SparkPeople Blogs  •  cardio  •  running

Runnin' Down A Dream--With A Stroller

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When my daughter was about 6 months old, I started taking her for runs in the jogging stroller. In the beginning, I was nervous. Would she be comfortable? Would she be content to ride along? My dad and I would go to the park and take turns pushing her, and it ended up being enjoyable for all of us. After my son was born, we got a double jogger. He's almost one, and it took until a few weeks ago for me to get the courage to attempt pushing both of them.

Even though most joggers are easy to push when they are empty, it's more of a challenge with almost 60 pounds of kid in it. I had a hard enough time pushing them while walking, so I knew running would be tough. I picked a nice afternoon and made sure we were well-stocked with snacks and drinks before we headed out. The plan was to go 4-miles if I had the strength to make it that far.

Our route required us to use sidewalks most of the way, which meant other pedestrians had to step off the path as we passed them. I got a lot of looks from other walkers and drivers. Some looked amazed that I'd attempt to run up and down the hills in my area with two kids in tow. Others looked at me like I was crazy. I was just trying to look like I wasn't dying, even though I was breathing hard and my arms were burning. Although it's not something I'd want to do every day, my kids had fun speeding along and seeing some new neighborhoods we don't usually visit. They were content to eat their Cheerios, and I only had to stop a few times (to put my 1-year-old's socks back on, since his new hobby is pulling them off.)

Jogging strollers have increased in popularity over the past few years. If you're thinking of purchasing a jogging stroller, it's important to find one that suits your size and running style. You should also start off slowly, since running with a stroller can change your stride and running mechanics. That can increase your risk of injury if you're not careful to slowly build up mileage and pace.

A Texas A&M University study found no increased risk of injury from using a stroller while running. But according to the New York Times story linked above, "Some runners say that compromising form, pushing too much weight or increasing stroller mileage too quickly can cause problems."

On nice days when the kids want to get outside and I'd like to get some exercise, running with the jogging stroller is the perfect solution. I know I won't be able to do it forever, but for now it's another way to squeeze in a workout when I need it.

Have you ever run or walked with a jogging stroller? How was it?

