Our next featured guest blogger is Ami, Buggyfit mum and keen runner. Here she talks through her experiences and insights to running with a buggy. You should only ever start running when your body is fully healed and recovered, but once it is, away you go...
Ami’s Top 6 tips for Buggy Running
As a first-time mum with a ‘lockdown baby’, having my running buggy during the isolated months of maternity leave was a godsend. As such, my daughter was regularly trotted out in all seasons and weathers to provide us both with some fresh air and routine. I am now back working full time, but the buggy is still well used – I do a literal ‘nursery run’ twice a week and Lilian loves meeting people at Parkrun.
So, here are the learnings I have taken from my buggy running journey so far…
1. Better to have a buggy, than no buggy at all!
Don’t spend so much time researching your buggy that you run out of maternity leave - this is a great time to gradually build up fitness (plus your baby is still light!) If you buy second hand they are great value - you can always sell it again and ‘upgrade’ later if you really love buggy running .
There are lots of great buggies out there but the key features you need are:
Three big wheels & lightweight for manoeuvrability
A brake, wrist strap and a secure seat for safety
Some storage space for essentials
Suspension if you want to go off-road.
2. Slow down to speed up.
Invest time with your accomplice! They need to learn what it is all about too. Don’t aim for 5k PBs, instead stop occasionally, chat about the squirrels and tell your baby how great they are doing. Even better, make it fun - run from one playground to another or to feed the ducks. The happier they are, the less worry or tantrums you will deal with mid-run.
3. Go wild.
I love running off the beaten track, this sometimes means nappy changes in muddy fields and feeding on towpaths in the rain. Embrace it, enjoy it and be adventurous. The experience and memories are so worth it!
4. Be prepared.
Master the art of the minimalist changing bag. Adjust contents for how long you plan to be out for and the weather. Always take your phone (charged up), a muslin (baby utility tool!) and think about your ‘puncture plan’ (may be a repair kit or a taxi!).
5. Safety first
Wrist strap on, what if you fell and the buggy rolled away?
Harness adjusted correctly – we don’t need Houdini escaping mid run or flying out.
Most manufacturers recommend an age of at least 6 months before starting to run with your baby, but only you can assess the combination of your baby’s neck strength and the head support your buggy provides. Consider the terrain and if in doubt, wait a bit longer and walk.
6. Challenge yourself
Set yourself a goal for motivation and tell someone else (to make you accountable!). It might be to get out for the first time, complete C25K, go to Parkrun or do a 10k (there are some which accept buggies!) Being a mum is hard and setting a goal will help you find the energy after a sleepless night and tantrum breakfast, to still stick on your trainers and run.
I won’t lie - buggy running is hard work, but I promise, the more you do, the easier it gets. I have found I am now getting PBs on my normal runs from the strength training buggy running provides!
Happy running and perhaps see you at Parkrun.