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The original online UK specialist retailer in Running Buggies. Here to help you know which is the right running buggy for you & your baby from a fellow buggy running mum.

Blog articles & running buggy accessories too.

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Blog

Helpful articles, sometimes interviews and maybe even personal experiences written by us on all things buggy running related.

Filtering by Tag: Blog

Adventures on a Mountain Buggy UNIRIDER

Wendy Rumble

I’m going to assume you have no idea what on earth a Unirider is and take it from the top. Describing it is tricky, sort of like a wheel on a stick that you can push your kid on. Luckily, we live in a modern age so I can put us all out of our misery with a picture or two.

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Whilst it’s very simple to put together, it took me about 20 mins as Austin enjoys playing games such as hide the screw, eat the bolt, and if in doubt, run off with it. It could be done in a matter of minutes without the help of any children, making it perfect for travelling and holidays – ha, sorry. I mean when you go away for a ‘change of scene’.

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Obviously, when it first arrived we had the classic wrestling and fighting between the boys, which is always so fun #blessed. After a few falls, the one year old admitted defeat and realised life was way better in the buggy where he could eat snacks and sleep. With that established, I was keen to get out and see if the Unirider could handle the farm terrain. We live in the bottom of a valley, so not only do we have the standard countryside lumps, bumps and gravel, there’s also the small matter of climbing Everest every time you need to check the sheep/go to the park. With the exception of a near miss involving a fox hole (whether the blame lies with me, the driver, or Jake who leaned over to look down the hole, is still under discussion…), the Unirider fared surprisingly well. It proved particularly useful when we were in the throngs of lambing and Jake wanted to help but complained after walking more than 500 steps. Side note – it’s possible to clock up 30,000+ steps per day when lambing, so Jake’s effort of not quite 2% of this = quite a lot of frustration from all parties.
 

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With the Unirider being a hit on the farm, we ventured into London over the Easter hols for a test run in the city; plus, I really wanted to go to Crosstown Doughnuts. I get really nervous about taking the children anywhere near a road so I was delighted to have them both contained. The Unirider doesn’t really take up much space so it was super easy to take on the train/ tube/ bus. It handily balances on the back of the buggy too, which was great as we had all hands available to entertain (pin down) the kids for the 40-minute train ride into town. We visited the National Army Museum, which has a toddler friendly pre-bookable soft play – great for the boys to let off steam. We didn’t manage to stay for the full hour as Austin was screaming blue murder every time another child touched the steering wheel of the army tank…..things got too awkward. After that, Jake happily sat on the Unirider for over an hour of walking across town and Austin slept in the buggy.

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For those of you who don’t enjoy lots of words, here’s a short summary of my thoughts on the Unirider:

Wins:

  • Easy to take apart / put together
  • Drives well on a variety of terrain
  • Your child has to balance, which is a great step towards riding a bike - not to mention good for their core strength
  • Perfect for the in-between stage where you don’t need a buggy but your child can’t manage much walking

 

Keep in mind:

  • You need two hands to steer, so you will need a backpack for the essentials

In even fewer words, would I recommend the Unirider? Absolutely!!

Enjoy adventuring!

Love, Mel x

P.S Mountain Buggy Unirider £79 CLICK here to buy.

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The Buggy Runners Flat Lay by Mel

Wendy Rumble

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You know those flat lays that you see on Instagram? The ones with the beautifully folded clothes, perfect accessories and must-have shoes? Well in a moment of madness, I thought I would recreate this dreamy vision with my favourite buggy running gear. It would look so pretty, a nice touch to mix up my feed and share ideas. Maybe I could do it on a seasonal basis?! It will all be laid out on a white background…maybe I could have a theme – oooo monochrome or a touch of neon!! *insert dreamy sigh* So how did my vision shape up? Turns out my flat lay is more WTF than cool AF, but hey, a good dose of reality on social media every once in a while never hurt anyone, so I’m rolling with it!

 

My essentials….

1. Trainers

Despite playing sport at one level or another for the majority of my life, when it comes to trainers I haven’t actually put a huge amount of thought into what I buy. For a long time it was the Asics Gel Kayano – my friend wore them and was a better athlete than me so I figured if I wanted to be like her then I should buy the same shoes. Needless to say, I didn’t suddenly start being able to run as fast as her, but my trainers looked great so, whatever.  When I decided to get back into running after having baby no 2, I was feeling pretty bad about myself, how unfit I was, fully aware of the uphill struggle ahead, my post baby hair loss and spotty skin, the saggy stomach…. (are you feeling really sorry for me yet?! Grab your violin!)  I did some research, had no idea what my ‘gait’ was and decided that as I was actually enjoying this running malarkey then I was going to invest properly (I know, so adult.). I found The Active Foot Company in Worcester, was seriously impressed with the knowledgeable staff and walked out with a pair of trainers that are as comfortable as my slippers! WIN!

