Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Destination Running

I’ve been hearing a lot more, “No stroller!” lately from my son, but if we are loading up to run to the playground, that’s a different story…

So here’s my biggest running secret for increasing mileage with your kids in tow…shhh!...destination running! The easiest way I’ve found to get in 30-40 miles a week with my kids in the stroller is breaking up each run in half. Our destination is usually a playground in the spring and fall and the pool in the summer. Wherever it is, hype it up! While doing two 5 mile runs is probably inferior to running all 10 miles at once, it is certainly better for distance training than running only the initial 5 and then calling it quits. The way I see it, everybody wins. The kids don’t have to sit still for more than about 45 minutes at a time and I get my miles in. Plus we are out of the house for a while.

Since you’ll be out for a while, you’ll want to be well-provisioned and prepared for any likely changes in the weather. (Check out my older post, Don’t Leave Home Without...) Remember to bring enough water and nourishment for yourself as well. If you don’t like being soggy, you may even want a change of clothes for yourself. It helps if your destination has rest rooms. And if you have any *special* snacks, don’t let your kids have them until the return trip!

Though I am running closer to 12-15 miles a week right now, I am still doing destination running; our destinations are just a little less ambitious! Give it a try!

Friday, April 11, 2008


So, I forget a lot of stuff. I think that a lot of moms feel like that. So much so, they did a study on it (click here to read the article). I like to think that none of it is gone permanently.

Second to moms, the next most forgetful group of people must be runners. Who does a second marathon without forgetting the pain of the first?

Constantly hounded by the feeling that I might be forgetting something, I am delighted when I remember something! Yesterday I went jogging by myself and you know what I had sort of forgotten? It is a LOT harder running with the double stroller than running solo! It turns out that my difficulty isn’t so much all the “baby weight” I’ve gained being pregnant, but the 75 pounds of child plus related equipment I’ve been pushing! I just didn’t notice it so much before.

So, pat yourself on the back if you went jogging with your stroller today! Plus it burns more calories than running alone….

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ups & Downs

So, perhaps it is only a momentary reprieve, but I am up and running (literally) again. It is much reduced from the fall, but probably as strong as I could expect at 5 + months pregnant while pushing two 35 lb kids. It may seem counterintuitive, but I am finding that hill workouts are more successful than flat runs.

Given that I have to take walking breaks intermittently anyway, the hills help to keep my heart rate up while I walk. Second, different muscles are utilized in the up vs. down vs. flat so it does not feel like it is tearing things up as much as the repetition of running on flat terrain.

You might feel tempted to avoid hills while running with your stroller, but it is awesome mental training too. Then when you are heading up a hill in a race or just on your own, you can really tell yourself how it could be so much harder….

Most importantly, the kids still get the running-fast downhill-rush which keeps them happy. They’ve been getting fidgeting with this walking thing.