You are on your way to implementing the full four strategies toward work.run.mom. You’ve set up smart scheduling and had some real conversations with your partner about how they’ll contribute to your running. You’re ready for my third strategy. This one comes into play when smart scheduling and partnership don’t quite work. This is the strategy you’ll employ when despite all your efforts, your kids need to join you on a run.
Let’s be honest, it’s hard to run while pushing a stroller. Kids can be wiggly and noisy and distracting, the stroller itself is heavy and confined to mostly smooth terrains, and your natural arm and leg movements aren’t possible when holding onto a stroller handle. That said, you’re here because you want to make this work. So, let’s make it happen with the help of a running stroller!
When A was about 6 months old, we bought our first Bob. The Bob is the Cadillac of running strollers – I wouldn’t recommend any other one. I can push, maneuver, and stop it with a single finger. And its giant real rubber wheels are equally useful on trails and on curbs. If you want to get started while your child is still too young to sit up, that’s an option with the travel system, though we waited until A could sit comfortably to run with him.
When B was born, we upgraded (?) to a Double Bob Jogging Stroller or Duallie. These look monstrously huge and in reality, yes they are. That said, it still fits through a regular doorway, along a regular sidewalk, and into a regular trunk of a car (albeit, nothing else will fit, and you’ll fight with it to fold it down small enough). AND it still handles like the single Bob – manageable with a finger. The added handbrake and safety wrist strap are valuable enhancements, too.
All this said, you need to be able to keep your kids entertained in order to successfully go on long runs with them in tow. And I’ve discovered that every kid requires different tricks and tools to keep them calm, happy, and relatively quiet on long runs (or let’s be honest – run/walks… these things are heavy). Let me tell you about mine.
A requires a hot juice (yes hot – don’t ask) in one pocket and a bowl of goldfish in the other, a blanket or sweatshirt, his hat, and a refill of snacks for when he gets antsy later on. B requires a bottle, a blanket, and increasingly, a matching bowl of Cheerios so he can be like A.
Additionally, I talk almost constantly to A. We point out trucks and trains, squirrels and dogs. He asks if each house we pass is ours. He notices every playground and we’ve begun taking creative routes to avoid them!
We also have the handbar console, which contains my phone, coffee, and bags of extra snacks. I also put my wallet in one of the seatback pockets, a diaper bag in the basket beneath the stroller, and a few books/soft toys just in case. In other words, just the gear weighs 20+ lbs, plus the combined 30+ lbs of my kids and however much the stroller itself weighs.
Bottom line – it’s possible to run with a Double Bob, but it is difficult. I often end up going on long 4-5 mile walks instead of short runs. Try out a few options and let me know what works best for you. Share your suggestions and thoughts in the comments!
Side note – these running strollers are incredibly expensive new, so we scoured garage sales and Craigslist until we found a used one in good condition. I recommend you do the same! They tend to hold their value for quite some time.