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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.

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

Filtering by Tag: Buggy runner

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.

Dr Jess looks to smash another buggy running Guinness World Record!

Wendy Rumble

Not long after I started up my business I heard about an incredible mum (Jessica Bruce) who broke the Guinness world record marathon time running with a single buggy. Well she is at it again now she has another bundle of joy and I couldn't wait to hear all about it! Here is our interview! 

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1) Tell us about yourself! 

My name is Jessica Bruce and I’m the Founder and Director of Run3D. Run3D is an Oxford spin-out bioengineering company that develops running gait analysis software. I live in Bristol with my husband David, an Orthopaedic Surgeon, and my two children Daniel (2.5 yrs) and Emilia (4 months). 

2) How did you get into buggy running.  Were you always a runner?

I have always been a keen runner and met my husband through the running club when we were both at Oxford University. We both competed at a relatively high level, I represented Wales in cross country on a couple of occasions and both my husband and I were awarded multiple Blues during our time at Oxford.

Running was such an important part of our lives together that when we decided to have children it wasn’t so much a question of stopping running but rather how we would fit it into our new life with a baby. The running buggy was the perfect solution. It enabled us to continue running together and also allowed me to run whilst my husband was at work.

3) What buggy do you run with?  What do you like and not like about that buggy?

I’m very fortunate in that we actually have three running buggies! We originally bought the Bob Sports Utility Stroller for running with Daniel. We were then given a Bugaboo Runner for our World Record Marathon attempt and when Emilia was born, we were given an OutnAbout Nipper Sport Double for our double-buggy marathon attempt in October. This might seem excessive, but we do actually use them all! When I run on my own I take the double with both children and when David and I run together, we take one each!

Having run hundreds of miles with each one, they each have different features we like and don’t like. The Bugaboo Runner has a rear-facing seat, which is perfect for younger babies as they like to be able to see you. It corners well because the back wheels are positioned at a slight angle and it’s also very stylish. On the downside, it’sexpensive to buy and very wide for a single buggy.

The Bob Sports Utility Stroller is fantastic value for money and great for off-road running. It’s smaller than the Bugaboo Runner and also collapses easily so is good for taking in and out of the car. It doesn’t have the rear-facing seat however and the seat doesn’t lie completely flat, so is best used with slightly older babies.

When it came to finding a double running buggy, there aren’t many on the market and my two options were the Bob Sports Utility Stroller Double and the OutnAbout Nipper Sport Double. I opted for the Nipper Sport as it was significantly lighter and also could be used with a very young baby as the seats can lie completely flat. We’re really happy with it, it isn’t that much wider than the Bugaboo Runner and drives (runs!) smoothly.

4) Where is your favourite place to buggy run? And best buggy run route you have ever done?

Buggy-running is quite restrictive but we’ve been very fortunate in both Oxford and Bristol. When Daniel was young we lived in Oxford and used to drive to Blenheim Palace each Sunday for our long run.There is a 4-mile traffic-free route around the grounds and we used to do 4 or 5 laps of this and then have a picnic in the grounds afterwards. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday!

In Bristol my favourite route is running on the Bristol-Bath cycle track. This is a 16-mile traffic-free cycle route which is perfect for buggy running. Daniel loves it because we see the old steam trains at the Avon Valley Railway.

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5) Tell us about the experience of your Guinness world record Buggy run! How was it and what was it like being in the media so much afterwards!

I decided to attempt the marathon buggy-running record as a personal challenge and to motivate myself after having Daniel. I trained really hard for it, building up the longer runs and doing speed work and tempo sessions as I would have done for a normal marathon except this time with the buggy!

My marathon PB is 2:58 and so I knew I would be able to complete it in a fairly respectable time but I had no idea exactly how fast. As I have already mentioned, all my long training runs at that time were done around Blenheim Palace, which is really hilly. As any buggy-runner will know, running hills pushing a buggy is incredibly hard work and so I didn’t know how the pace that I was running my long runs at Blenheim would translate to the flat course at Abingdon.

On race day itself I was excited but also incredibly nervous, there was so much that could go wrong that was out of my control – a screaming baby, a puncture, a nappy change! I was also still breast-feeding Daniel at the time but he wouldn’t eat anything just before the race as there were too many distractions. We had a bottle of milk prepared that we used at about Mile 20.

The plan was for my husband to run in front of me to find the best route, block some of the wind and warn other people that we were around them - although I had also fitted a bike bell to the buggy! I say ‘find the best route’ because a complication that non-buggy runners don’t even think about is the difficulty of curbs! Slowing down to mount or dismount a curb and then having to regain your speed is both tiring and can cost you as much as 30 seconds per mile so Dave had to find places where the curb dropped for us to mount and dismount without changing pace.He was also in charge of looking after Daniel, which included feeding him a bottle of milk at Mile 20 and singing nursey rhymes between miles 21 – 23, much to the amusement of the runners surrounding us! 

We set off running at 7:30 mins/mile, which felt comfortable. This was faster than we had planned and as many a marathoner can attest to, was a risky move that could have ended in disaster. As it was, our hours spent struggling up the hills at Blenheim Palace were rewarded and we managed to maintain this kind of pace throughout the race.

