Running Buggies.com were lucky enough to have a chance to have a chat with Lindsy James, a lovely northern lass who is training to break the Half Marathon buggy running world record!
Tell us about your previous running background?
I've been running for over 20 years and buggy running for about 2 months. I run competitively for Kimberworth Striders in Rotherham and race a variety of distances from 5k to marathons. My all time best for the half is 1.24 and 3.08 for the marathon.
Did you run during pregnancy and when did you start again afterwards?
I ran and cross trained throughout my pregnancy right up to the week before giving birth on the 34th week. I did extensive research on what was safe for the baby as it can be a controversial subject but a lot of the research is dated and vague. The most important advise I could give is to not start anything new your body isn't already use to. I also train to heart rate so I made sure I wasn't pushing too hard. Also if you feel any pain or discomfort stop and listen to your body. I was worried about the recovery time after a c section as I had heard many horror stories. Many sources recommend over 6 weeks before returning to light exercise (no impact). I am an impatient person but wanted to make sure I didn't put myself back even further by not being sensible. I went to see a physio who specialises in women's health and we worked on a programme of core and pelvic floor work. It's vital to ensure your abdominal's return back to normal before running. She also started me on a couch to 5k programme which I found frustrating as I was fit enough to run further but the purpose was to make sure I didn't damage the muscles internally which had undergone major surgery and can take months to heal. For any women reading this please note my return to running was very fast and isn't what is recommended for the general population
How much did you know about running buggies and where get you get information?
Both my husband and I are very active and our careers revolve around health and fitness. We would like to bring our son Archie up to enjoy being fit and healthy and we also think it's important for him to be outside in the fresh air. So when we found out that I was pregnant the first thing we were excited about buying was a running buggy, sad I know. We spent hours doing Google searches on the best buggies, comparing cost, performance, fixed/none fixed wheels, on/off road it was as difficult as buying a car (If only Runningbuggies.com had exsisted then!). At this point the World Record Challenge (which I'll touch on later) wasn't in my mind so we bought a second hand Bob Revolution Pro as it seemed to rate one of the best in many online reviews.
How often would you go out buggy running before you started serious training?!
During the time I was pregnant around 12 weeks I lost my mum suddenly to cancer. Having my first child without her around has brought me so much sadness. I run for many reasons but one is to deal with my thoughts and emotions so when I am out with Archie I see things on every run which reminds me of my mum. This is where the idea of attempting to achieve the World Record of the Fastest Women running with a pram and baby over a half marathon came from. I could raise money and the profile for the 2 charities who supported my mum The Rotherham Hospice and Macmillan Cancer, and achieve this with her grandson who she never met.
The current record time is 1.30.51 and for those who think 'Yes but you can run 1.24 it's easy'. You may not have done this with a buggy and a child who will be 8 1/2 months old! Serious training 6 days a week is under way as well as me changing running buggies to give me every chance possible to get the time I need. I am now running with the Thule Glide which is far more of a racing buggy than the Bob. It's more responsive, lighter and takes less effort to run with so I am running a lot quicker now.
What do you take with you on your buggy runs?
The maximum distance I have run with the buggy is 8 miles and other than my son and rain cover I don't take anything else with me on my runs. I should be sensible and take a puncture repair kit but I need to learn how to change the tyre first!
What do you do to keep your baby happy and not screaming during a run?
I am lucky that Archie is content in the running buggy. Maybe it's the motion he was use to in my tummy with all my runs during pregnancy. He usually sleeps or watches the sky and trees pass by. I am praying he does this when we attempt the World Record but he will be a different person then so I am apprehensive about that.
Do you have any posture advice for buggy running?
I am no pro buggy runner but what I have learned is to try and keep the same style as you would when running without a buggy. Making sure you keep upright and strong in your core. I run 1 handed steering with my dominant hand and maintain my usual running arm action on the other side to power me forwards. I also run slightly to the side of the buggy unless going up hill when I drop behind to push two handed
So keep an eye out to see if I achieve my goal by breaking the World Record on the 5th June at the Ramathon in Derby. You can see my weekly training plans and life buggy running at buggyrunning.blogspot.co.uk or if you would like to donate to the cancer charities I am supporting please visit virginmoneygiving.com/lindsy