RUNNING WITH A BUGGY

The time had come, I was ready and strong enough to run with Oscar in a buggy. No more waiting for my partner to get home and go for a run, no more stupidly early morning runs. Yes! Now was the time for myself and Oscar to get out and enjoy the great outdoors together. Oh but wait, so many buggies, what do I look for, what did I need to ensure that I was going to avoid injuries? To be frank there is so much information out there and you do need to research the right buggy for you.  Unfortunately you are susceptible to new aches and pains if your posture and set up is not correct. Trust me, I made some mistakes so I’m hoping that these tips below will help you avoid injury and just enjoy running with baby on board.

BABY SAFETY FIRST

·       Make sure your baby is old enough. It’s not safe to run with a child under six months in any buggy. By six months their spine will be strong enough if they are in a well designed running buggy with rear wheel suspension and a padded seat.

·       In the cold weather be sure to wrap baby up well, you will warm up but they won’t and in the summer a sun shield is recommended.

·       Lots of these buggies come with accessories to improve the comfort of baby, like foot muffs and rain covers but the extras can be costly, see if you can get a package deal.

·       The buggy should have a handlebar brake and wrist strap crucial for those fast and downhill parts of your run. The child’s harness must be fully adjustable and secure, a 5 point harness is essential.

MUMMYS HEALTH AND SAFETY

·       Of course baby being comfortable is important but your comfort is also a priority.  Does the design allow you to run unhindered with a full stride? It should be easy to push and steer with both or one hand.

·       Pushing and running requires extra work and strength of your abdominals, hamstrings and gluteals. Are you strong enough? Have you recovered from a caesarean or significant vaginal tear sufficiently to ensure that your pelvic floor is strong and your abdominals can take the extra load from the buggy? If you are not sure why not have a check up with your women’s health physiotherapist?

·       If you suffered or are still suffering with low back pain or pelvic girdle pain, running with a buggy will shorten your stride and pushing with both or one hands will place strain on your SIJ (sacroiliac joint) which could exacerbate the symptoms described. Again it is worth checking with a women’s health physiotherapist that you are fit to run.

·       Keeping good form behind the wheel is crucial to avoiding injury. Don’t stand upright. Lean forwards, bending from the hips. Keep your head up, your shoulders back and down, lead with your chest.  Maintain a slight bend in your elbows, wrists straight and stay as close to the buggy as you can.

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·        Running with a buggy will prevent your natural arm swing. If you use one hand be sure to swap hands regularly during your run to work both sides.

·       Running is high impact and can place strain on your pelvic organs and breasts, wearing a supportive bra and supportive shorts is highly recommended.

THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A RUNNING BUGGY

·       During my research I found that many buggies had sport or jogging in their titles but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is  meant for that purpose. The more a buggy has been adapted for running, the less versatile it will be for day to day use, worth considering if you are just doing the odd run.

·       Most running buggies have 3 wheels. The wheels should be large (ideally 16 inches plus), pneumatic tyres and a fixed front wheel to cope with uneven ground and protect baby.

·       Look for a light buggy, the lighter, the easier it will be to push.

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