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PIZZA5152 12/20/2020
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I love my jogging stroller and have countless miles on it. I am a single mom and getting out for a run by myself can be challenging. My son will be 5 in a month and I'm sad he will soon be too big for it. My son was born in December and by May or June we were walking to and from work. I'm fortunate to live a few miles away and am able to bring him to work with me. Plus, I saved a lot of money in gas. Every year when it started to get too cold it made me sad to put the stroller away until one day I had a "AHAH!" moment and bought a kids mummy sleeping bag rated to 35 degrees. I've walked, and run, with him in the stroller as low as 19 degrees and he is WARM and cozy. Mind you he is bundled up in warm gear, but he is warm and happy. You can buy a stroller cover as well to protect from any wind. I wished I had thought of it sooner. The extra benefit from all that stroller time, he loves being active with me. He learned to ride a two-wheel this summer and now I can run along side him while he rides his bike which is awesome. In the meantime this winter, I will definitely be utilizing my stroller as much as possible. Report
My son was in the baby jogger from the age of 6 months to about 4 when he finally was just to heavy for me. He loved taking a healthy snack and water while we ran miles of trail. One of my favorite memories is when he was about 16 months old and stood by the door saying "mama run". He is still apart of my workouts via tag a long bike. Report
I remember reading this article and I have always wanted a jogger stroller and should have gotten one before my son was born (he's 3 now). My mom just recently found a jogger stroller in awesome condition at a yard sale and my son's dream of going for runs with momma had finally came true! I just started this week running with him and we did our third run today of 3 miles and I must say it is hard work! You never know how important your arms are when you are running until you can't use them!!! My son loves our runs together and he helps push me to keep going and to run faster! He is a great training and I can only imagine how hard it is to push two kids in a stroller! Way to go! Report
I love my jogging stroller. It is more managable then a regular stroller. I haven't been able to run with it yet, but I hope to in the very near future. It is worth the cost. Report
I jog with my two daughters (a combined 75 lbs.) in a double jogging stroller quite often. I find that it distracts me from the mental tug-of-war I usually do with myself when I'm jogging alone. Being a single, working mom, it's one of the only ways I can get out and get an extended period of activity. I don't know what I'd do without the stroller!! Report
I have a single jogger that I take my 1 year old out in, I usually don't go more then 4 miles because I am not sure if he'll want to sit that long. Its been fun taking him out, and a great workout. Its also a great way to get your little one some fresh air all the while doing something good for yourself Report
Its many years now since I pushed my children in their prams (yes the old fashioned prams) at times one in the pram and another sitting on a seat on top - that was hard work. However. I have seen a young mom jogging along pushing a pushchair (looks a "normal" one to me - but I could be wrong) and with a huge bull mastiff type dog running along by the side of her. What a good idea I've thought, get everything done in one go! Dog walked, baby in fresh air and a good workout too - what more can you ask for? Report
Cheers to anyone who can run and push a baby jogger. It's hard enough for me to keep myself in motion. Report
I plan to once my little girl is a little older. She is only 4 months old now. Report
We have a Schwinn double jogger and LOVE it! We bought it when I had twins in Oct 06 and use it faithfully for walking, jogging and running. My husband pushes it in 5K's (the boys now weigh 70# total) often and has no complaints. Report
I walked with my baby in a sling until she was old enough for the all-terrain/jogging stroller we asked for before she was born. We live in a small town with rugged sidewalks and easy access to a National Forest with great hiking opportunities, so we knew a regular stroller would be right out. The jogging stroller is awesome. More often than not my husband is the driver. Boy, does it add to the workout. With lifting over curbs (even to turn -- as I like to lock the front wheel) you really do get a different kind of workout. Another commenter mentioned safety: my stroller has a wrist tether so that it can't get away from you on hills, unfortunately you can't move around the front of the stroller with it. For that I LOCK the wheels.
I really miss the arm-swing though. It feels odd once you get your speed up to not be swinging your arms. I get tense, so I really need to do good upper body stretches when I am done. I only walk, and cannot imagine picking up speed and managing the stroller. Report
I have never seen a jogging stroller. They weren't around when my children we younge. the youngest is 38 now. Report
Never had kids. I just walk with my dogs Report
I walked miles pushing a stroller but jogging strollers were not invented when my kids were that age. Report
I ran with my daughter in the stroller until she was 5 years old. At first, I would just walk, but one day I tried running. It was hard at first, but my daughter loved the speed. She is Autistic and I am not used to getting eye contact (or any feedback for that matter) from her. But the first time I started running (she was about 2 years old), she turned around and looked me straight in the eyes and gave me the biggest, most beautiful smile. My heart and feet just soared... so she became my running partner for the next 3 years until she was simply too big to get her butt in the stroller :-) Report
I haven't tried it yet. Would like to some day when I have kids though. Report
You are quite something, running with two. My hat's off to you. Report
I use a jogging stroller for walking. It rolls smoothly, and it's big wheels handle dirt and grass well too. Before I got the jogging stroller I was pulling a wagon, and that's a bit hard on my shoulders. The stroller doesn't cause any discomfort in my walking routine. Report
WOW! I am always amazed at Mums who are out there with the jogging stroller! That looks like hard work, and with TWO babies.....You are a star! Report
I'm sorry that I am not a runner but when my nephew was a baby (15 now & runs cross country) my sister had one and it was awesome. They live in the country and strolling him was great fun and easy on the gravel base road! Great invention! Report
I must say that I never have. Report
I do use a jogging stroller. My grandson and I both love it! I walk/jog it. My grandson likes it best when I'm jogging. He says, "Faster, grandma!"

