Thirteen miles of running isn't an easy feat for most people, and throw in a 25-pound stroller with a baby or toddler inside and it becomes even tougher. With some training, though, you can accomplish your goal of running a half-marathon. Running with your stroller takes a bit more work, but offers you the opportunity to spend time with your little one while giving him some exciting views.
Check with your pediatrician before you start running with your child. Stroller maker BOB recommends babies reach 8 months before you start jogging, while maker Baby Jogger recommends 6 months. Your doctor’s decision might depend on your baby’s size, control and where you’re running.
Invest in a good jogging stroller, if you don’t already have one. A jogging stroller with the option of a fixed front wheel is the best option for running. Jogging strollers have specially designed tires, shocks and harnesses designed for safety. A normal four-wheeled stroller isn’t smooth or stable enough for jogging, plus running will be a lot more comfortable for both of you with a jogging stroller.
Look over the manual for your jogging stroller to familiarize yourself with its function and safety factors.
Sign up for a half-marathon, if you haven’t already so you have some motivation to begin training. Check with organizers to ensure you can run the race with a stroller. If you already run a few miles, three to four times a week, 12 to 14 weeks of training should be enough, according to the Active website. If you don’t have any sort of running routine, Active recommends a half-marathon at least six months away.
Choose a training program appropriate for your level of running. Many running magazines and online websites offer free training programs that range from a beginning level to advanced. Programs usually involve a combination of walking and jogging in the beginning combined with cross-training such as swimming, biking or rowing.
Keep your elbows bent and the stroller close to your body when running for proper form. Decide whether you’re more comfortable running with both hands on the handlebar or one on the handlebar while you pump the other. The magazine "Running Times" recommends checking your foot positioning every once in a while to ensure your toes are pointing forward rather than out, which sometimes happens as you push-off from the inside of your foot to push the weight of the stroller.
Keep safety in mind during your training and the half-marathon. Most jogging strollers have a strap attached to the handlebar. Wrap this around your wrist to prevent your stroller from getting away from you on any hills. Use the brakes whenever you step away from your stroller.
Keep up the maintenance on your jogging stroller. Check the tires and screws regularly. If you’re not comfortable doing the regular maintenance, a bike shop is probably able to look over the stroller and make any repairs. Bring snacks, water and toys for smaller children to help entertain while training. Strap anything onto the stroller during the half-marathon, though, so it doesn’t get tossed out.