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Running with a buggy

Taking on running with a buggy. We have created a new 'Mummy diaries' series in which our guest writer, Claire, will be speaking about her experience as a single mum trying to stay active and healthy. Today Claire speaks about running with a buggy and how she got on with Parkrun.As a parent of a toddler, you know it can be hard to squeeze exercise into your routine of nappies, naps and nighttime feeds. So, as my January Team Up Challenge of Couch to 5km went out the window, I decided to go for it and try my local Park Run. For those of you not familiar with Park Run, it’s a weekly timed 5km run, led by volunteers across the country.On a wintery Saturday morning, the idea of getting myself and my toddler bundled up and out the house by 8.15am, ready to run (more likely walk/jog if I’m lucky!), seemed a mammoth task, however after checking the Park Run website and registering, we made it there on time. It took a while to assemble the running buggy, strap little one in safely and make sure we were loaded with snacks. Still I was excited and happy to be outside and active.

running with a buggy

Sadly, at the start I was told that buggies aren’t allowed at this Park Run. Not a great start to my 'running with a buggy' experience. This was a bit annoying as it hadn’t stated that on the website, however I decided to carry on and run the route without going through the timing funnels. We had a great experience and despite having to stop for a feed half-way round, made it to the finish in time for coffee with friends and fun time in the playground.The following week, having checked online that buggies are allowed, I tried a different Park Run. Again, rushing out the house and raring to go, I discovered that I couldn’t access the park with my buggy. So frustrating, however we went for a run in the beautiful sunshine and found a playground along the way.

running with a buggy

Despite a few setbacks, I have continued my Saturday runs, albeit without participating in Park Run. It would be great if Park Run could be more explicit on their various websites, more information regarding accessibility and which Park Run’s buggies are allowed. Luckily, I am quite determined and resilient, but other parents may have been put off by the experience.

My top tips for tackling running with a buggy are:

  • Leave plenty of time
  • Wrap the little one up warm
  • Pack snacks
  • Plan a visit to the playground enroute so little one has some fun time too

Also, if you can find a group where there are other buggy runners, it might be nice to have some company along the way! In conclusion, it is perfectly achievable to go running with a buggy however it is worth making sure you are well prepared!

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