 

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2. Head gear

My hair is a constant source of annoyance; it’s too thin and is neither curly nor straight. Add the post baby hair loss in the mix and we are onto a real downer. I know I should be thankful that my hair is finally growing back, and I’ve progressed from the ‘undercut’ stage to the ‘wispy fringe’. But at least the undercut gave me an edge… My current lid is reminiscent of the ‘light fringe’ my mother made the hairdresser cut in when I was 13, oh the angst! I’ve tried a number of different hair bands in my time - different fabrics, different widths, tie up, fully elasticated...At one stage I was wearing even a plastic alice band from Boots, not my best look. Anyway, I saw the Sweaty Band on Wendy’s website with all of its magical promises and I thought I may as well try it out. Well, nothing even comes close to the Sweaty Band - it literally does not move from my head, hands down, the best hair band I have ever owned. Who knew I could be so passionate about a head band?! I’ve actually worn them out in ‘real life’ - not just to run, as they are so good at taming my hair, plus they come in cute designs too.

So, that’s me taken care of. I was going to write about sports bras as owning a good one is super important (or so I’m told), but as I have a similar chest size to that of a 14 year old boy, I’m probably not the one to go to for recommendations!!!

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3. Ammunition

What makes my life easier when I’m running with the buggy? A happy toddler! I don’t have any ground-breaking recommendations for you here, just a few simple things that I pack to try and keep the boys from screaming when we are out.

Dummies are huge in our house! I usually take two as he has been known to throw them out of the buggy. Side note - when my husband and I are out together, we play a game of 5s and the loser has to lick any dirt off the discarded dummy before we give it back to AJ… You’re welcome.

Snacks – I tend to stop and feed him snacks or a fruit pouch as I don’t trust him not to throw everything on the floor yet. This usually buys me another 10 mins running!

iPhone – If I’m out with my three year old, he is happy watching CBeebies on my phone for at least 20 mins. Everyone wins here as I’m not left totally breathless trying to answer all of his really interesting questions.

 

So there you have it, my first and most probably last, buggy runner flat lay! 

Love Mel x

When can I return to running?

Wendy Rumble

This article is written by Sarah Crosby, a Women’s Health Physiotherapist based at Crystal Palace Physio Group in London. She has recently returned to running after the birth of her baby daughter 8 months ago. Sarah is a keen runner and triathlete.

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As a Women's Health Physiotherapist, one of the most common questions asked by post-natal women is "When can I return to running?"

This unfortunately does not have a simple answer and depends on many factors.

There are a wealth of benefits to running that we all know and love; a sense of freedom, a buzz from feel-good hormones, post baby weight loss and feeling energized and healthy.

Before resuming running, it is worth considering that your body may still be recovering from the birth of your baby.

One of the most important things to consider when returning to running is how well your pelvic floor muscles are working. Running is a high impact exercise and your pelvic floor muscles will have to contract thousands of times over a 30 minute run. Approximately 2.5 times more impact occurswhilst running in comparison to walking. Therefore, the muscles need to be strong to be able to work affectively against these forces.

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The pelvic floor are a group of muscles that sit like a hammock along the bottom of your pelvis. They support your bladder, bowel and womb. In pregnancy these muscles getstretched by the added weight of your bump. Hormones including relaxin are also produced in pregnancywhichcause the pelvic floor to become more lax.

In addition, if you have a vaginal delivery these muscles will stretch massively and approximately 80% of women will have some degree of perineal tear or need to be cut (episiotomy) to enable the delivery of your baby.

Like any muscle in your body, the pelvic floor needs to recover after an injury or stress. It is imperative to make sure these muscles are strong before you resume running.

The NHS guidelines advise women perform pelvic floor exercises 3 times a day after having a baby (even if you had a C-section). The generic advice is to do 10 x 10 seconds squeezes and 10 x 1 second squeezes. However if you have any pelvic floor problems then the research says that an individualized program is the best way to recover.

The reasons why you should wait until your pelvic floor muscles are super strong to return to running is to:

A) Avoid any leaking (stress incontinence)

B) Avoid pain in your pelvis

C) Reduce the risk of a prolapse of your pelvic organs (often felt as a heaviness or bulging down below).

These are common post-natal symptoms, if you have any of these, you should seek the help of a Women's Health Physiotherapist for treatment before you commence running.

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It is a good idea to start some lower impact exercise after having a baby before you begin running. Here are some suggestions and rough timelines to consider:

0-6 weeks: Begin pelvic floor muscle exercises as soon as possible after the birth of your baby, no matter the type of delivery that you had. As soon as you are able, start gentle walking and build up gradually to start conditioning your body gently to exercise.

6-12 weeks: You can begin doing some resistance type exercises or bodyweight exercises as long as you are symptom free! Such as squats and lunges. Incorporate your pelvic floor exercises into your resistance exercises. If you have a local Pilates class now is a good time to resume this but please do make the teacher aware that you have recently had a baby as some exercises may not yet be appropriate.

12 weeks +: Around now you might feel ready to start running but many women won’t either so please listen to your body! If you are breastfeeding then you will still be producing relaxinand these hormones can make it more challenging to return to running, as your tissues may still be more lax. Some women prefer to wait until they stop breastfeeding before they begin running.

A good way to see if your pelvic floor is ready for running is to try this quick test. Jump on the spot with a full bladder and then cough. This might sound ridiculous but if you don't leak then that's a sign your muscles are ready!

