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Running With a Stroller: 8 Tips From Running Coaches

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Parents of the running world: you do NOT have to give up on your favorite thing just because you have Small Humans to care for. Running strollers do not have to be clumsy, slow, or hard to push. 

You heard that correctly. You can continue to be your badass runner self even with the little ones in tow.

Can You Run With a Stroller?

Of course, you can run with a stroller! Now bear in mind that it will be different. Pushing the stroller will do many things. First, you will feel like it is a lot of hard work to push. Why? Because it is hard work. 

running with a jog stroller

You will have to get used to hanging on to something while running. After all, you do need at least one hand on the handlebar of the stroller. 

All of that momentum can also be challenging to control when traveling downhills. All of these are reasons why high-quality jog strollers are made differently than conventional strollers. 

Can You Use Any Stroller to Jog?

So first things first. Not all strollers are created equally. You, for sure, want a stroller made especially for jogging if you plan to jog with your kiddo with you. 

Secondly, even among joggers: not all are created equally. For the list of the best jogging strollers, check out this list. 

If you plan to log a lot of miles pushing your stroller, invest in a good one. You won’t regret that decision. 

What Makes a Jog Stroller Different?

A jog stroller has a different make-up than a regular stroller. First, the jog stroller typically has one front wheel instead of the two wheels a normal stroller has, which allows for greater maneuverability and a smooth ride. It comes with a better suspension system and excellent front wheel locks.

Jog stroller wheels are typically filled with air so that you have some shock absorption while running. A quality stroller will also have some canopy that acts as a sunscreen on hot days, and many have some type of plastic cover accessory to protect from rain, wind, and other weather elements. 

Urban Glide 2

Thule Urban Glide 2 Jogging Stroller

Whereas a normal stroller will have an undercarriage area to hold necessary items such as a diaper bag, jog strollers are more likely to have pockets and zipper compartments for storage. This allows you to carry necessary items with less worry about losing things while moving. 

The last difference is in the shape of the adjustable handlebar. A jogging stroller is made so you can hold it with one hand while swinging the other hand. 

They often also have a hand brake for easy stopping in an emergency, as well as a tether so you can strap the handle of the stroller to your wrist. 

8 Tips for Running With a Stroller

If you are planning to run with your jog stroller, there are some great safety tips:

1. Slow Down: Since you are now pushing weight while you run, plan to slow down. Better yet, enjoy the slower pace!

2. Be Flexible: Remember, you have small people along for the ride. You may need to stop to give a baby a pacifier or to retrieve a tossed-out toy. Be flexible and plan to shift on the fly if needed.

3. Don’t Grip the Handle too Tightly: You want a relaxed but firm grip on the handle. Relax. No death grips.

4. Stock the Stroller: Bring everything you could possibly need, then add some extra stuff. 

5. Pack Snacks: This is for the little snack goblins. Oh yeah, if you are running long, pack yourself fuel.

6. Use the Wrist Strap: Remember that it could go flying if you lose your grip on the stroller. The safety strap is important. 

7. Strength Session: Knowing that you are pushing the children, think of this as a strength session.

8. Make it Fun: If you are looking for a way to keep your kids engaged, plan a trip to a destination they will enjoy.

For example, if you live a couple of miles from a park, consider running there. You can stop and play, have a snack, and maybe even time the return run home with nap time!

*Whitney Heins, Founder & Coach at The Mother Runners, is a member of the RunnerClick Pro community. Listen to her talk about her own experience of running with a stroller.

Is Running With a Stroller Harder?

Of course it is harder! You are first off pushing weight. Just that part alone makes it hard. 

Second, even pushing an empty stroller changes your stride, gait, and arm swing. You need to be cognizant of that. 

Third, there is the mental aspect. When running alone, you can clear your brain and just enjoy the run. With your children along, you have additional humans you are responsible for. 

Lastly, you have to be flexible. This adds another dimension to the mental baggage. 

Is It Safe to Run with a Baby in the Stroller?

When answering the question if it is safe to run with a baby, you need to define the term baby. Sometimes new expectant parents have unrealistic thoughts on how quickly they can jog about town with the little one along. 

Although it varies by jog stroller and pediatrician’s recommendations, most babies can ride along in a jog stroller at six to nine months old. 

When Can I Run With My Baby in a Jogging Stroller

In addition to the age factor described above, there are other things to consider. The key is that your infant needs to have the neck strength to gain adequate control of his or her head. Don’t rush it, folks. Your peanut will be tagging along before you know it. 

Most running experts also recommend jogging very slowly or walking briskly before trying to jog with the baby. 

Also, don’t assume your baby will adapt well to long periods of time while you are running with a stroller. Some babies enjoy it more than others. 

How Much Slower is Running With a Stroller?

The first thing to take into consideration is how much extra weight you are pushing.

baby stroller

Remember: it is not just the baby you are figuring in. Both the stroller and any gear you bring with you adds to the burden. 

Also, if you are a new mama, you might be working your way back into running post-partum. New mamas need to give themselves grace as they get back into things. 

Having said all of that, most people run anywhere from :45 seconds to 2:00 minutes slower per mile when pushing a stroller. 

The beauty of that is that when you run without the stroller, you might just feel like you are flying!

Don’t Be Afraid: Just Try It!

I am certain that some people are even more nervous after reading this article. After all, it does sound scary. 

Sure, pushing the stroller adds weight, and you will have adjustments to make. However, you are also going to experience positives. 

Just think: every time you lace up and bring your little one out with you to jog, you are teaching your child the value of a healthy body. Is there anything better?

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