Buggy running is becoming increasingly popular. It allows you to enjoy the sport you love while sharing the outdoors with your children. Is there anything in particular you need to consider when buggy running in Winter? We asked Wendy Rumble of RunningBuggies.com for her tips for Winter buggy runs…
Keeping your small children warm (much like them making sure they are fed) is such a powerful need. It’s an emotional concern, not just a task.
Even though it is good for them to get some fresh air and for you to get you some exercise the cold and wild weather can be off-putting.
So, when you are considering taking them out with you into the wind, rain and cold, it’s only right that you spend time getting the set up sorted to maximise their comfort. Once you get into the routine it becomes second nature of course.
My girls are 4 and nearly 2. I have run with both from an early age and this includes during winter. I have learnt through trial and error what works in winter and here are my top tips for you…
1) Avoid damp snacks & drippy drinks!
Any fruit pouches or drinks that spill will mean damp clothes. This will make the passenger feel far colder than they need to be, especially taking into account the windchill factor. Even while using a non-spill drink beaker’s my girls have decided to spit out their drink which then has led to wet clothes on a run. Better to stop and offer them drinks before removing the beakers back to a pocket. Good snacks are raisins, crackers, banana, breadsticks, and oaty bars etc.
2) The rain cover is your friend!
The rain cover can be used to keep chills and wind off your little one. I know some older children can object more to the removal of the view. I get around this with my girls by letting them watch films on my phone or play on the Cbeebies app!
Most running buggies will have some air vents in the back of the seat which can be revealed when the rain cover is one to ensure air circulation. Make sure you seek these out and reveal them.
The bike trailers which convert into running buggies, like the Thule Chariot Cougar, have a cover on the front which is down most of the time, either with mesh front or the plastic waterproof one. My girls enjoy their rides in that as it feels 100% enclosed and like their own little den.
3) Gloves are essential for the pusher.
I don’t always wear running gloves as I’m not keen on the sweaty palm sensation. However, when you are pushing a buggy your hands get far colder, stuck in one position on the handlebar and with the wind moving over them.
4) Layers are key for your little one.
The ideal scenario is that you get a sleeping bag/cosytoes/footmuff for your buggy which means that they are all zipped up with no blankets unravelling or wellies being kicked off. However, some cheap versions have been known to slip down and touch the front wheel so do look at the review’s around before you invest.
I’ve always been a fan of all in 1 snowsuits which can be waterproof and allow for many layers underneath, and some on top if needs be too. Here is Heidi in January 2016 aged 1 at parkrun when it was zero degrees.
The hands are a key worry area for me, particularly when the child is a bit older and wants to snack or play. You could go old school and attach gloves to the coat via string or elastic through the arms. I have also resorted to hairbands at the elbows over children’s ski socks to keep hands covered and warm.
5) Adapt to the conditions.
Change your route to paths if there is snow. Consider putting zip ties on your wheels for grip on ice. Go for forest paths when it snows or it is icy but take into consideration that many dog walkers may do the same so you may need to clean the tyres before they go in the car (dog poo alert).
Put lights on your buggy if you run in the dark. And finally, one that I find hard to do, ignore the tech (Strava/watches), and stop frequently to ensure your little one is okay, no blue lips or very cold hands.
Babies and toddlers really benefit from fresh air even in Winter so go on, get out there!
Author: Wendy Rumble is a member of Run Mummy Run and runs her own online business, RunningBuggies.com. She set it up in 2015 as the first and only UK specialist selling running buggies. Wendy has run with her children in all the key running buggies on the market and offers expert 1-2-1 advice to parents to help them choose the right one for them. For any questions on running buggies head to her website or message her at [email protected]
If you enjoyed this blog you may also enjoy http://www.runmummyrun.co.uk/articles-features/9-reasons-give-buggy-running-go/ and http://www.runmummyrun.co.uk/running-and-training/how-can-i-run-with-a-buggy/