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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: Running mum

Lowri Morgan - the Ultra marathon mum

Wendy Rumble

Which parents are at the top of their game (athletically speaking) and juggle life with the help of a running buggy?  When former interviewee, Ironman Sophie Bubb mentioned Ultra Marathon runner Lowri Morgan when I was interviewing her back in April I had to find out more about this glamourous TV presenter who also happens to be an adventurer an Ultra marathon runner.

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Fast forward 6 months and through the power of welsh friends I was delighted to be able to have a chat with Lowri and find out a bit more about her buggy running.  But first let me tell you a bit about Lowri’s amazing life to date (she is currently writing an a book about her running so watch this space for more details about that in 2018!)

Born near Swansea and now living nearer Cardiff, Lowri is a BAFTA and multi award winning television presenter, a World Class Ultra endurance marathon runner, having raced in some of the most extreme races in the world and an Adventurer. Lowri is one of only six to ever complete one of the notoriously difficult 350 mile non-stop footrace - 6633 Ultra in the Arctic.

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A self-confessed adrenaline junkie she has represented Wales on the rugby field, in athletics, cross country and despite a serious knee operation and being told she would not be able to run competitively again, has competed in numerous marathons worldwide and completed the illustrious Ironman Challenge. 

In 2009 Lowri completed the Jungle Marathon in the Amazon. In the heat and humidity of the jungle, out of the 150 top runners only 50 finished. She managed to finish the race in the top ten in her first ever ultra-marathon. 

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Having a baby clearly wasn’t going to stop a lady with this level of activity but maybe there was a team of people on hand to help this welsh supermum? I wanted to know more about how buggy running formed part of her new life.

“Getting a running buggy was my lifesaver.  I was kindly given the Baby Jogger Summit X3 soon after I had my son, and it was immediately including in filming of the program I was doing at the time.  It’s a great all-round buggy and goes everywhere with us.  When I was pregnant I was worried about losing that momentum having run a lot previously, but I think being able to exercise during pregnancy helped me to bounce back quicker. Obviously, I would advise that mums follow the advice of a medical professional but having a buggy that was suitable for being outdoors really helped me both physically and mentally on my journey back to running.  Working in the media I do not work traditional hours and I went back to work after 6 weeks.  I have a funny memory of shooting an adventure program and having to rock climb up a cliff, then once I was at the top I need to express so I had to do that in an empty field full of sheep before abseiling back down to where my parents were looking after my son and we did a bottle pass over!  I could never in a million years have imagined I would be doing that at some point!

I cannot emphasis enough how important having a buggy that enabled me to go out and run, was for my mental health.  We would regularly go out, even in the rain, me, my dog and my son.  Our running buggy is still our main buggy several years on.  We would stop start to look at things like the ducks which became an interval session.  I would sprint the 800m to the ducks.  Rest for a bit and then jog on.

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In terms of when we went, there was no specific routine.  My son wasn’t a great sleeper at home and would only fall asleep in the car or buggy.  So I would time the runs for when he was getting sleepy, maybe after lunch."

I felt very uneasy about returning to fitness knowing how horrid it is to feel unfit, so I asked Lowri what advice would you give mums who feel daunted about returning to running? 

“It's always going to be hard, for everyone.  Lower your expectations then work on it consistently.  Before I was pregnant I completed many races of 100 miles plus, but I remember my first run vividly when I expected to go out for a gentle five or six miles but in the end I only did two miles and it felt incredibly hard.  But it does come back, and I found I was able to be competitively racing a year after.  Sometimes you have a bad day.  But now I’m back racing even stronger and many mums have the same experience.  (Paula Radcliffe and Sophie Bubb are just a few great examples.) 

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One of the things that has changed is that I’m not so governed by the GPS.  Often, I just go out with my buddies (dog and son!) and enjoy it.  Fitting in the training around my son was my priority.  Sometimes it turns into an interval session. I will stop to see the ducks, 800m sprint, rest and then go again.  Or maybe if he fell asleep I’d keep going as long as I could.  Buggy running is difficult, but it is the best all over body workout; arms, core and legs!  Mentally it was so good for me to get out, I could run and be a good mother.  Not feeling guilty because I’m not away or not feeling guilty for not running.  The nature of my schedule is that now I will often get up at 5am for a two hour run before my husband leaves for work is I want to run solo and get some miles in.  My son was with me on shoots in the early days before nursery which he attends now.”