I don’t have many memories of the race itself as I was concentrating on my running, but I do remember that everyone, both runners and spectators, were incredibly supportive, which certainly helped along the way! Daniel also slept until the last 6-miles, which certainly helped!  I was delighted with the final time of 3 hours, 17 mins and 52 seconds. 

The media attention afterwards was completely unexpected. I knew that BBC Oxford and the local paper were covering the story but I certainly didn’t anticipate the amount of attention we received! I still believe it was because we presented a feel-good story that appealed to a wide audience!

6) What races do you have coming up…?! 

My next race is another World Record Marathon attempt at the Abingdon Marathon, but this time with the double-buggy! With less than 8-weeks to go, training is going well and we’re excited about the new challenge. Guinness says that I need to break 4 hrs and 30 minutes for the record. Whilst it’s very hard to predict what time I am going to run as there are even more things that could go wrong this time around, I’m pretty confident that I can achieve 4:30. My husband will run alongside me as before, I joke that his job of entertaining Daniel and Emilia will be harder than mine of merely pushing them for 26.2 miles!

7) What are your top tips when preparing for a buggy run?

Be prepared for everything and accept that you’ll probably have to stop several times during a run! I take snacks, nappy changing kit, a drink, a phone, some cash and my feeding cover in case I have to stop and breastfeed Emilia. Gone are the days of running out the backdoor with my keys! I also make my runs fun for the children. Emilia is easy as she just likes to watch everything but for Daniel we’ll feed the ducks or run to see the diggers and trains.

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8) Finally what advice would you give to parents starting out buggy running? 

Buy a proper running buggy!!

Whilst you might consider it expensive, especially if you have a ‘normal’ buggy as well, it’s cheap compared to the cost of gym membership and far more fulfilling. Both my children love running and it’s something we do together as a family.

Expect lots of strange looks

Whilst buggy-running is increasing in popularity, it’s still not a common sight and people will give you some strange looks. I also receive lots of comments as I’m running and whilst these are 99% positive, I don’t ever let the 1% of people who disapprove put me off. When I first started buggy-running I was very self-conscious but now I don’t care!

Hills are really hard work

If you thought hills were hard work without a buggy, think again! Don’t feel bad about walking if you have to – I still do on the really steep ones as I grind to a halt trying to run up them sometimes!

Run however is comfortable

When I first started buggy running someone said that the best way to do it was to push with one-hand only. I soon realised that this didn’t work for me and I now push with both hands at all times. Go with whatever works best for you. 

Weights and measure's for running buggies (Sadly not the alcoholic kind)

Wendy Rumble

How much use will you get out of your running buggy? How many years will your little one fit in it?  These questions all relate to your child's weight and the measurements of the Buggy.

Well rather than give an age, Buggy manufacturers give us a weight guide, often in kg. So for all parents who have been tracking their milestones in lbs, this requires some conversion! 1lb=0.454kgs by the way!  

But once you think about it, it does make sense as some children are far larger than others.  You can find the weight limit of all our listed Running Buggies in the Compare table on our website.  I fully appreciate that a table of numbers can appear both boring and irreverent.  So if you don't have the brain power just call me and i'll tell you based on your specific needs. (07788267938) 

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And if like me you would have no clue how much a child weighs at different ages, just for reference my 4 year old girl is 18kg, for context she is just under average height.

Just a watch out, Running buggies from different countries can be different specifications.  The Britax BOB Revolution range has a different weight capcity in the US to in the UK.

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The seat height (think about the length from your child's bottom to the top of their head) also a varies too, with over 10cm difference between the largest and smallest buggies. So if you have a tall child then it's worth looking at this statistic.  This correlates with how tall the Buggy is as well. For example the Mountain Buggy Terrain has the tallest seat area and is also the highest handlebar height at it's neutral point.

All the handlebars are adjustable to suit different heights of running.  The ideal position of your forearm is at 90 degrees to your body.

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All the single seat running buggies fit through doorways, so that's a relief when you are desperate for a coffee at the playground!  So a statistic to look at is a wider shoulder width space if you have a broad shouldered child.  And the Out 'n' About Nipper Sport double also fits through doorways too, a huge plus for a double!

When it comes to the buggy itself, the weight of it is hugely important.  A heavy buggy is hard to lift in and out of a car, navigating steps and also is ultimately extra weight to push when you have children in it.  This is even more important with a fixed front wheel design which needs you to lift the front wheel to steer it.  I was recently out with my double Thule Chariot and worked out I was pushing over 40kgs of buggy and children. That made me feel better about my (slow) pace!  Often the first thing I notice on a cheap buggy is how heavy it is.  Gold standard in this area are the Out 'N' About range and Thule buggies too.

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So in summary;

Most single running buggies have a weight limit of circa 22kg but some up to 34kg. This is around age 4-6.  It's also useful to look at the seat dimensions to see how they would work for your child too.  And finally the weight of the buggy itself is a really key factor!

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to get in touch with me on email or phone.  I'm a mum of 2 and started up RunningBuggies.com in 2015 to help parents find their freedom to exercise again.

Thanks for reading! 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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