Out There Mothers

How to Run with a Jogging Stroller

Honestly, even if you nail how to run with a jogging stroller, it is never going to rival the feeling of running free—unattached and dashing toward the horizon on the coat tails of your runner’s high. But running with a jogging stroller is going to let you launch back into running postpartum much quicker than waiting until your child is in high school and your days are open, once again.

A jogging stroller challenges what you know about yourself and running. Pushing a 25+ lb jogger, plus the weight of your baby and the pilgrimage of luggage you need to bring with you takes practice, strength, and thought toward proper jogger running form.

This article tells you upfront that running with a jogging stroller will change how you run, and cover the following:

  • When can I take my baby running with a jogging stroller?
  • Best form for running with a jogging stroller
  • How to jog uphill
  • What to pack in your jogger

This article also tells you why stroller running makes you a better runner. Keep reading to learn how to get the most out of your jogger workouts.

Why get a jogging stroller?

Owning a jogging stroller is a must if you plan to run with your baby. A jogging stroller is designed to handle increased speeds without wobbling everywhere and veering off-course.

Built-in suspension systems, 3 rubber air-filled tires, and a fixed front wheel are exclusive jogger features that ensure a smooth, safe ride for your baby. Regular strollers, while great for walks, are top heavy and aren’t made for speeds over 4.5 mph.

Jogging strollers allow you to take your baby or toddler with you during your runs, empowering you to balance special bonding time with a solid workout.

Infant reclining in running stroller outdoors

When can I take my baby running with a jogging stroller?

Six months is usually the age it’s safe for a baby to ride in a jogging stroller without injuring their fragile neck. Generally, this is when a baby can hold their head up without assistance. Neck strength is crucial for baby to handle the bumpity-upities that happen while running.

Always check with your child’s pediatrician before running with baby in a jogging stroller.

How to run with a jogging stroller before baby is 6 months old

Jogger manufacturers must have known that runners are as strong-willed as a toddler fighting naptime. Our impulse to run with a jogging stroller begins early. To make the journey safe before baby reaches the 6-month mark, you must invest in one of the following:

Car seat adaptors – Convert your jogging stroller into a travel system that can securely carry your infant car seat.

Infant sling – Installed in chariot style buggies to safely hold a child under 6 months of age.

Infant insert – A padded inlay placed onto your jogger to comfortably hold baby.

No run is worth risking your baby’s safety. Equipping your jogging stroller with the necessary infant adaption features is a non-negotiable must if you plan to take baby running before they develop sturdy neck strength.

Active mom running with baby jogging stroller

How to Run with a Jogging Stroller

Running with a jogging stroller is different than running without one, and it’s worth knowing proper jogger running form and what to expect so you don’t get caught up in comparing how your runs used to be versus how they are now.

Things to consider before heading out

There are more cautions and considerations you have to take when you’re jogging with baby during the first year or so of their lives. Over time, you’ll adapt and the safety limitations won’t feel so binding. For now, keep the following in mind before your mommy-baby runs:

Weather

Weather guards and canopies can protect baby from a bit of sun, rain, wind, and snow, but don’t risk your baby’s well-being in extreme conditions.

Temperature

Outdoor temperatures colder than 20 degrees F (-6 degrees C) or hotter than 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) are unsafe for baby. Embrace a rest day or do an indoor strength circuit instead. If you have to take baby outside (maybe you have to walk your dog), limit your outdoor time to 15 minutes.

Route

Map your first few jogger runs within a mile or 2 from your house. Doing so gives you the range to cover a few miles while sticking close to home in case you need to dash back.

Smoothness of terrain

Yes, jogging strollers are designed to go off-road, but keep to smooth terrain when starting out. Roll slowly over potholes and lift the front wheel over large bumps.

Overlapping feeding times

If your workout is going to intersect with baby’s mealtime, prepare accordingly. Find tips in our article on running and breastfeeding.

As you get the hang of how to run with a jogging stroller, you’ll be able to take longer runs on more exotic routes. When you’re just getting started, though, take your time. No matter how tiring running with a jogging stroller feels, you’re getting a wicked strength workout.

