Check for suspension, wheel stability and passenger back support when looking for a jogging pram. Image – Halfpoint.
Running with a jogging pram is a great way to not only continue enjoying training outdoors, but to connect with your children and teach them about your passions for running and walking – which in turn may become an interest all of their own.
However safety is of high priority, and if you’re a serious runner, it’s of the upmost importance to spend the time and money on a good quality jogging pram you can rely on.
At a recent outdoor running event in Queensland, a father pushing a double pram with his kids in tow flew over the top of it and landed on his back when the front wheel came off.
Thankfully all walked away unscathed, but it reiterates the seriousness of purchasing the right product for your needs and adhering to safety precautions.
All too often, there are parents jogging with prams completely ill equipped for the speed, and this puts children at high risk of injury and trauma.
They believe their daily strollers or prams will suffice for the short while they get back into an exercise regiment; until they decide if investing in a jogging pram will be worth it.
Some prams may look like they could provide a good ride for children when you’re going at a fast pace, but they’re not made to cater for it so when shopping around, look at the three most vital elements, which Runglobal Australia likes to call SWP – suspension, wheel stability and passenger back support.
Suspension is like your car’s shock absorber system and will take the stress out of bumps and grooves on the paths; if your pram has a good suspension system, chances are there will be passenger back support in place – a sling-style seat that absorbs the unsteady, jagged motion which comes with running and allows the child to sit back further.
Wheel stability takes into account a number of factors, including wheel-to-wheel distance, front wheel locking, wheel size and pneumatic tyres.
Jogging prams are designed so that the front wheel is pushed forward and away from the passenger’s centre of gravity, allowing it to bounce up and down more freely, while locking the front wheel in place prevents it from wobbling dangerously, sharp turns and unexpected directional change, which can force the pram to tip over.
Serious runners believe that a fixed wheel is the safest, but this is debatable, and some brands allow both options with just a flick of a locking/unlocking device.
When it comes to wheel size, jogging prams provide double the diameter of the every day stroller, to allow less stress and work together with the suspension – think 4WD vehicles, and lastly, pneumatic tyres are softer and reduce shock (if you take a look at newborn prams, most tyres are pneumatic, while strollers are plastic and uncomfortable for both passenger and pusher).
It is recommended that the every day stroller should not be used for anything but leisurely walks.
One of the biggest safety tips before putting your child in the jogging pram is to always check the wheels and all attachments; it may take some time to put this into routine – after all, you don’t check the tyres of your car every time you get in, but once you do it a couple times, it will become second nature, and you’ll be guaranteed a safe road experience.
However there is one final safety tip that has nothing to do with the actual product, but of general wellbeing – when you can, find walking paths or cycle paths to run on that don’t interfere with residential or business driveways.
All too often a parent jogging on a suburban path will cross numerous driveways, and during peak hour times, cars reverse from their garages and sometimes miss their mark with pedestrians, not spotting them.
Don’t always rely on drivers to see you or have reversing sensors, however having a jogging pram with high visibility colours like orange or yellow is a great preventative measure.