Q: Why do I need a “running” buggy as opposed to a “normal” buggy?
A: A running buggy is designed to provide a safe, smooth ride for your child. It limits the about of impact to the little one created by going at increased speeds. The key features which do this are large inflatable tyres, rear wheel suspension and a fixed front wheel. In addition to this there are features such as a 5 point safety harness, wrist strap and some have a handbrake to slow you down when running downhill. They have a wide rear wheel base to enable you to run without shortening your stride too. Many also have adjustable handlebars to help with runner posture and differing runner/parent heights.
Q: When can I start running with my baby in a buggy?
A: The industry wide recommendation is 6 months, when the child’s spine and neck are strong enough to handle the movement. However some models are even older (Bugaboo Jogger states 9 months) so it’s worth checking.
Q: Why have such massive wheels?
A: Many buggies have 16 inch wheels on the rear to provide a really smooth ride AND make it easier for you to push (very much appreciated!) However the bigger you go the better so models such as the Phil & Teds Sub 4 and the Thule Glide are 20 & 18 inch. The canny folks at Mountain Buggy Terrain now throw in free 12inch rear wheels for urban use.
Q: Fixed front wheel or the option to swivel?
A: It’s important to have a fixed front wheel for running because if you don’t and you hit a rock/stone/object it will jot the buggy off course. Losing sudden control could jump the buggy into a road or pull you over so it’s uber important. However this function makes these buggies harder to steer. Once you get the hang of it it’s like a scooter or wheelchair, putting pressure in a direction to get it to go that way. But some models have the option to turn on a swivel option which is much better for day to day/urban use.
Q: Why do some have a handbrake?
A: When running downhill the weight of the buggy increases in force on you so having a handbrake to use to slow you down (like when you are cycling downhill) it helps increase the safety of your speed.
Q: How do I fit it in my boot/house/ garage?
A: All models have rear wheels that quickly release and remove. Whip them off and store in a bag to prevent a muddy car boot. Some (mostly fixed front wheel models) also have a removable front wheel to help with storage too.
Q: Do I have to change the way I run with a buggy?
A: No but here are a few watch outs. Use the wrist strap, which is there for safety in case you trip and let go. Get used to pushing with one arm and swinging with the other. (Change over the wrist strap when you do this.) Try not to lean on the handlebars, keep upright for your back health. Ensure your elbows are at 90 degrees by setting the handlebars at the right height which again helps ensure you are upright. Do not change your stride; a running buggy has the space to allow for this. Avoid the temptation of pointing your toes out, face them front ways, again the running buggy should allow for this.
Q: I’m terrified of getting a puncture!
A: In quite a few years of running this has never happened to me whilst out, so don’t worry. As long as you check your tyres you should notice it before you leave home. I recommend using a gel sealant (like Joe’s Yellow Gel) or any suitable for bikes. You can also carry a mini tyre pump and fixing kit if you are handy and like to be prepared. OR failing that I’m a big fan of have enough cash for a taxi home!
Q: Do some models have a newborn option?
A: The majority of models have options to add car seats or bassinettes.
Q: How do you have a stress free run when running with a buggy?
A: Try and take a few bits with you in the various pockets in the buggy; A change roll with wipes & a nappy, kids snacks, drinks for you both if you have the space and some toys. But tie them on!! Time the run for nap time. Wrap the passenger up warm and/or protect from the sun. Most models have sun shields as well as rain covers but a large canopy normally does the trick.
Q: Where do I run with my buggy?
A: There is nothing more annoying than planning a run and a route, to be greeted with a gate you can’t access or a muddy field you can’t push through! Although at least 70% of my buggy runs are often practical (errands or the park to break it up) it’s fantastic to run without traffic next to you. Obviously there is the RMR community to ask but also look into cycle friendly routes. Reservoirs or national trust places can often have good paths. We are hoping to develop a list of routes in the future on our site to help people.
Q: What are the running buggies on the market?
A: Most manufacturers have a running buggy model and the market is expanding with the increase in popularity of running. In the States the running buggy market is much more established. Models include; Bugaboo Jogger, Britax BoB (various models) Mountain Buggy Terrain, Out & About Nipper Sport, Phil & Teds Sub 4, THULE Urban Glide, THULE Glide and THULE Chariot.