3.31.2011

Racing with a jogging stroller

As a running mom eventually you will come to the day when you need to decide how you are going to run....with your child in a jogging stroller or solo with your child being taken care of by someone else. If you are a competitive runner, this question will not only come up during training but during racing.

I am a running mom and I am a racing mom. For the most part, I race solo with my darling husband watching my daughter. However, at times I do and I have to admit it, I want to race with my daughter. She puts in so much time into my training as well either by being in the jogging stroller or by waiting patiently for me to finish running and deserves to be part of the big day.

How do I prepare for racing with a jogging stroller?
  1. Assess the course and distance - Is the distance less than or equal to a distance we have trained at? Is the course jogging stroller friendly? I have never found one race director that doesn't quickly response or seem annoyed with my question about the course and if it is applicable for a stroller. Most of the time, I have a pretty good idea from the course description but I always double check.
  2. How does the timing of the run fit into your child's daily rhythms? Moms know when their children tend to have the hardest times. My daughter has a tough hour prior to dinner on most nights. If I were to head out into a race with her at this time, it may be a bit more challenging. I won't say impossible but I will say, be prepared.
  3. Prepare myself - This is the easy part. Make sure I'm in my running gear and have what I need to run.
  4. Prepare my daughter - Involve your child in the excitement and the fun of the race. It is something special and yes, she can have banners or streamers or other fun elements. Prepare for her needs - I make sure my daughter has her water, snacks, and any fun toys she may like. Of course, we train knowing toys stay inside and even some fun friends (aka stuffed animals) are used to being tied onto the stroller.
  5. Run, have fun, and congratulate your little one for her accomplishment too! - After each run I do with my daughter, training or racing, I always high five her and tell her "good run!". She may not have been running, but she was there allowing me to run and sometimes that may be the tougher part. FYI - often after runs she then switches to the runner and gets her friends buckled in and pushes the stroller!

Go Baby Go!!!