Sunday, July 27, 2008
Anyway, here are my thoughts on jogging strollers:
1. Terrain: Do you primarily jog on smooth roads or bumpy trails? Knobby tires will only require more energy to push so you don't need them if you aren't on bumpy roads that require greater traction and resistance to flats. Furthermore, though suspension sounds great, unless you are actually running on very bumpy terrain, it will just make more work for you to push through the suspension in order to make turns. Your kids can take it.
2. Storage: No problem here if you just roll it into the garage, but if you have to fold and/or carry the stroller at all, consider weight, ease of collapse and folded dimensions. Stick with 16" wheels rather than 20" which will take up much more space.
3. Cost: You could easily spend over $500 on a double stroller, but consider if you really need that. If you anticipate that your stroller will get relatively light use, there is no need to buy the most expensive on the market.
4. Wheels: The swivel front wheel makes turning easier if you primarily walk, but it is inferior to the fixed front wheel for running. Though you can usually lock the swivel wheel into place, the chances of it tracking crooked are greater than a fixed wheel and these strollers are often heavier.
5. Uses: Is this stroller exclusively for exercise or does it also go on errands and such? Lots of storage space and pockets plus a slimmer width for doorways are both helpful if this stroller is going to the grocery store.
6. Separate sun shades: If you have 2 kids, you'll want to be able to adjust seat backs and sun shades separately.
7. Accommodating an infant seat: Personally, I consider this totally unnecessary. How fast do you really think you are going?
8. Where to buy: www.joggingstroller.com has a huge selection and fantastic customer service.
Some brands to consider:
Baby Jogger Performance strollers are ideal for high mileage road runners.
The cost of a BOB stroller is not necessary unless you actually run on trails - which I do without a BOB anyway.
Dreamer Design and Kelty are good compromise options.
In Step is a good low cost alternative, but may not hold up well to heavy use.
Would YOU want to be the kid in the bottom seat of a Phil and Ted stroller?
Sunday, July 13, 2008
How steep is the hill vs how heavy is your stroller? The first hill we go down at the start of our regular route is so steep that I actually walk backwards down it with the jogging stroller.
Generally, however, downhill is a great opportunity to cut a little time and to practice faster turnover (i.e. how quickly you put one foot in front of the other). This is just one of the reasons why jogging strollers have a hand brake and a runaway strap.
Even if it makes your arm get sweaty - ALWAYS USE YOUR RUNAWAY STRAP!
To use your hand brake effectively, you need to lean INTO it. As you squeeze the lever with your left hand, consider using only the palm of your right hand to push rather than gripping the handle which could inadvertently apply a downward force. This keeps the front wheel in contact with the ground (the only way the brake will work) plus it will put less pressure on your knees and keep your form better. You will maintain much more control than either trying to pull the stroller back or simply trying to run as fast as the stroller rolls.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
People often equate pregnancy and/or labor with running a marathon (including Natalie Morales of The Today Show in the Aug 08 Runner's World). How much one buys into that probably depends on whether you've ever run a marathon, but one thing that is for certain is that both require MOTIVATION to stay positive!
During my second pregnancy, my two-year-old daughter came over to me in bed one morning, looks at me and says, "Are you mean mom or nice mom today?" That was a wake-up call! I guess I was pretty grumpy. So now I'm on my third and I am in an entirely different state of mind.
How does one stay motivated while running or otherwise? Can you see “the light at the end of the tunnel”? Sometimes seeing that n-1 mile marker or even the finish line is what you need. Of course, in pregnancy, the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel is actually the headlights of an on-coming train!
So working out helps me stay positive about the tail end of pregnancy. I stay motivated to work out because I know how much easier it will be to recover post-baby. I stay motivated to push that HEAVY jogging stroller because it is making me so much stronger and faster whenever I have the chance to run stroller-free. And I stay motivated to race because I am just so darn competitive. The faster you run, the faster you’re done!