This post is sponsored by Zappos.
I am not exaggerating when I say that I might not have made it through the first year of motherhood without a jogging stroller and a pair of running shoes. I truly wish I had a log of how many miles I’ve covered with Finn in this stroller but I can tell you that it’s a lot. Walking and running with Finn was oftentimes a lifeline to get through some tough days. It got us out of the house and into fresh air, which always seemed to do everyone good (mom, baby and pups). There wasn’t much that could stand between us and our daily walk or run.
These days life is feeling more easeful but the jogging stroller still gets daily use for both runs and walks. Since stroller running is something that I’ve done a lot of and receive frequent questions about, I wanted to write one big post sharing my experience with stroller running along with my best tips and tricks.
Before I get into my deep dive on stroller running, I want to talk about the shoes I am wearing in this post.
ALTRA ESCALATE 2 FROM ZAPPOS
These are Altra Escalante 2 running shoes and I ordered them through Zappos. Using my Zappos Rewards account, I was able to get free expedited shipping on these shoes and they were on my doorstep in under 48 hours from the time I placed the order. Also, when you shop Altra through Zappos you get the benefit of a large selection, 24/7 customer service and a 365 day rerun policy. Zappos shoe shopping is the best!
This is my first pair of Altra running shoes and my first impression is a good one. Two of my friends wear them and have had nothing but positive things to say about them so I was excited to try Altras. Here are some highlights of the Escalante 2:
- All Altra shoes are built on a level platform that is known as Balanced Cushioning. It places the heel and forefoot at equal distance from the ground to promote proper, low-impact form while running.
- Fit4Her™ technology caters to the specific form of the female foot, which has a narrower heel and midfoot, a higher instep, a longer arch and unique metatarsal spacing. I think this is so cool!
- FootShape™ toe box allows your toes to relax and spread naturally for more comfort and stability during uphill climbs and downhill descents. Generous toe boxes are my favorite!
Knit upper provides a secure fit with added perforations for increased breathability. I am ALL about knit uppers in my shoes. They are so comfortable.
Now, let’s get to that stroller running talk!
INVEST IN A QUALITY JOGGING STROLLER
Jogging strollers aren’t cheap but they are worth their weight in gold if you are hoping to do stroller running or a lot of walking. I registered for mine and was so fortunate to receive it as a gift so definitely consider adding it to your registry. It’s a great group gift for people to go in on.
I HIGHLY recommend investing in a quality jogging stroller. I use a BOB but I have also heard great things about Thule joggers. Check out this article from Runner’s World to learn more about jogging strollers and why it’s so important to have a good one.
GET AN INFANT CAR SEAT ADAPTER FOR THE STROLLER
Most jogging strollers have infant car seat adapters where you can secure the baby in the stroller while they’re strapped into their car seat. This made me feel a lot better about Finn’s safety when we walked during the earlier days. The recommendation is not to run with the infant car seat adapter because it raises the center of gravity for the stroller and makes it more susceptible to flipping over if you are running. And of course it is not recommended to run with baby in the stroller seat when they are really little.
Finn’s pediatrician gave me clearance to run with Finn in the actual stroller around 5 months old. Default to your doctor on this. It will depend on baby’s head and neck strength and control. If you are cleared to start running on the earlier end, you might want to recline the seat a little so that they aren’t having to do as much head lifting and stabilization.
START SLOW AND GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
Stroller running is HARD, period and the end. Running is hard enough as it is but add in a stroller that’s just shy of 30 pounds and a growing baby and it gets real hard, real fast. DO NOT compare your stroller runs to your solo runs. Expect pace to be a good bit slower and take it easy on distance, especially in the beginning as you accommodate to stroller running. My pace is usually a good 45-90 seconds slower with the stroller, depending on if I’m running flats or hills.
WATCH YOUR GAIT + POSTURE
It seems obvious that you might start to compromise your gait and posture when pushing a jogging stroller. You’ve got a big stroller right in front of you, you have to get it up hills, you have handles to hold and handles that you can lean over. It’s a completely different experience than running solo.
I try my best to stay mindful of my posture and gait. If I feel either slipping, I will stop and walk. For example, it’s easy to start toe running up hills and leaning over the stroller but that’s terrible for your gait and posture so if I find myself doing those things, I walk up hills. Trust me, you still get an excellent workout pushing 50+ lbs up a hill. Holy hamstrings.
Regarding what to do with your arms, I alternate pushing with one hand and swinging the other arm. I try not to hold on with both hands because not using my arm at all really messes with my gait.
PICK SMOOTH PATHS WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Super uneven sidewalks and big bumps are the worst ever with the jogging stroller. Not so bad when walking but when running…ugh! For this reason, I prefer running on quiet sidewalk-less streets in my neighborhood and on the greenway whenever possible. It’s much gentler for everyone involved.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE EXTRA SPACE AND ACCESSORIES
One of my favorite things about running with the jogging stroller is that I can bring water, dog poop bags, snacks, books, toys, blankets, gloves, hats…it’s awesome! Always be sure to have things on hand that your baby/toddler might need like a fresh diaper, wipes, snacks, extra blankets, pacifiers, toys, etc.
Word to the wise. Anything that you can secure to the stroller, do so! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to circle back looking for something that Finn has thrown out of the stroller.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES
Stroller running isn’t easy but it feels like a huge blessing, especially since I don’t have a partner to tag in so that I can sneak out for a run. Stroller running is hands-down the easiest way for me to get a workout in while I have Finn with me. I don’t have to get a babysitter to workout (which can sometimes be a hard expense to justify) and Finn is safe in the stroller and enjoys the time outside. Now that he’s a little older, we will often run up to the park so that he can get out and get a little exercise in too, and then run back home.
I am so, so grateful to have this option. It has truly been a godsend and I don’t know what I would do without stroller running. It is 100% worth pushing over 50 pounds all around the neighborhood. I just hope Finn stays game for it for a couple more years! 🙂
All photos Deeana Kourtney Photography.
Have you ever run in Altra shoes?
Do you shoe shop with Zappos?
Have you tried stroller running? If so, thoughts? Advice to share? If not, any questions I didn’t address here?