5 Things You Gotta Avoid in a Running Stroller
If you are both a runner and a new mom (or dad), one of the first items on the baby list after the 1121 page illustrated "How to Raise Your Child" manual that comes with every kid - they wouldn't give us little humans without manuals now, would they? - is a running stroller.
Since you're not alone - it only feels that way when the baby cries incessantly at 3AM and the hubby manages to sleep through it (we're faking, you know that, right?) - all the stroller companies, sporting goods stores, Macy's, and the QuickMart on the corner have advice on how to pick that stroller.
They're all wrong.
1. Small Tire versus Large Tires
Almost every person offering you advice is going to suggest you need a three wheeled stroller with larger tires. Larger tires reduce the amount of effort to move the stroller. Since you are running for your health and not your sanity, smaller tires that make it much harder to push the stroller are the way to go.
You only have about seven free seconds to get in your run, sandwiched between changing a diaper and dishes and even that can disappear with a single "Honey, could you get me a beer?" You need to maximize your workout. That means small tires.
While we're on the topic of tires, go with the hard inflexible ones for your running stroller. They transmit shock better and will add a full body vibratory massage for the baby.
2. Weather Protection
Don't need it and it costs extra. If you add weather protection to the stroller, it adds to the weight which is good but you end up denying your child the miracles of rain, sleet and clammy freezing fog. You're running in this stuff - they should get to enjoy it too.
If you have friends that run, the first thing they'll rave about their new stroller is how easy it is to steer. They have completely missed the point.
You do not want a stroller that is easy to steer for two reasons. The first harkens back to Point 1 above. This is a workout so maximize it. An easy to steer stroller will not give you a proper workout for the hands and forearms so you want to avoid the kind that have front wheels that pivot.
Without this kind of workout, your arms will grow unbalanced as, if you haven't already discovered, carrying a baby will give you some serious biceps and, depending on the man of the house, the biggest guns in the home.
The second reason is the right of privilege. Your a mom, running. You have right-of-way under almost all conditions (by habit, I yield right-of-way to rattlesnakes ahead of running moms) which means it is perfectly acceptable to run over the laggards in front of you.
4. Storage Capacity
Most running strollers boast about their ability to store the car keys, wallets, binkies, blankies and bottles, sun screen, toys, snacks for you and baby, and a smallish Chihuahua.
This isn't the Lewis and Clark expedition. It's a run - how much of this stuff do you really need?
Face it. That cute little bundle of joy is going to rapidly gain weight. Great for the workout until you feel like you're pushing the Titanic. At some point, they need to stand on their own two feet and run for them selves. Buying a stroller built to last for twenty years (you're not considering having infants for the next twenty years, are you?) might be overkill.
And don't worry about the little one running on their own - they already have the instinct to run. All the ancestors who said "Huh?" when the lookout shouted "Lion!" have been removed from the gene pool.
So there you have it. 5 Things You Gotta Avoid in a Running Stroller - from my perspective.
Of course, if you disagree, feel free to get an easy to steer, light-weight, durable three-wheeled thingie.
Just don't blame me when it takes an hour of pleasant running to get your workout in.