After going for my first few runs with Max, I’ve realised that there are plenty of benefits to having a running buggy, but was it worth splashing out on?
Let’s start with the positives. There are so many pockets! Heading out with the running buggy I no longer have to worry about whether my keys, phone and other bits and bobs will fit in that tiny, awkward to reach pocket in my leggings - the buggy has easily accessible storage for everything. It also has two removable bottle holders and pockets inside the buggy for storing snacks for Max when he’s a bit older. I especially love the zip up pocket in the hood designed for a phone with a perfectly placed slot to thread headphones out. And if I get too hot I can easily slip off a layer and pop it in the basket underneath without worrying about tying it around my waist or getting it tangled between my legs.
Another detail I love about the buggy is the magnetic close window flap in the hood. I can run with peace of mind as I can have a quick peak at Max whenever I like without having to worry about stopping to fiddle with zips or poppers. A brilliant little addition.
The 16 inch rear wheels are also a great feature, but are something that you should look for when buying any running buggy. It’s useful to have all terrain wheels and added suspension, but this does make the buggy quite bulky - it’s difficult if not impossible to fit it into the boot of my car without going through the process of removing the rear wheels and re-attaching them when we arrive at our destination. Although, due to lockdown, at the moment we aren’t venturing out in the car very often at all - we just run from home around the local area - so it’s not too problematic.
A final - and perhaps the best - benefit of having the running buggy is the fact that Max and I can head out for some fresh air and an exercise fix together. It feels so lovely to involve him in something I love from such a young age, and I can only hope he will enjoy running together as he grows up. Once you get going with a bit of momentum it’s doesn’t feel like too much more effort than running solo, but it’s just so much more fun with my little running buddy.
Besides the general bulkiness of the buggy, the only other disadvantage I’ve discovered is that with the front wheel fixed in place for running, steering it somehow becomes more difficult - I’m finding I have to take big swings to get round corners and definitely need a bit more manoeuvring practice before I become a master of buggy navigation. I would recommend seeking out running routes with the widest paths possible for the first few outings!
One more issue with running with a young(ish) baby in a buggy is the motivational aspect. Pre-baby I could often talk myself into a run if I didn’t really feel like going, but if Max isn’t in the mood it’s hard to reason with him! I can’t encourage him by saying it’s only a few more intervals or that he’ll get a tasty post-run snack when we get home - he’s too young to understand. So if he’s had enough, that’s it - runs could be cut short or even abandoned altogether. However, this is yet to happen and I’m so glad that he seems to be really enjoying our little adventures so far!
The buggy I chose after receiving some very helpful advice from the staff at Ann's Prams in Petersfield was the Mountain Buggy Terrain. However I know there are a few other brands with good reviews such as Thule and Out n About. But regardless of the brand you choose or the budget you’re willing to allocate, there are a few features (some more obvious than others) that you need to look out for when purchasing a running buggy. These are: three wheels, including a lockable front wheel and rear wheels with a minimum diameter of 16 inches, a wrist strap and hand brake (very useful for extra reassurance when running downhill), an adjustable handlebar, a forward facing seat and increased suspension. Without these properties a buggy cannot call itself a running buggy or be advertised as such.
If you want to read more about my postpartum running journey, you can access all my recent blog posts here. Don’t forget to subscribe to be the first to know about any news and updates, just enter your email address at the bottom of the page.