Learning about myself: I’d rather be outside
Quite a few people have asked me about what’s like to run with a pram. In a nutshell? It’s a lot harder than running without a pram, but it also gives me the freedom to go for a run without waiting for Daddy to come back from work and look after the baby. It keeps me fit too, as it’s a full body workout!
This post covers everything that I have learnt so far; from short walks in The Peaks when Oliver was just a few days old to, half marathon training.We are definitely making the most of our off-road pram.
Which pram to choose and when to start running?
There are quite a few buggies designed for running on the market. The difference between normal strollers and the ones designed for running is that the wheels are bigger and they usually have three wheels.
After thorough research we decided to go with an Out’n’About Nipper Sport , as we wanted a buggy that was suitable for off road conditions – people who know us know that we tend to spend a lot of time walking and running in the Peak District, and so we needed gear that would help us safely take Oliver with us. The big 16″ wheels and rear suspension met the brief.
We got this buggy straight after Oliver was born, but as I mentioned already here, it’s suitable from birth (with a special newborn insert), but we only used it for walking until Oliver was 6 months and could sit up straight unsupported.
What to pack for a run?
Running with a baby reminds me of my ultramarathon training when things weren’t as simple as putting my running kit on and leaving for a run. Running with a baby means that I need to pack some extras, and even more stuff for our long runs while half-marathon training.
The pram has a couple of handy storage pockets and a large shopping pouch, so taking more than I usually pack is not a problem. It’s just like taking a nappy bag, but on wheels!
This is what I usually take with us: food for the baby (usual amount for the expected time + 50%), nappies, tissues, hand sanitiser, energy gel & water (sometimes), bank card in case of emergencies, and obviously a rain cover! I also tend to listen to music, but not too loud so that I can hear Oliver chatting or asking for food.
Planning the route
I run on both roads and trails. Having said that, I always choose a route where terrain won’t be too bumpy for Oliver. I also tend to avoid busy roads as I hate the idea of us breathing traffic fumes, but of course that’s not always possible! I never run with the pram in the dark, so basically, will do everything to make sure that the baby is safe!
I also plan my long runs so that there’s a loo on the way – silly post pregnancy bladder haha! 🙊
Enjoy your pace!
Running with a pram is actually more difficult than without, and so I never intentionally run to beat my ‘no-buggy’ PBs. However, I keep an eye on my PBs with a pram and we are getting a lot faster!
Be flexible – feeding pit stops and changes of plans
I used to plan my runs after his feeds to avoid pit stops, but now I prefer to take plenty of food with me and stop whenever he needs to. I have fed Oliver in all sorts of wonderful places so far!
I have also learnt to be more adaptable and know if it’s time to go home if he gets a bit grumpy – I think this has so far only happened once. The buggy has a peek-a-boo window that I use a lot to check whether he’s ok, but I’ve learnt that if he’s quiet, he’s either asleep or enjoying the views.
I guess what I am trying to say is that not all babies will enjoy being in a pram for an hour or longer and so it’s important to listen to them and know when to have a pit stop for a feed, cuddle, or just return home.
I’ll follow the same approach when I run my first half-marathon with a pram next month! I’m fully prepared tol have to make a pit stop for feeding or a nappy change 🙂
Take care of your posture and find a comfortable position
It’s quite hilly where we live, which is an extra challenge, as steep hills are difficult enough without a pram! It’s easy to find yourself pretty much horizontal pushing the pram, which of course is not great for your back, so I always try to watch my posture.
I also tend to switch between pushing with both hands, or running a bit faster and pushing with one hand while pumping with other arm. I need to switch frequently to make sure that my arms are not getting too sore. It’s slightly easier if Daddy runs with us, as we can very simply adjust the handle and swap the pram between us during the run.
Thanks for reading and see you out there x