toy in place. The Bugaboo Runner also has a reversible seat, which means baby can look right at you whilst out for a run. And really, is there any better motivation than looking down at your smiling child?
Have you got a running buggy? What are your top tips?