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Group Running with a Stroller

Are you a stroller runner but shy away from running with groups? Do you love to run with friends but are nervous to do it with your stroller?

Last Wednesday evening, my husband and I took our three little ones (ages 5, 4 and 2) on their first group run with our favorite local running specialty store, Future Track. It was an absolute blast, they loved it and have been asking all week to do it again. I don’t know why it took us so long to do our first family group run.

If you have never taken your kids on a group run before, I encourage you to do it. Challenge yourself, have some fun and let your kids be a part of it. Here are a few tips, many of which apply not only for group running with kids, but running with kids in general.

  1. Call the store beforehand to see if the route is stroller-friendly. Most likely they will say yes, but this way everyone is prepared and they are expecting a stroller runner or may even change the route to accommodate a stroller.
  2. Lower your expectations of speed and run for fun. Anytime you run with a stroller, I recommend that you don’t take it too seriously. Even if you are a frontrunner, don’t expect to hang with the top group while pushing a child. Remind yourself that it’s just a workout and you are out there to be a part of your local running community – kids and all!
  3. Prepare yourself for a killer workout (c’mon, anyone who pushes a kid while running knows that no run is “easy”).
  4. Bring along snacks, books or fun stroller games for your kid to stay entertained. The group run was covering a 6-mile loop which meant our kids would be strapped in for a good 45+ minutes. This can be a long time for a kid (or 3!) to sit still and happy. We packed our usual stroller snacks: pretzels, crackers, dried fruit and nuts. I also tossed in a few favorite books for the kids to look at.
  5. Expect your kids to have a blast! I was not prepared for how much the kids would love group running. All three have been talking about it non-stop since, calling it a “race” and asking why we didn’t get medals afterward. What I didn’t realize was how much more fun a group run was for all of us! They loved having people to watch up ahead and chase after!

If you are a runner who also happens to be a parent, I encourage you to get out there and run with a group every now and then with your kids. It may take a little extra effort to get out the door. Okay, I’ll be real, it took a lot of extra effort to re-arrange car seats, load two strollers (we brought a single + double), prep dinner and PJ’s for the ride home, but it will guarantee a great workout and a fun family activity for all!

Do you participate in group runs with a stroller? I’d love to hear about your experiences, tips and stories (good or bad!).

#strollerrunner, Babies, Dads, Family-friendly, Fitness, Moms, running

Caitlin Jacobsen is a Run Stroller Run contributor, mother of three (ages 5, 3.5 and 1.5), competitive runner for over 15 years and currently fits in about 40 miles/week running with her triple stroller. Running is Caitlin’s meditation, her biggest passion, her release, her endorphin boost, her survival tactic and her happiness.

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