I'VE RUN CHICAGO'S LAKEFRONT TRAIL ALONG LAKE MICHIGAN, mostly on Saturday mornings during weekend visits, and it is a very busy place. Runners of all abilities run solo, in friendly bunches, or in training groups, sharing the path with speedy bicyclists and slower walkers. I don’t usually wear headphones to listen to my phone app's voice coach call the miles, audiobooks, or music in order to be alert and prepared for the passing of those faster-moving bodies. They never announce “on your left” as I would on my relatively quiet trail back home. There’s no need because someone is always passing someone else and it would only cause confusion. Defensive running is a must here.
At the Chicago Rock ’N Roll Half Marathon on July 17, Julia Webb was probably silent too as she sped along and set a world record in stroller running, while pushing her 9 month-old daughter. She ran at a 6:20 mile pace, finishing in 1:22:57, almost 5 minutes faster than the previous record holder’s time of 1:27:34. Read more about Julia as well as an account of the event in a USA Today article “Meet the Baby Stroller Pushing Half Marathon World Record Holder” by Scott Gleeson. Who knew this was something to attempt?
How do you run to avoid injury when you’ve got a stroller + infant/child in front of you? The mechanics of good stroller running form are presented in an article from Breakingmuscle.com, “Five Tips For Running With a Jogging Stroller” by Nicole Crawford. There are “do” and “don’t” pictures demonstrating what the author says is proper posture. Other general tips are offered in a Runner’s World piece “Tips for Running With a Jogger Stroller” by Lynn Olanoff, who in her subtitle opines that, “it’s an art form”.
When I had two youngsters of stroller size with me long ago, running on a non-regulation, small-sized track with a closed gate was my best option. The Community College that owned the facility did not officially use it for team practice or competition and had no posted objection to strollers. Invariably my 3-year old son wanted to be out of his seat much of the time running his own pace while baby sister snoozed to the rhythmic movement. He was within sight, never more than a short sprint away, and when tired of running his own races, seemed happy to play with some outdoor toys we brought along. I never got more than a few miles in, but at least we had active fun outdoors together.
By the way, if you want some running coaching, with or without a stroller, Webb and her husband Alan Webb, also a record-holding miler, provide run coaching services in the Portland OR area.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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