Pushing 2 kids would be tiring! Way to go! Report
didn't have those when my son was little, it was a kid on the hip if I wanted to go for a stroll. I can just imagine that some little ones are thinking "oh boy, Mom is on a caffenine high again" Report
It looks & feels like a great workout. My concerns are for the kids. I've seen Parents let go of the Stroller to wipe sweat or to tie a shoe or just during a chance conversation only to have the Stroller proceed to "roll away". Usually I'm the one whose paying the most attention & end up chaseing it down while the Parents either haven't notice it was leaving or were too stunned to react. My tip: Tether the Stroller to your your wrist ,or maybe a nice noisy bell on the Stroller. Believe me you'll notice 60+ lbs. pulling your arm off or as with my dogs the jingle of that dog tag always lets me know they're in motion. Report
I have almost three year old twin boys. About two years ago we got a double jogger stroller. I would take the boys for long walks (my regular route is 3 miles), but we had a tandem stroller and it was not rugged enough, plus I wanted to start running. We bought the jogger stroller and it has been extremely useful. We use it for trips to the zoo, hiking, and when we travel out of town. The stroller is very light weight. Pushing the boys in the jogger stroller, while running, took some getting used to. I am not a strong runner, I am a beginner. However, I have noticed my runs on the treadmill have improved. Where we live in Texas there are no sidewalks and most people drive everywhere, but I come from Western New York where you can walk anywhere and it is no big deal. Most vehicles move over to give us ample room. The boys now ask me to take them for a "walk" in the stroller. They encourage me to go faster and cheer for me. Snacks, juice, and tissues are always companions when we leave the house. I am very glad we invested in a jogger stroller. Report
i LOATHE the jogging stroller. i hate when i have to use it because my runs are twice as hard. my daughter also gets bored and throws things out of the stroller. maybe if i had taken up jogging when she was 6 months and only weighed about 12 lbs instead of a few months ago when she was over 20 it'd be a different story.
any mom that can go on a run pushing a jogging stroller has my utmost respect. Report
Good on you for challenging yourself, in spite of the stares. You're out there doing it and that takes guts. Keep up the great work! Report
I use a double-jogging stroller (BabyTrend) with my two toddlers every day. I don't know what I would do without it!!! They LOVE going for nice longgggg walks in it and our model even has speakers, so I just plug in my Ipod and off we go - the kids and I LOVE the music and it keeps the pace fast. (It has "real" tires on it, so I keep a small bicycle tire pump in the back pocket for those situations. It also has a "lockable" front wheel, but I don't need to lock it for our walks.) I LOVE LOVE LOVE our jogger and don't know what I'd do without it - I know I wouldn't get as much exercise! Looking forward to being able to RUN with them in it. :) We use our jogger more than we use any of the three other double strollers we own! I'm so thankful I can take my kids out with me to get exercise at MY pace, not theirs. Report
I used one with my granddaughter, when i tried running with it, my granddaughter said i was going too fast that i needed to slow down. Report
I had a jogging stroller when my son was young and I loved it. That was back in the early 90s, close to the time when they first came out. The ones they build now look incredible. I would definitely recommend mothers (and fathers) with a young child (or 2) buy one. I never actually ran or jogged. I walked, including speed walking. Report
Such a cute post. If double jogging strollers are an oddity where you live, you really ought to come to Utah where the double strollers all have to pull over for the triples. :) No one has single strollers here! Report
I have a jogging stroller and only used it once lol. The tires are actual tires-not plastic like normal strollers-and my tire went flat after the first time. I have to go find another tire and it just never crosses my mind. Its nice to use tho! Report
I just wish I'd had one when my kids were young! They look like so much fun! at least, when my kids were young, we had the bike trailer! :o) Report
I walk with my jogging stroller every day - it's our commuting vehicle. We also have the BOB revolution and it feels like I just have to steer it, not actually push it because it rolls so well. I love it! I haven't tried running with it because I run with my dog, and I don't think I could manage the dog AND the stroller. Report
I wish I had one when my kids were little. I would have definetely tried it. Report
I once saw a woman running with a stroller that had a dog in it. No kids; just her dog. And ya know what, if thats what gets her out there-I say Go For It!!!!!!!!!

