Nervous? Excited? I remember all those feelings as I squeezed back into the lycra for my first buggy run. As founder of Running Buggies .com I have pulled together some top tips to help you get started when you begin to go out with your little one in the running buggy.
Mum's health - It's not the time to ignore pain
Make sure you have had your 6 week sign off from the doctor to start gentle exercise. Literally 'walk before you run' and if you experience any discomfort in your pelvis or lower back then slow down. Now isn't the time to push through pain. Build up gradually, especially if you haven't been regularly exercising pre birth/pregnancy.
Once walking is easy try a run/walk (2mins/2mins) pattern. Many people have found Jeffing (a method of run/walk explained on the RMR site) a useful way to run /walk back to fitness. Coach to 5k is also a popular plan too. http://www.runmummyrun.co.uk/running-and-training/what-is-jeffing/
Pelvic Floor! It's one of those British things that isn't openly discussed but do your pelvic floor exercises regularly to ensure there are no leaks. Remember running is a high impact sport!
Ensuring you have a good buggy running position will help prevent injury too. Check out our blog 'Top 5 tips for buggy running' for advice on handle bar height etc.
The standard recommendation is 6 months to run with your baby but it's all about neck control. Ensure the baby is as flat as possible to reduce stresses and strain on the neck. Of course having a proper running buggy with good suspension is essential. Having good head control also means they can move their head should the covers be dislodged and cover their mouth.
Just FYI - An older child will prefer a more upright position to look out!
What if my baby cries?
This does happen to us all. Like any parenting diagnostic it begins with are they; hungry, tired, have a dirty nappy, cold/hot, unwell? So ways we deal with it are;
- time it around a sleep & when tummies are full.
- allow them time to get used to it with some short trips to start with.
- have dry snacks for them to munch on.
- provide toys but attach them securely! Sophie the giraffe will have long escaped back to the safari otherwise.
- dress them in a few more layers than you, factoring in a wind chill.
- use the raincover! Many a wingey run has been saved by getting bubba out the elements.
- nursery rhymes or a frozen soundtrack blasting out the phone? Rather embarrassing but makes you run faster.
- Rebase your expectations, a short run might be more possible
- Split the outing with a park stop for older kids.
Finally, join a Facebook community group like Buggy Runners to share your experiences and be part of this special band of brothers (& sisters)!
Author: Wendy Rumble, a founder of RunningBuggies.com and running mum of 2 girls.