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With the summer running season quickly approaching you want to get your family out and about as much as possible (who knows how long it will last in the UK)
Since I won’t be up and running (pun intended) before summer arrives I am having to live vicariously through the rest of you sporty people and I will have to passively see you through this season. SO, I was fortunate enough that Neil from This Dad Does wanted to share his guide to buggy running.
A bit about Neil:
Neil is a healthy successful dad who takes pride in his appearance and his health, you can find him running, walking and out and about with his kids while writing about health, fitness and lifestyle from a unique dad perspective over at This Dad Does.
Buggy running is great fun and exercise. Now that the summer is almost here, there’s no excuse for not getting out and about with your running buggy. The weather is warmer, the sun is shining. It’s not going to be icy underfoot. Your excuses are all gone.
But what do you need to consider if you’re out running in the summer months? Here are my top Summer Buggy Running tips…
What Should You Take on a Summer Buggy Run?
The main consideration for summer running is the temperature. During the winter months, you wrapped up your little ones in every layer they had, ensconced them in the Cosy-Toes, added the rain cover (just in case) and away you went. At the same time, you went fully covered in head-to-toe merino base layers, leggings, jumper and waterproof jacket and then adding 2 pairs of gloves, a hat, and waterproof socks.
Now you’re in summer, things have changed. Unless you live in the west of Scotland (where it rains pretty much year round), it’s going to be drier so full waterproofs might be overkill. It’s also going to be warmer, even in the early mornings. By the time the sun gets going, you could be looking at early 20-degree heat.
Dressing your Kids
From experience, under 1 is quite young for buggy running. My kids enjoyed buggy running the most between the ages of 1 ½ and 3.
Remember that even in summer, sitting down in a drafty buggy for 30 minutes to an hour can get pretty cold. So dress your wee ones in long sleeve, loose-fitting clothing. Layers are great too as you can stop and remove them if need be. You can check their temperature easily by putting your fingers between their lower neck and shoulder, if they feel too hot, take a layer off. Older kids will probably just tell you when they’re too warm.
A hat is also useful, as are sunglasses and you can get cheap kids’ shades in most supermarkets. You should buy a few pairs – they get lost very easily and younger kids probably won’t like wearing them at all.
The sun can be incredibly strong, even in the early morning or evening. Remember that UV rays can penetrate clothing so use your preferred kid’s sunscreen on any exposed or vulnerable areas.
How to Dress Yourself
Hopefully, you know how to dress for a run by now. The only difference with buggy running (assuming you have a buggy with a basket) is you have somewhere to store things – like excess clothing. If you like to wear a jacket or a top while starting out, you can quickly stow this away when you get too warm – no more annoying zips flapping around your calves as you run.
But, don’t wear too much. I find that buggy running takes more effort and so you will build up more of a sweat. I don’t wear base layers at all in the summer as I’ll be far too warm after just a few minutes running.
Also, remember to wear sunscreen – even if you don’t burn easily. The best for exercising is Riemanns P20 as it’s easily absorbed and super duper water (i.e. sweat) proof.
What to Take on Your Run
This isn’t a prescriptive or exhaustive list. What you take is up to you. Remember that whatever you do take adds to the weight of what you’re going to be pushing. During the summer months this is what I take:
Rain Cover: Unless the weather forecast is for dry, dry, dry and drier I’ll always take the rain cover. Living in the British Isles, the weather can change in an instant. As they say in the military “Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.”
A Dry Bag: I’ll actually pack one of these year round but a 40 litre dry bag (the type used for camping, hillwalking etc) is the best place for storing clothing, puncture repair kits, spare inner tubes, your phone etc. Fold it over and stow in your basket or clip onto the frame. Go for a lightweight type. Canoe bags are too heavy and unnecessarily expensive to buy especially for running.
Snacks and Drinks: Remember snacks and drinks for your little ones. Something like rice cakes provide minimal mess. Juice in a nonspill cup or bottle is also good to bring or milk for younger children. Also, take something for yourself. I’m not a big fan of gels or sports drinks as most are unnecessary for the average casual runner. A big bottle of water and a few jelly babies or some fruit is enough for runs lasting under an hour. Unless the water bottle is sealed, keep it OUTSIDE the dry bag (trust me).
Nappies and Wipes: Depending on how remote you are, you should think about taking a nappy and some wipes. Sitting on a dirty nappy isn’t much fun for your kids – they’ll tell you at the first opportunity, so it’s worth having a stripped down bag for running. Get a travel pack of wipes, a couple of nappies, small tub of cream and wrap in a plastic bag or even a smaller dry bag. You can use the larger dry bag or the rain cover as an improvised changing mat.
Buggy running is great fun. Being well prepared and organized as well as wearing the right clothing can be the difference between an excellent run and something of an endurance test. Taking a few steps of preparation will help improve your experience and that of your kids.