The double jogger is awesome for taking the girls with me. Unfortunately, the highs here are mid 50s, and quickly declining. The only downside I have found is the minivan syndrome. Just like how cars will cut you off because you drive a minivan, other runners seem to have less respect for the running mom. Yes, it slows me down but I'm always bothered by the fact that people think that makes me less of a runner. Report
I wish they had the jogging stroller idea when my kids were young. Report
My kids (33 mos & 13 mos) love the stroller as long as I go fast - no stopping allowed. We broke down and got the double chariot so we can pull it behind the bike as well. I am below my pre-pregnancy weight (for the second time) and I can't imagine doing it without the chariot. Report
Summer of 08 I went from a double stroller to a triple stroller. That was also the year that I ran a pr in the HM =) It takes a bit to get use to pushing and running, but once I did, I didn't mind it too much- until I got to a hill lol! Thankfully the stroller had brakes for going down the hills. My kids are getting too big for the stroller now (5,3,2) and I really miss the freedom that being able to run with them gave me. Report
The jogging stroller saved my workouts! It was really about the only way I could squeeze in workout time while trying to juggle work and family, and my son has gotten to where he really wants that outside time! I trained for all of my half marathons using the BOB Revolution, and although you do have to sacrifice some form (until you've practiced!), speed, and put forth some extra effort, I think it pays off on the days you don't have to run with the stroller. Some of my longer runs seemed awfully easy when compared to doing them with the stroller. I've often wondered what I'll do if we have another child - I honestly can't imagine doing this with two! That's all kinds of crazy. Still, you had to be an impressive sight, and I imagine just about everyone, despite what kind of look you got, was thinking, "DANG. Look at that. That's one heckuva woman!" Report
When my now 11yo daughter was an infant, I started going for walks right around her morning nap time. It worked great; she fell asleep and got a good nap, and I got a good walk (2-3 miles) in. However I was NOT using a jog stroller, and one day in my attempt to pick up my walking pace I stepped on one of the back wheels and sprained my ankle really badly. Once I recovered it was winter and too cold and icy for walking. Believe me, the following spring I had a jog stroller! It worked great until my daughter was no longer content to just sit in it and wanted to walk with me. ;-) Report
I have my heart set on a BOB Revolution and I just found one for relatively cheap on Craigslist. It is the one thing I refuse to skimp on. All the running mammas on Runner's World have a BOB, the salespeople can try to tell me that a cheaper model will be just as good, but I'm willing to bet they aren't runners themselves.

I'm not planning on using it for long runs though..but hubby is usually home on Saturday mornings. Report
I don't have kids yet, but when I do, this is something I plan to do. What a workout! We have a park in the city that is very hilly, which would be a crazy workout... just walking it can be a chore -without- toting anything. :) Report
I wonder what is an appopriae length of time to run with toodlers? I saw a jogging stroller on craigslist Report
I've never tried a jogging stroller (my hubby always watches the babies while I run). I can't seem to grasp having your hands stuck to the stroller. When I run, I use my arms a little & I feel like a stroller would mess me up. I guess if I got used to it, it would be OK...but now my kids are 5 & 2 (almost 3) they're almost past the stroller days. :) Report
We got a Stroller Strides "Bob" from a friend and I have ran all summer with my newborn in it - he typically fell asleep.

I injured my knee recently though (not related to the stroller running!), so no more running - but now I'm healing, I'm wondering how many days I'll have the chance to run with him before the cold winter weather hits MA Report
I was given a jogging stroller just before my youngest was born several weeks ago. I've taken him out in it, but it is definitely NOT easy. I live in a very hilly area, and pushing the stroller uphill wipes me out sometimes. My husband is starting to exercise and get healthy, and he uses it too. It definitely makes fitting in a workout a little easier, but it definitely takes getting used to! Report
My daughter refuses (and has since 5 months when she started crawling, and got even more insistent when she started walking several months later) to go for too long in the stroller but I do 4 miles or so with her and will do it twice in a day if needed -- or if she's tired and falls asleep occasionally I can get 8-9 before she wakes back up and wants out. She's only 24 lb now though (15 mo) I'm not a fan of stroller running but if it's that or nothing, you bet I'm going with it. Report