Why I Love Stroller Running

Over the past couple of weeks, Lila and I have gotten well acquainted with the jogging stroller.  As a runner, I’ve definitely heard my fair share of complaining about jogging strollers.  They’re heavy, they can be cumbersome, and it takes some mindfulness to make sure your form doesn’t suffer.  But to be honest, I actually really love stroller running.  It was one of my most treasured memories with my son, and I was really looking forward to stroller runs when I found out I was pregnant again.  So in this weeks training recap, I want to share a couple of reasons that I absolutely love stroller running.

Why I Love Stroller Running

  • Storage – Jogging strollers have a lot of room for all of the things a mother runner needs. Snacks? In the bottom of the stroller. Next to the diapers. Water? In the handle caddy. Keys? Right there in the little pocket next to the water. Cell phone? Yup, same place. Being able to run without physically carrying anything on my body is pretty damn nice.
  • Stroller Naps – Lila is a great sleeper, and she does really well sleeping in the stroller. Especially if we have the carseat cover and portable white noise machine. The stroller nap is a bit of a bonus of us, but I know a lot of moms who swear that the only time their babies sleep is while they’re moving. So it can be a nice break from baby-wearing or mindlessly driving around town if you’ve got a baby that has a harder time napping in the crib.
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  • Time Flexibility – This is huge for me. My husband does not have a consistent schedule, so it’s really hard to predict when I will get a run in these days. I’m sure the treadmill downstairs will come in handy plenty of times, but it’s also really nice to be able to get a run in outside without needing to secure some sort of childcare. So as long as the weather is nice, and I don’t have work commitments, I can sleep in if I want to and still get my run later in the day, even if Henry isn’t home to watch Lila.
  • Extra Resistance – This is something I don’t love in the moment, but I am sure I will be thankful for later in my running journey. I’m not strong enough to do any technical trails, and my body isn’t ready for anything like hill repeats or picking up the pace. So for now, my main method of strength training while running is the additional resistance of pushing the jogging stroller. And let me tell you, you notice every single tiny hill when you’re pushing a carseat and baby up it.
  • Early Introduction – I will never force my kids to run. Enrique has never really shown much interest, so he will bike with me occasionally, but he’s not a fan of running. However, I do think stroller running is a great way to get little kids exposed to the benefits of running. They get used to being outside (sometimes in not completely ideal weather), they see mommy working, and they are exposed to a positive experience of running. Running is so often used as a punishment in other sports, so I love knowing that both of my kids have seen that running can be fun all by itself. Plus, everyone benefits from some sunshine and fresh air once a day.
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  • Improved Sleep – There are studies that show that babies who are exposed to at least 20 minutes of direct sunlight sleep better at night. Putting Lila in her stroller lets me double duty getting her outside with getting my workout in. And there’s nothing a new mom loves more than EASY multi-tasking. And extra sleeps!

If you’re looking for recommendations on how to make the most of your stroller running days, check out this post from The Mother Runners, 12 Genius Tips for Stroller Running.

After a full day of rest, I was ready (but anxious) to finally get back into the CrossFit box for the first time in about 2 months.  The workout was easily modified, since I’m not particularly interested in box jumping my first week (or couple) back.  I felt very comfortable with the snatch movement, and was fairly happy with how I was moving throughout the workout.  I will say that the barbell felt about 15 pounds heavier than I remember it feeling pre-pregnancy.  Tuesday, I got in a nice easy interval run in the morning, and a quick core workout at home in the afternoon.  My dad came down for a quick visit with Lila and Enrique, and both kids were very happy to spend a couple of hours hanging out with him.

Wednesday was a rest day for me, and I met up with a girlfriend to go on a nice, long walk while Lila took a nap in the jogging stroller.  Lila was a perfect angel for the entire walk, and I was happy to be able to catch up and get some fresh air.  I was hoping to get back in the box on Thursday, but my husbands work schedule just wasn’t cooperating.  So I opted for the GlowBody PT lower body strength workout that is included in the postpartum plan.  Fortunately, I was able to get out for another easy run that afternoon on the greenway.

I got in my second CrossFit workout on Friday, after working in a longer walk in the morning.  This Saturday was my first “long run.”  I didn’t have a mileage goal, but I had planned out my time intervals.  When I finally finished up, I was really happy to see that I had gotten close to a 10k.  One of Enrique’s classmates spent a couple of hours at our house when I got back from my run, and while it was a little chaotic to have 3 kids under one roof (for me), it was really nice to see him having such a good time.  He is such a social kid, and my husband and I really want to make sure we aren’t saying no to more activities than we need to, especially after these past couple of years and the limited social interaction available.

We spent the rest of the weekend just relaxing and hanging out as a family.  We broke out the Christmas tree, and I plan to have the majority of our Christmas decorations up sometime this week.  I forgot how quickly the hours rush by when you’ve got a baby to feed every three hours, but we’re all doing our best to keep adjusting.  Lila has been a great sleeper, but it’s still really hard to make space for cleaning, working out, spending time with Enrique, and everything else we want to get done in 1-2 hour windows.  I know this season will be behind before I know it, though, so I’m trying to enjoy the time with Lila while she needs me this much.

This Weeks Workouts

Total Miles: 14.27  Miles
Total Workouts: 4
How the Run Felt
Last week was my first week of experimenting with very short run/walk intervals, and I felt fairly unstable while running, but without any pain. My PT had told me to expect to feel this way and reminded me that the strength that keeps me stable will return, and I need to take it very easy and slow until I feel stronger.  I was really happy that this week, I did notice I’m starting to feel more like “myself” when I run.  Meaning less instability and getting closer to a more natural gate.  I still feel like I’m running similar to how I would after an injury (very cautiously), but it seems like I’m getting closer and closer to normal-ish.

Relate Post: 6 Weeks PostPartum Update

My weekday runs, I kept the run/walk intervals short and even.  I had just as much walking as I did running, and this felt really good for an easy weekday run.  I knew I wanted to push it just a little on Saturday, so I added one interval and extended the run time while shortening the walk.  The last two intervals were challenging, but not in any sort of painful way.  More that I could feel myself fatiguing, which honestly felt amazing.  I haven’t felt muscle/aerobic fatigue in so long.  I don’t know how long it is going to take me to build back to running without walking intervals, but I’m happy to keep taking it slow and steady.

How the WODs Felt
Getting back into the box was……interesting.  I can definitely feel my lack of core strength, which isn’t surprising.  It actually motivated me to make sure I’m getting in my core work at home and doing all of my PT exercises to help rebuild that strength.  I know I will be scaling for a while, but it’s really nice to be able to workout without a giant belly in my way, although I definitely have a limited range of motion in my hamstrings.  Lifting from the floor (instead of the hang position) is also going to be an adjustment, but it felt really good to have a barbell back in my hands, even if it felt like it weighed 50 pounds instead of 35.

What I’ve Been Listening
This whole postpartum thing has really made me appreciate podcasts.  The first time I went out for a walk solo, it felt amazing to turn on a little true crime and just zone out for a little while.  I don’t listen to anything when I’m pushing the jogging stroller, and I miss my entertainment.  I’ve been mostly catching up on my favorite series like Trust Me, Morbid, Run Hard Mom Hard, and Crime Junkie.

What Went Well
Finally getting back into the CrossFit box.

What Went Shitty
I’m still on the hunt for a sports bra that I will love.

Plans to Improve Next Week
Try to stay consistent with getting in 3-4 runs and 3-4 workouts as long as Lila keeps sleeping through the night.

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