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Let's start with pointing out its recommended you wait until the manufacturers guideline state the Buggy can be used for running with, circa 6 months.  Running with a buggy will challenge you further, but it is a great way to do some exercise with your little one.  The pushing whilst running requires extra strength from your abdominals and pelvic floor.  Build up the running slowly, you could begin by alternating between walking and jogging i.e. 1 minute walk, 1 minute jog.It is likely to feel very difficult at first! Take it gently and your fitness will improve in time.

It is imperative that you keep a good running posture behind the buggy.  You will need to lean slightly forward, leading from the chest and bending at your hips.  Your shoulders should stay down and back and keep your head up!

Lastly,remember to wear a very supportive sports bra (you might want to wear two!)and a good pair of trainers, your feet may well have grown during pregnancy.

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If you have any other concerns about your body and returning to exercise after having a baby such as back pain, tummy muscle separation or other aches and pains then please consult your GP or a women’s health specialist for further advice.

Rules when investing in a secondhand running buggy (From Running Buggies.com Founder)

Wendy Rumble

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Having children puts a huge strain on the bank balance. Before I had children I didn't quite appreciate just how much. (Que the wistful reminiscing about what you used to indulge your pay packet on.) 

So I understand why people look to buy a second hand buggy. My mission is to enable more parents to have the freedom to exercise by having a running buggy, so I frequently help answer questions on this subject in my Facebook Community (Buggy Runners).  If you aren't already a member please join us!

To help you on your hunt, here are my rules for second hand Running Buggy shopping!

RULE 1: Interrogation of the Source...

It's a bit like buying a car.  Ideally you want one elderly lady owner! 😂 But seriously ask about the amount it's been used, where (trails, road, woodland, farms) to understand how much it's been battered!   Check for rust and that all the main safety features work (safety harness, brakes, suspension etc)

RULE 2: Fit for Purpose? 

There are SO many buggies out there to confuse and intimidate a sleep deprived parent.  Just because it has Sport or Jogger in the name doesn't make it suitable for running with. In a running buggy you should look for; 3 wheels, Suspension, large AIR filled tyres (minimum of 16 inch on the rear) Front wheel that fixes straight as opposed to swivel, 5 point safety harness, adjustable handlebar to prevent a sore back.

Nice to haves are; Under 14kgs in unit weight, Wrist strap (can buy as an add on), hand brake (how important this is depends on where you run), easy fold mechanism, wheels easy to remove and generous sun canopy.

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RULE 3: Where has it (the Running Buggy) been stored?

I once read a heartbreaking post about a poor Mum who bought a bargain only to receive the Buggy covered in mould.  It's often an issue in garages.  There are some fab places around the country that will give your buggy a good steam clean but it doesn't always get rid of mould so it's one to be cautious of. Here is the lowdown from a doctor.

Placing babies or young children in an item where mould spores are present can be potentially harmful because it could trigger atopic allergies and exacerbate Asthma as well as skin born fungal infections such as tinea or  ringworm”

Dr Paul Williams MBBch nMRCGP Post Grad dip sports exercise medicine. Father of two boys.
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RULE 4: Running Buggy Viewing

If you get to visit the Buggy before you buy, check the brakes work.  Often they can get muddy and rusty over time if not well maintained. 

Don't be put off by flat tyres, a new inner tube can fix them (cost of between £6-10).  (But always check inside for debris that has caused the puncture)   Do look at the tread of the tyre.  If they look bald you might want to see if you can buy replacement (kids bike tyres) or knock some money off.  

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RULE 5: Protection  

Use PayPal to protect yourself if there is an issue once the Buggy has arrived with you.

And finally...

        depending on when you get your Buggy and how often it will be used, consider if the difference in price for a new one with a warranty and no wear and tear is worth the investment.  Running buggies are in demand right now and this outstrips supply. There aren't many bargains to be had sadly but at least that means if you do buy a new one it will hold a decent resale value. 

Happy Buggy Running!

Wendy x

 

 

   

Buggy running helped these mums beat depression

Wendy Rumble

How many honest conversations have you had with friends about feeling depressed or unable to cope.  I'm suspecting not many.  While it can at times be useful to solider on with a stiff upper lip, it can also be unhealthy and dangerous not to admit when you are struggling to cope. 

The Heads Together campaign, supported by the royals, gained great exposure at this years 2017 Virgin London Marathon, encouraging us to get over the taboo of mental health. 

Once you have had a child, your life is both enriched and challenged. But my own personal experience was that it could also leave me feeling alone, exhausted and bored.  

Mind, the mental health charity, lists walking or running with your buggy among their suggestions for how to prevent or overcome post-natal depression, a condition that affects two in every 10 British mothers.

Having a way to do some exercise and escape the 4 walls made me feel like me again.  Having a buggy that's suitable for running with can help improve both mental and physical wellness.  I.E. Lose a few pounds and feel happier! Sounds like a winner.  To prove the point we wanted to share some stories from members of our Buggy Runners Facebook community.  Thank you so much to them for being brave and doing this in order to help others.

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