As a time pressed mum who has had a fair amount of injuries this year, I’m intrigued how she stays injury free?  “I listen to my body.  I know when to push or not, but I can only know this now based on my experience.  Recently I started to get shin pain and before I sought treatment for shin splints I tried some new trainers which sorted it out.  I don’t have a coach, it doesn’t really work for my schedule, I’m a bit of a nightmare for them when I say I’m off to film in Africa and won’t run for 3 weeks!”

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And finally, I’m keen to know out of all these amazing adventures which was the best race?  “The best race over all was the Artic race, completely humbling race, broke me and happened to leave me with shattered metatarsals.  But when it comes to a buggy run I love my local parkrun, (Cardiff along the Taff trail).  Obviously, I stood in the back with the buggy and when we got started my mind suggests that I get the pace up but rather than that I know it’s not about racing everyone but enjoying the camaraderie which made me enjoy it so much more.  I loved it.”

So, like most of us Lowri loves parkrun!  Isn’t that refreshing for a famous Ultra runner!  I must confess I was a little nervous interviewing/talking to such an amazing (and rather famous) lady with my zero lack of interviewing/journalism skills but I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever spoken to a lovelier stranger!  She was extremely generous with her time and is a huge advocate for running buggies in order to help more parents find the freedom they need after they have a baby.  After one chat with her I was ready to set my alarm for 5am.  I just wish she was around the corner so I could join her (keeping up might be an issue) she officially has a new #fangirl! 

You can follow Lowri on Instagram @_lowrimorgan

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Runderwear - superhero pants review

Wendy Rumble

Being busy parent, the last thing on your mind might be which pants to throw on to exercise in.  But once the miles start to rack up you may start wondering what options there are which will ensure you don't get lacerated at the leg/crotch junction.  I mean seriously, why do all knicker manufacturers have frills along the seams which are equivalent to a cheese grater on a long run.  When I started out running longer distances in 2009, (London Marathon training which was my first ever event over 5K), I went through the agony of this pants discovery.  I have a memory of going to work with cycling shorts under my trousers to cover up the Sudocrem which was supposed to healing all the chaffage in order to enable the training plan to continue.  (Which it thankfully did, I completed my first ever marathon in 4hr25 mins.)  

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Underwear specifically suitable for exercise isn't just something for crazy elite runners, anyone running regularly and sweating in their smalls should consider investing in some 'favourite' pants for the endeavour.  Many end up going without/commando/free-balling/free-buffing to avoid the scouring of their creases.

Last year I heard about the brand RUNDERWEAR through Facebook advertising and then a few friends rave reviews, so when I got talking to one of the co-owners at the London Marathon EXPO it was wonderful to wax lyrical about how to build a running brand   They sell British designed, men's and women's underwear which is; seamless, chafe free, anti-bacterial, moisture wicking and ethically sourced. The pants come in a variety of different styles and I have tried both the full brief, low rise hipster pants and crop top.  

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I'm not used to pants that come up to my belly button so this took a little getting used to.  However I've been trialling them now for a month and I can 100% endorse that they are hugely comfortable to wear and unlike any other I have experienced.  They do not ride up or move (anywhere) and having inter changed them with a normal cotton pant (which moves around and stays damp) the moisture wicking properties are also excellent.  I have been converted to them for all my runs now!  The Crop Top is a fab low impact (not for running) option for the gym when you need to lie on your back for exercises and not be on any fastenings.  The wicking material on the bra also prevented any chaffage and the hot pink colour looked great peeping out from under tops.

I've never been superslim, I could blame having kids but the fact is I love food and wine far too much! Which the very reason that I did that aforementioned London Marathon in 2009 because I was fed up of being on Weight Watchers and I'd heard the weight just drops off you when you are marathon training!  

So posting a picture of myself in underwear in a blog may be a sign of me losing my mind BUT I have strong ethics, If i say i'm going to review something then I do it properly.  Here is a selfie snap of me pre-exercise wearing the Low Rise pant and crop top today, because my 4 year old isn't quite up to the photography task yet. 

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Wearing Low Rise Pant £16, Low impact Crop Top £25, LINK TO BUY extra 10% off offer with newsletter subscription on their website currently. 

**Samples were provided to me to test for the purpose of this review.**