Running Times

How A Stroller Can Be Your Savior

By Kate Hartner 

As Springtime approaches, more runners find themselves skipping the treadmill and heading out to the roads. Not only does the season bring change to Marisa Hird, NRC team member, but her almost 5-month-old baby has shifted her world as well. For runners like Marisa, finding time in the day to leave the house and workout is not only difficult but expensive as well. A stroller, at most stages of parenthood, will become your best friend. For our outdoorsy moms and dads, we have some stroller advice for you. Stroller running is the perfect excuse to get your run in, get outside, and entertain your kids. Stay tuned for real stroller advice and stories from Marisa herself. 

NRC: Did you find it difficult to get back into running after having Jack?
MH: I was really lucky to be able to run my entire pregnancy. Physically, getting back into running wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. The first few runs were horrible and very strange, I was running with a weird new body, but felt much more normal after about a week or so! The hardest part for me coming back to running after having Jack was figuring out WHEN to run! The logistics - what time did he wake up/going to bed? What time does he need to eat again? What is Nick's (Marisa‚Äôs Husband) schedule? What is our work schedule? Way more to think about that just shutting the alarm off and getting out the door! 

NRC: Why did you start stroller running? 
MH: I knew stroller running was in my future once I found out a baby was in our future. I knew a REALLY good jogging stroller was absolutely going to be worth every penny. Once the spring weather finally broke, we both NEEDED to get outside. It was only a matter of time before we made it out the door! We did a few test "runs" around the basement first of course! 

NRC: Did you start running with the stroller out of convenience or enjoyment? 
MH: Definitely convenience. Jack is only 15 pounds so I know it's only going to get harder, but it's not really enjoyable pushing 30lbs around on a run. In my crazy competitive mind, I DO enjoy the strength and resistance workout I get with every step! I want Jack to enjoy going out for a run and being outside as much as Nick and I both do - and so far he does! I'm hoping this is a good way to establish that enjoyment and routine. In terms of convenience, it is so much easier to just get out the door with him than have to figure out everyone's schedule just to get a run in. Most days, I wouldn't have the time or the opportunity to run if I didn't take him with me, so to me, the challenge of pushing him is better than not running at all. 

NRC: Where is your stroller from / what kind would you recommend? 
MH: I would recommend Thule or BOB! We received ours as a gift but Naperville Running Company carries Thule! 

NRC: Do you go at a normal pace when running with the stroller? 
MH: Normal is very relative right now. No, my pace is slower when I run with the stroller. My usual "easy day" pace feels much harder with the stroller. It's doable but makes for a much tougher workout! 

NRC: Does baby Jack like it? 
MH: So far he really does! He usually just falls asleep. I think it will be fun when he's a little older because right now, I'm just quacking at the ducks like a crazy lady, acting like he knows what I'm talking about. 

NRC: What advice can you give to moms trying to get back into the running groove after having a baby? 
MH: Something I learned really quickly after becoming a mom is that everything is hard. Learning how to live this new life...really hard. Eating (most of the time with one hand) sleeping, leaving the house, taking a shower, doing laundry, going to work, everything that you used to do on a daily basis without even thinking about it is really hard. Getting back into a workout routine is no different, but I will tell you it is SO WORTH it. My first run was horrible but I got through it. Like anything else that is really hard - you can either choose to push through it because it will eventually get easier, or you don't. I choose to continue to push and I'm not regretting it!  

NRC: How often do you find yourself running with the stroller opposed to without? 
MH: Right now, I'm running with the stroller just about every day. Once I get back into heavier training, I'm going to need to recruit a training partner (or a babysitter) to get my hard workouts in. Getting a workout in every day (or almost) is very important to my husband and I. It's part of who we are and most of the time it's how we keep our sanity! I also have some pretty lofty running goals this year - I have to see what this mom strength is all about!  Between the three of us - it's not always easy or convenient to figure out, but we're making it work! 

NRC has plenty of hardworking, running parents just like Marisa. One thing parents do well is give advice! Feel free to stop in and ask for running advice, because we are here to help in any way we can. 

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