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Choosing and Running With a Jogging Stroller

Posted Oct 18 2008 2:34pm

I remember when my youngest was a baby, before preschool, and I would load her up in the jogger, take her to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and jog its entirety-three full miles.

She hated that thing. The entire run she would scream and kick and cry to get out.

Now that baby is in preschool (ah, where did the years go anyway!) and I have another baby that I load up in the same jogger. She’s much better with it. She actually climbs INTO the thing! She enjoys her three mile, half hour or so run.

I, however, really don’t.

First off, I got the jogger at my baby shower, and I had chosen it but it wound up being the cheapest of the bunch. l have a difficult time turning it, have to really lift it off of the ground to make a turn, and the darn thing is just so stiff and uncomfortable to use.

Secondly, where we live in Southern California traffic is horrendous, and while our neighborhood has a few quiet streets, those that surround us are busier than most small town freeways. Seriously, everyone believes they have to go ninety from light to light, which is half a mile (I know, I have tracked it on my GPS).

I’m always terrified when I venture out to run on the streets to get from one track to another, because who wants to run three miles around one track-meaning about six full circles?

I could load it up and take it to the park, but again, it’s such a pain to do this. It’s heavy and awkward and really doesn’t fold up well.

I’m sure some of the more expensive joggers are much nicer. I’ve heard great things about the Bob. I just wound up with one that isn’t so great.

My advice: First, if you are going to run when your baby is an infant, try to do it while they nap. Much easier!

And if you can’t, find a stroller that works well. Do some research, read reviews and ask other runners. I have heard great things about the BOB strolle r.  Expensive, yes. But if you can run with it and it is comfortable, totally worth the price!

I used mine from the time my babies were quite young by propping pillows and blankets up around them. Some joggers allow you to really recline the seat, so find out if yours can do this.

Consider the front wheel when doing a test run. Mine does not move or turn. Some people swear by those that do, some say that those that do aren’t as easy to maneuver on different surfaces. I don’t know, I have never used one like this. I wish that I could test one out to see.

Does the jogger have shade? Mine does, and it works well for my daughter. I borrowed a friend’s double for a while when the baby was born and it did not provide any shade, which was brutal for the girls. I ended up trying to tie a blanket in place but it kept falling off.

Always inflate the wheels. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started off without checking them and figured out halfway through a brutal run that the reason I could barely push the thing was because the tires were almost flat!

Make sure it has a storage place for your water. You really don’t need a down below storage unit unless you plan to jog to the store and stock up on groceries. But you will want a place to put your water bottle as you run, along with your keys and other essentials.

Make sure it turns easily when you test it out. Mine does not, and every single time I have to make a turn, large or not, I have to lift the stroller to do so.

Check the tires. Do they go along a straight path? Mine don’t. In fact, every few minutes I have to pick the stroller up and align it forward again because the wheels veer over to one side. It’s a hassle, and I always wind up with a stiff back and neck after the run because of how difficult this jogger is to steer.

For now, I only use it when I absolutely have to. All of the other times I wake early in the morning and run, so I can be back long before the kids rise from bed.

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