Getting the Most Out of Your Jogging Stroller
When I wrote 8 tips to improve runs with a jogging stroller, more questions were raised like which stroller to buy and where to run with one.
There are a lot of options with brands and styles out there and an even wider range of cost. While a quality stroller can be a bit of an investment, buying the stroller you need with these things in mind can make it worth it.
Four features to look for:
- Big durable bike wheels are the easiest to push. This really matters as the kids get older and heavier. You’ll swear your tires are low until you just realize you’re pushing around 70lbs of kids.
- Height. Some strollers have adjustable handles which is great for finding a comfortable fit. It’s vital if you’ll be sharing pushing duties with someone of vastly different height.
- Hand brake. Not all strollers have them, but they’re good to have around especially if you’re running any hills.
- Shade. This varies a lot by stroller, but sun in the eyes will make a kid squeal and end a run before it begins. I’d sacrifice weight of the stroller for more shade. There are shade add-ons, but save yourself the trouble and get a stroller that comes with good cover if you can.
Where to find:
Jogging strollers are available in many stores such as Target or Babies R Us. I highly recommend going to a store and looking at models and not just purchasing online.
Also be sure to check online sales like Craigslist and swap sites. Lots of parents buy very nice strollers that see very little use, so you can get a practically new stroller at a very high discount.
More than one kid, should you get a double stroller?
If you get a double jogger, remember that’s double the children to push. If your children are far apart in age, that can be a significant weight total plus depending on the stroller design, it could make one side heavier. For me, that would be pushing 57 lbs of just kids around and the baby is only 6 months old. So we’re sticking with a single.
Where to run:
The best stroller, of course, is one you use. It doesn’t matter if you buy top of the line if it sits inside and never gets any miles on it. I’ve found two areas I really like running with my stroller.
Southshore: Personally I like Audubon Park because it’s nice and paved without a lot of turns since it’s a wide 1.8 mile loop. There’s only one area where you have to look out for traffic entering and exiting the park. It’s pretty scenic, lots of other people out, and many benches to stop, rest, and feed the baby as needed. Plus if you’re a zoo membership holder like my family, you can get in some short early visits to the zoo to make the most of your outing.
Northshore: Tammany Trace taking off from Koop Drive at Kids Konnection. Again, a nice paved wide surface. You do have to cross more roads here but crossing are well marked and I’ve been lucky to not have to stop too often. There’s lots of nice long stretches without crossings and I like not having to turn the stroller very much until I want to head back. The playground at Koop is one of the best around. After a run, it’s a nice spot for the kids to dig in the sand, swing, jump, and exhaust themselves.
How will you get it around?
If you’re always running from your house, it’s not a big deal, but if you’re going out for runs, your stroller will need to be able to fit in your car. Be sure to consider your vehicle space when choosing a stroller. Some fold up really nicely, others do not. If you’re putting it in a minivan, it doesn’t matter, but if you’re working with a Civic, definitely look at folded size.
Whatever stroller you buy, give yourself time to get used to it. It’s pretty different running with a stroller, but it can be a great way to keep getting miles in even with kids.