(Thanks to The Clash for so accurately describing my dilemma!)
This struggle is the same whether you are heading out on a 10 mile run or just going for a walk around the block. Similar prep for a bike trailer too, so hopefully in this series, there is something for everyone.
So, once you’re going- how to prep the kids? Make it exciting and inevitable. Exciting: “Hey kids! Let’s go see if the lake is frozen yet!” Inevitable: the kids will tell if you are dreading it and they will find a way to weasel out of it if they sense any weakness. If you’re looking for an out, they are going to find one for you. You now how it can take weeks to finally get to the post office, but doing (fill in the blank) never seems to be a problem. Same idea.
Make sure that the kids are dressed well for the weather conditions. They will be happier if they are comfortable and you’ll get fewer dirty looks from other runners and walkers for taking your babies out in the cold. My general rule of thumb is to dress them in what I am wearing PLUS one complete extra layer. Don’t forget their little toesies. Below about 40 my daughter complains her feet are too cold in regular shoes so she’ll wear boots. And blankets. This is a great use for all those fleece baby blankets. My kids just throw their mittens out of the stroller anyway so tucking their hands inside the blanket works best for us. I recommend ONE PER CHILD. Sharing one is unlikely to work.
Finally, don’t forget yourself! Key item for running in cold with stroller: MITTENS. You can’t tuck your hands inside your sleeves anymore! Plus the standard advice: a moisture-wicking inside layer, a wind-blocking outer layer if it is particularly windy or cold and to cover the extremities (hat, gloves, etc.). My friend runs with socks on her hands rather than fancy gloves. Then when you blow your nose on your “mittens” – you know you do it too - you can just throw them in the wash and wear a different pair next time.