Speed training & stroller running: yes you CAN!

i’m halfway through my half marathon training cycle for my upcoming half in zion (less than five weeks away!). as part of my training, i vowed to incorporate weekly speed training. i’ve spent the better part of a year building my endurance base, so it feels like the perfect time to start chipping away at my pace. translation: i want to get faster! but responsibly, of course.

as much as i would love to speed train without the stroller, it’s not always possible. between my husband’s early morning work schedule and our crazy hot temperatures, i run 90 percent of the time with my two kids in the double. today, i wanted to stay on schedule with my speed training regimen, so i knew it had to be done…stroller speed work, here we go!

spoiler alert: i loved it. and the kids did, too. the extra element of competition (against myself, of course) really mixed up our often monotonous stroller runs. each time my garmin buzzed, and it was time for another 60-second push, i told the kiddos “time for mommy to go fast!” they both really got into it…especially the three year old! “go mommy, go!” he shouted as i aimed for a 8:20-8:45 pace. definitely the motivation i needed.

after successfully completing a stroller speed training sesh, i wanted to share a few tips:

tip #1: garmin is your friend. program your speed workout ahead of time. as any stroller-running mama knows, preparation is key to a successful stroller run! don’t forget to have your workout set before you get out the door. the last thing you’ll want to do is mess with your watch while pushing the kiddos (been there, done that).

tip #2: tell the kiddos what you’re doing. my three year old son loves when mommy “goes fast” (which is rare…haha) so i made sure to tell him what we were doing. it went something like this: “okay guys, we’re gonna run fast today! when mommy tells you she’s gonna run fast, cheer her on!”

tip #3: be prepared for a slower pace. when i programmed my speed training workout, i was aiming for a target pace of 8:20 – 8:45 for each 1 minute speed run. while pushing the stroller, my pace goes down significantly, so i was mentally prepared to perform a little slower than when i did this training solo the week prior.

tip #4: prepare for a full-body workout. pushing the stroller on a regular run is a workout. add speed training and your arms will be feeling it!

tip #5: follow a program. runner’s world has a fantastic library of speed work for beginners. check it out here: https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20865004/sprint-workouts-to-increase-speed/