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Workouts with a Stroller!

The majority of my runs are done with my daughter in the stroller. Most of these are easy runs and I schedule my workouts for times when she is either napping or before my husband starts his work day. But all parents know that things rarely go according to plan. You can plan out your whole week and MAYBE accomplish one thing when you intended to. Working around not one, not two, but 3 people's needs and schedules is a task that results in most things being less than ideal. So, when your kid won't nap, or you don't have childcare and need to do a speed workout with the kid in stroller, what can you do?

Progression Runs

Progression runs are not only great workouts in general, but they're fantastic when you have a stroller. You don't have to do quick short bursts, you are simply gradually getting faster over the course of the run. Make each mile a little bit faster than the previous one. When running with the stroller, a lot of stop and go is not ideal. But something like a progression where you can build off momentum and get into a rhythm of movement is very advantageous. The added resistance from the stroller also creates another level of challenge.

Pro Tip: when doing a progression with the stroller, focus on increasing effort. You may be starting out slower and you may not get as fast as you could have without the stroller. Reframe this workout to be effort based, not pace based.

20+ Minute Tempo Runs

Doing a tempo run with a stroller is not only doable, it's freaking awesome. The kids love going fast!!! I think a 20+ minute tempo run is ideal because you really want to get into a flow of movement. Stopping & going is much harder with a stroller. Once you're in the flow of a tempo, it can feel very natural. I would not suggest doing a tempo at 5k-10k pace, but marathon pace tempos are definitely doable with the stroller.

Another way to do this? Instead of doing a threshold run at what would typically be your threshold pace, try focusing on threshold heart rate. This has effectively the same result of doing a threshold run as the effort is the same. But we all know running with a stroller makes effort higher.

Long Hill Repeats

This may seem crazy, but doing long hill repeats of 2-5 minutes (that is long in my opinion), with a stroller is an amazing workout! Don't get me wrong, it is hard. But hills are supposed to be hard. And hills are effort based, not pace based so the added resistance from the stroller that makes it more difficult is actually just doing you a favor. Additionally, having the stroller creates the necessity of using your glutes the way they are meant to be used to get yourself uphill.

Things to keep in mind?

Form: don't hunch your back.

Arm Carry: switch gripping hands frequently

Hand hold: don't grip too tightly on the handle. Gentle grasp.

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