Running with a jogging stroller: the perfect little pacer

Running with Cadence in the jogging stroller is one of my absolute favorite things to do.  It combines two of the things that I love the most–my baby and running!  (Add my husband and the dog, and I’m in heaven!)  Here are some of the guidelines and experiences I have had with stroller running:

Our stroller, the Thule Urban Glide: My husband and I chose the Thule Urban Glide as our jogging stroller after I read that Steph Rothstein liked it.  We went to REI and walked around the store with a couple of brands.  The decision was between the Bob and the Thule, and the Thule won because it is lighter by a couple of pounds, and it is more compact and easier to maneuver.  We’ve had a great experience with the brand.  We actually had to exchange our original stroller because the wheel was wobbly at fast speeds (we read reviews that all jogging strollers can have this defect), and Thule was fantastic to replace our original stroller with a brand new one.

When I started running with Cadence: Cadence was born at the end of September, and she was a smaller baby.  Our pediatrician said that her head control would be fine to run with her at 3-4 months, but since it was winter anyways, we decided to wait until she was a little bigger.  In February (about 4.5 months), we took her for a run in the jogger, but she still needed to be in the car seat with the adapter because she was still pretty small.  I LOVED every minute of it!  Running with the car seat adds weight, and it makes the stroller a bit top heavy, but nothing is better than looking at your baby the whole time that you run!  I got all kinds of baby smiles and peaceful sleeping views.

How far I’ve run with Cadence: The longest I’ve run with Cadence is 13 miles so far, but I think I could run with her much longer.  She’s really content in the stroller and I feel like my endurance could handle longer distances.  When I was training for Boston, I needed to get in a 20 mile run, but my husband had an early morning event on Saturday, so I ran 7 miles on my own, and came back for Cadence to finish my 20 mile training.  Having a baby has definitely changed the way that I approach training!

How much does it affect my speed: This is actually one of my favorite things about running with Cadence.  Running with the jogging stroller forces me to slow down.  I have to make stops to make sure that everything is ok up front.  I like to talk to Cadence while we run.  I have to go slower on steep downhills and watch the curves.  As every runner knows, we can beat ourselves up over the numbers, but running with Cadence takes all of that away.  It’s also a really great workout!  With the carseat attachment, I was pushing about 50 pounds.  Now that C is bigger, the stroller is about 23 lbs and she is about 17 lbs = ~40 lbs.

 

Now back to the speed.  I estimate that I am about 30 sec to a minute slower with the stroller, but I also choose to run with the stroller on my easier runs when I don’t intend to push it.  Uphills are obviously  a little slower, and I also have to hold back on the downhills.  My neighborhood is really hilly, so it is a great workout! My average easy run with the stroller is typically about an 8:30 pace. I did my first tempo run the other night with the stroller, and I was surprised at how easily I was able to maintain a faster speed even though I had the stroller.  I was easily running low 7s around my neighborhood for the tempo, and Cadence was fine.  It ended up being a great way for C to get a nap and for me to get in a little added resistance.

How does Cadence do? So far, Cadence has been a great running buddy!  We started walking with her in the stroller from the start of her little life, and she seems pretty used to it.  Every night my husband and I walk with Cadence and our golden retriever around the neighborhood, so the jogger is pretty routine for her, whether running or walking.  For my runs, Cadence normally looks around and “talks” to me in the beginning, and then she falls asleep.  I don’t count on it always being that easy, but I’ll take it while it lasts!

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A few things that I don’t leave the house without: Sunscreen slathered all over Cadence in the summer and a hat! The sun can still peak through the stroller canopy, and her little feet are exposed. (We bundled her up when we ran with her in the winter.)  We normally have a spare bottle of water in the stroller just in case the adults need it, but we don’t really worry about much else.  I’m not about to change a diaper on the sidewalk, so if there is an emergency, I’d just run home.  So far, we haven’t had any reasons to have to run home for anything (other than a pit stop breastfeeding session). In the winter, we added little lights to the stroller, but we haven’t had to use them in the summer.

I’m sure that I will have more things to learn as Cadence gets bigger and her development changes.  I can’t wait to see how my little running buddy continues to grow and share things with me.

Do you run with your baby?  Any tips as they get bigger?

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