It was with some trepidation that I invested in a running buggie. Not for the reasons you might expect, I am one of those weird people who quite likes running. It was because I have invested in so many things since the bebe was born which have been rejected and rendered redundant, this list includes:
- the pram for the first 12+ months of her life
- all bottles and dummies
- cot for the vast majority of her life
- the treadmill I purchased to use whilst she slept (insert cry/laughing emoji here-this requires a bebe who actually sleeps)
- travel cot
- white noise machine
So I was very hesitant to purchase a running pram for fear of it being another *expensive* error I have to sell on/stare guiltily at in the cupboard.
But now we are a happy running pair. So I thought I’d share a few thoughts (running mama muses if you like)
Keep them (and you)cosy-
Remember you will be working up a sweat, but bubs won’t. Especially if you’re used to Babywearing, you’ll find your little one will need more layers as they wont have your body heat. Snowsuits, or those attachable sleeping bags are handy as opposed to blankets which tend to fall/be flung off and wind round the wheel. Gloves-if they will humour you long enough to wear them, and for you, as holding the buggy can get really chilly. Take advantage of the basket at the base of the pram, you can store you jumper, water bottle, gels etc. Multiple layers seems to be the key to keeping cosy. Pegs are also very helpful for keeping extra blankets in place.
I love there from all4ella
There’s no rush-
Its a long hard lesson, for Motherhood, as well as life, but if you can learn to s-l-o-w down, and not be in a rush to get to the next stage, it makes the journey so much sweeter.It seems ironic to post about running, and then tell you yo slow down doesn’t it? I can still feel my desperation to return to exercise, because I thought it would be *something* from my “old” life, and a chance of brief escapism, from this crazy new world of Motherhood. But as I have always told my clients; it takes nine months (unless you have a prem like my bebe but you get my point), to grow a baby, so give your body at least that long to recover. Your hormone levels remain high longer after birth, especially if you’re breastfeeding, leading to increased ligamentous laxity. This means more load through your joint, potential instability, and a greater risk of injury, which could impact your life far into the future. Not to mention the exhaustion of sleep deprivation. And don’t get me started on your pelvic floor -it will not thank you for premature pavement pounding, and you’re going to be needing it’s support for many years more than you’ll be using a running buggie! Walking, Babywearing and Clinical Pilates is a far gentler place to get started with postnatal fitness.
Aren’t we all experts in parenting until we actually have children? I’m sure my former self (that d***head who ordered the treadmill, and slept 8 hours minimum a night) would’ve been horrified at these suggestions but hey. I keep the good snack for the ours runs-the mini cheddars, the hula hoops, the bits that take a while to fish out, and buy me a bit of time. And if all else fails, I fling my iPhone her way and power those last few km’s home sponsored by peppa and paw patrol. I often use Cebeebies Podcasts to keep her entertained too.
I also keep some little toys in the pocked of the buggie to pass to her when she gets restless, bubbles, mini torch, she has a pinwheel she really enjoys holding and watching it spin too. And occasionally she’s happy to just watch the world go by.
There are lots of mobiles availabile that clip onto the pram too, so for younger children these could work really well.
Manage your expectations-
Advice that kind of applies for parenthood in general. If you set of determined to do a fifteen km with a sleeping child, or want to listen to a podcast in peace, or beat your target time, you may, more often than not end up disappointed. The best way to enjoy your buggy running experience is to try and keep open minded. I used to try and avoid ever stopping, I would jog on the spot if forced to stay at traffic lights, or double back on myself (mostly fed by a fear that if I stopped i almost certainly wouldn’t start up again I think). Running with a toddler, stops for all sorts of requests are kind of inevitable. Sometimes, she’s just not in the mood, and we abandon the expedition after a disappointingly short distance, rarely she sleeps peacefully (but sleep is not our friend in this household, or rather it is a long lost friend I pine for). More often than not there is terrible singing, eye spy, waving at vehicles, blowing of bubbles etc.
Plan your route-
You really have to think about your route more as a buggy runner, uneven surfaces, busy pavements, and even seemingly mild inclines can feel like everest when you first set out with the pram. Sometimes running to a playground, having a run around and then back can be a compromise for you both, or running to collect your little one from somewhere so they only do half the journey.
View bub as your team mate-
We’ve all worked in situations where a team mate chucks their toys out the pram, but now your team mate also may well shit themselves, burst into tears, and try abandon ship! but they can be your greatest cheerleader, its a great feeling when she says go mama go, or wheeee as we run down a hill. Its a joint effort, and sometimes just vocalising your internal pep talk can really help motivate you. All children are individuals, and have different temperaments, some will happily sit for your ten km, others will struggle for a swift 3km. Some are big enough and have enough head control to happily be bushed at six months, others really ought to be closer to a year. Being aware of their needs, will result in a more successful and enjoyable experience all round.
It’s not the same as regular running-
Be extra aware of your running position, and technique. you are adding an additional, abnormal load to your running. In an ideal world you will do runs without the buggie and add cross training to your routine. There is increased load on your wrist elbow, and shoulder joints, as well as a different loading through your spine, so despite possibly being a seasoned runner, it will take some adjusting. However I time you can adapt and get some great times or just great fun from it.
I will get around to sharing my love for park run in it’s own post, but check out your local, free, weekly timed 5km, most have buggie friendly routes, its great!
Make sure you consider things life lights if you’ll be running in the dark (eg anytime after 3pm at the moment), a safety wrist strap if you have no handlebar breaks, the condition of the pram, wheels, do you need a spare inner tube packed? An emergency nappy? Cash for a cab?
Choose the correct pram-
As with all things baby, there is a lot of false advertising out there, just because a buggie has running, jogging, or sport in the title does not make it ideal for being a running buggie. Of course you can run with whatever you choose, and deem fit, but for the safest and smoothest ride for bub and yourself, ask the experts. @runningbuggies seek specialised running prams and offer advice and the Facebook group Run Mummy Run is an excellent and extensive source of information and support.
I wish you many happy miles, and would love to hear your stories, top tips and experiences x