Roughly six months after my oldest was born and our traumatic birth experience I started running for my health. I knew that pre-eclampsia put me at higher risk for developing cardio vascular disease later in life so I wanted to improve my chances of avoiding the disease process. Even if you have not had pre-eclampsia there are other risk factors that increase your chance of heart disease. Cardio vascular exercise achieved by running is a healthy lifestyle choice you can choose to aid in heart disease in prevention.
(My oldest was roughly a year old here but I vividly remember this photo. I knew I was into running for the long haul. I had been running nearly six months by this time and just reached my first 5 miles (without stopping) with baby in the stroller. I was achieving health goals for myself, for her, for my family.)
How To Start Running
Each person is different…after my near death experience I was still fairly weak and fatigued despite it being six months from daughter’s birth. I had ran in track and cross country as a high schooler so I knew how to start running again. However, due to my level of health it took more time to achieve my running goals.
When I did, everything felt amazing! My blood pressure and heart rate are on the lower side of normal. I require less sleep and I feel more energetic.
Pick a distance that you know is 2-2.5 miles long roughly and just start with some short days. Begin by walking then a light jog, maintain the jog until you absolutely can’t anymore then give yourself a brief breather. As soon as you can start the light jog again. Keep this up until you’ve completed the distance. Aim to run three days a week. Wait to increase your distance until you can complete it without stopping. At this point in my running experience I am able to comfortably and easily run a 10 minute mile. Which brings me to my next point-setting goals.
For me, health means to live my life to my fullest body, mental, spiritual, and emotional health potential. Without the hinderence of a disease process effecting my quality of life.
Running helps me to achieve my health goals. Ask yourself the same question: what does health mean to you?
Then set a running (or alternative cardio exercise) to achieve that goal.
My first running goal:
Run 2 miles without stopping at a 10 minute per mile pace. 3x per week.
Then advance to 3 miles at a 10 minute per mile pace for 3 days per week.
I like to call this The 3×3 goal-3 miles, 30 minutes, 3 days each week.
What about the kids?
Sometimes it is nice to get away and have a run by yourself. However, I am pretty self-reliant. My husband has been my running buddy since the start so he’s out running with us too. Outside of spousal support, we haven’t really had a lot of options for someone to “keep the kids” while we go for a quick run. From the beginning, we adapted by bringing them along. It is truly an art to run with young children. We’ve gone through a few jogging strollers too until we found the right fit for us.
Our first graco brand was what I affectionately called the jogging jiggler. Since it jostled my baby around and the handle literally vibrated while I ran. It felt like you were always pushing it up a mountain. All of that combined discouraged our running efforts.
So I began to research strollers for long distance running. We’ve gone through several and these are my two favorites.
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Baby Jogger Summit
My oldest was an older 2 yr old here and I promise she is just itching her nose (lol). I am also 3 months pregnant with our youngest. Let me tell you this Baby Jogger Summit was my absolute favorite to run with. The best features:
Which are very important features for long distance running while pushing a 30 lbs two yr old and being pregnant.
The Baby Jogger Summit also has a cup holder adapter for her sippy. Plus, amazing storage space underneath for wipes, snacks, toys, and water for you.
Other important features:
-Front swivel tire for quick maneuvering and tight turns
-Easy fold & go, you literally pull a handle located in the center and it instantly collapses.
Then baby two came along…
Schwinn Double Jogger
My honest review?
I didn’t care for it. It felt like I was trying to push a shopping cart through the snow and my oldest out grew it a few months later. The tires were flat every time I went for a run so I always had to spend time filling them up. My time is precious and I never have any to waste.
I did like the cup holders. That is all.
I needed something that was light weight-with two kids it was the most important criteria for me.
I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg.
It would be amazing if it had dual capabilities-I wanted to be able to vary it up and use it as a bike trailer too.
Did such a thing exist?
Aosom Elite ll 3-in- jogger-bike trailer-stroller
The Aosom Elite II is really light-weight. I remember weighing them in this picture and I recall that the combined baby weight plus the stroller was around 90 lbs. Which might sound like a lot but when you compare to the added weight of most joggers-it isn’t. The majority of the weight was in child mass.
The Aosom Elite II also was extremely inexpensive compared to other available options. I believe I saved a couple hundred dollars buying this one over other brands.
Added feature that I love about the Aosom Elite II : extra storage space.
Do you know what I’ve been able to fit back here?
-Snacks & drinks
-Two paper bags full of groceries
An unexpected occurrence happened as my daughter became older.
One day she jumped out and wanted to run too. My instant reaction was to get her back in but I held my tongue and watched.
She was modeling my running form and giving running a try. I let it go and let it happen. When she gets too tired she goes back in and when she wants to run she jumps back out.
My youngest has started to join in as well. It has become apparent that running can be for the whole family.
If you have older children that are just starting, then begin with the 3×3 goal.
Are you ready to get started running as a family?
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