Bri Terry Running with daughter in a Jogging Stroller

Your First Runs with a Jogging Stroller

When you’re ready to run with baby in the jogger, make sure your baby is secured properly:

  • Leave no more than one finger space between the harness straps and baby’s chest
  • Position the shoulder straps to rest mid-shoulder
  • Use the jogger’s wrist strap (most joggers come with one) to tether yourself to your jogging stroller, especially if you’re in a hilly area

The best way to ease into running with a jogging stroller is to pepper long walks with short bouts of running. You can do this with timed walk/run intervals, running every other block, or quickening your pace between start and end points. 

Best Form for Running with a Jogging Stroller

Posture is important when pushing a jogging stroller. Stay upright with your chest lifted and your eyes looking ahead. Hunching over or leaning on your jogger’s handlebar for support is going to put extra stress on your lower back—and we moms are stressed enough as it is!

Despite the two-handed, death grip you see in most jogging stroller stock photos, you want to push your jogger with one hand while your other arm swings freely. Alternate pushing hands every so often to prevent muscle strain in your arms.

How to jog uphill with a jogging stroller

When you arrive at a hill, use both hands to push the jogger upward while engaging your core and using your noble leg strength. Keep yourself upright. It’s more than okay to walk your jogger uphill. You’re not getting any less of a workout by doing so.

How to jog downhill with a jogging stroller

Use the handbrake to control your downhill speed and the wrist strap to keep the jogger from rolling away from you. The speed a jogger carrying your baby accelerates downhill can take you by surprise. Instead of coasting, engage your core and descend slower rather than quicker.

Fit woman running downhill with baby in stroller

What to pack in your jogging stroller

When running with a buggy, use its storage to your advantage. You can stash your jogger with baby supplies and items to fuel your run.

Good Things to Have in Your Jogger while Running:

  • Water
  • Baby’s non-spill water cup
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Sunglasses (both for you and baby)
  • Baby’s sun hat
  • Phone
  • Snacks
  • Baby/toddler entertainment
  • Small children’s book
  • Blanket
  • Diaper and pack of wipes
  • Portable breast pump or nursing cover (if breastfeeding while running)

Some of the items you might like to pack when going stroller running with your child.

It’s like running with your own traveling aid station!

How to Run with a Jogging Stroller and a Fixed Front Wheel

When using your jogger for low-speed transportation, the wheel is left unlocked to easily round corners and maneuver curves. When running with your jogging stroller, it’s important to lock your front wheel in its fixed, straightforward position. Doing so keeps the front wheel from wobbling the entire stroller, which is dangerous for your precious cargo strapped inside.

Running with a fixed front wheel takes some getting used to. When you need to turn a corner, push on the handlebar to lift the front wheel off the ground and turn on the jogger’s back wheels. Stick the landing and you’re good to go!

FAQs

How Much Harder is Running with a Jogging Stroller?

You’re pushing at least 30 lbs of extra weight when running with a buggy. The additional weight makes your pace slower, your legs get tired faster, and you feel the burn in your arms, back, and core. None of this hurts your workout. On the contrary, running with a jogging stroller will make you stronger regardless of how far you run.

Do You Burn More Calories Running with a Jogger?

Yes, the extra exertion needed to run with a jogger burns extra calories. It is estimated you burn an additional 5-8% more calories when running with a jogging stroller. This is affected by factors such as your weight, the weight of your stroller and child, and your pace.

Why do Jogging Strollers Have a Fixed Front Wheel?

The front wheel is one of the features that distinguish a jogging stroller from a regular stroller. Locking it in place keeps your jogger steady and on-course at increased speeds.

Bri Terry Running with Jogging Stroller beside lake

Conclusion

Learning how to run with a jogger takes some practice. There will be days where feeling like a pack mule makes you dread your runs. But for all the effort required for running with a jogging stroller, there are perks to make it worth the energy.

Perks of Running with a Jogging Stroller

  • Arm and core workout.
  • Challenges new muscles.
  • Resistance training.
  • Builds physical endurance.
  • Increases time spent with baby.

Gone are the days where all you needed were your shoes and the road; but here are the days you get to expose the love of your life to the fresh outdoors, invigorating stroller rides, and quality time with mommy.

Happy cruising!

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