Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tips for Long Runs with the Jogging Stroller

If you've followed me on Instagram, you know that I've been logging some longer miles in the jogging stroller. Before choosing a jogging stroller, I looked up Consumer Reports to see which was one of the best brands. I ended up choosing the Bob Ironman based on reviews online and from other moms. It doesn't have a front swivel wheel, but I don't think that slows us down. The things you need for a longer run is a little different than a shorter. I've learned some of things from experience so I thought I would share them with all of you!

1) Make sure your jogging stroller is in the trunk the night before, if your long run is in the morning. This seems simple enough, but I am a classic procrastinator. You think you'll remember in the morning but then you'll forget like I did where I got to a run early but ended up having to go all the way back home to get the stroller. Starting a long run while stressed isn't a good idea.
Showing up to the run late enough to miss the group photo

2) Coordinate your baby's feeding schedule. As you all know by now, I'm breastfeeding. To allow for the most running time as possible, I get to the run spots early and feed Patsy as close to the start as possible. Added plus if your child goes to sleep and you can put them in the stroller without waking them up. If your baby drinks a bottle, I'd suggest having one easily and readily available just in case. Although even with coordinating and things don't work out as imagined, I'm not above whipping out my boob to feed my baby while taking a walk break. A moms gotta do what a moms gotta do.

3) Bring toys, snacks, and a bib. If I remember the toys, I forget the snacks. If I remember snacks, I forget toys. I recommend carseat toys or a toy with a ring that you can attach to the stroller or buckle strap and it won't fall out while you're in motion. I also recommend snacks that are easy for your little one to hold (teething biscuits, mum-mums, carrot or celery sticks). Having to stop and give your baby a handful of fruit or puffs once a mile is not really an efficient run. Don't forget a bib to go with those snacks! Nothing like having a baby covered in food out on the trail, possibly attracting who knows what wildlife!

4) Pack an extra diaper and some wipes. I learned this the hard way with an incredibly fussy baby for an almost entire 8 mile run. I just couldn't figure out what was wrong! I fed her, I gave her snacks... Until I got to the car and checked her diaper. No wonder she was miserable during the workout. Now I always pack just one diaper and a few wipes in a ziplock bag. Just enough in case of emergency.

5) Bring some tunes. Having a jogging stroller gives you lots of room to store your own gear. Who needs a fanny pack when you have an empty shelf/canopy. I love putting my iPhone/iPod on, without headphones, for Patsy and I to enjoy on the run. It makes the miles go by faster, I swear!

6) Plan your run on a nice, flat paved road or trail. If you're doing your long run with a jogging stroller, that is enough of a workout in my mind. I recommend finding a great local path or easy neighborhood route with few turns. I've done longer runs on a winding, hilly trail and it was just.... A lot. If that isn't something you're used to or something you're looking to do, do some research before you head out the door.

7) Slowly build up your distance with the stroller. Just as if you're training without a stroller, I started out with 3-4 mile runs and then did some 5 and 6 mile runs before building up to 8 mile runs. If you build it up slowly over a few weeks time, a 9 mile run with the stroller won't feel so daunting.
A quick 3 mile jaunt around the neighborhood.

8) Have fun out there. Going for a long run isn't particularly fun sometimes but I find that sharing the experience with my baby girl makes it much more enjoyable. And it makes running without the stroller so much easier!
8 Stroller miles done with Meghan,
with a smile on my face

Do you take your jogging stroller on long runs?  What kind of jogging stroller do you have? Are there any tips you would like to add or anything I forgot?


  1. Awesome tips! I think you covered all of the bases! And honestly, after running with you and Patsy this weekend, I am motivated to try and take Layla out for some longer distances - and pump my tires, ha!

  2. Tip from my end, if you are nursing any ankle/foot/calf naggle, avoid the jogging stroller! I thought nothing of it, and it strains the muscles a lot harder and set me back! My Physical Therapist has banned me from using the jogging stroller until I'm back to full strength

  3. Any tips for fussy babies? My 12 month old son seems to get bored instantly! I have snacks, toys, etc. It makes my run oh so stressful not to mention short!

  4. Hi Jessica! I find that toys and treats help distract my little girl. I'm sorry that doesn't work for your little guy! We have some toys that I keep just on the stroller so they are not something she's used to seeing. Or sometimes having the shade up so she can enjoy the sites all around. Hopefully you can find what works for you! Best of luck!