Jogging With ChildrenAnd Why I'll Never Do it Again

Lately I’ve been really getting into this whole exercise thing and any chance I get I usually make a bee line for the door with my running gear on. Recently my husband pointed out that it seems like I am using exercise to run away from my family life (shut up husband) and suggested that I try bringing the kids along with me. We have a jogging pram growing mould in the shed and my son can now ride his bike beside me. And, just to make it triple fun for the whole family, he suggested I also bring our over-active dog too.

why i run memeSo I said, “Yes, sure, I’ll give it a try.” What I should have said is, “That is the dumbest idea I have ever heard.” And then I should have thrown gummy bears at him.

And this is why.

Exercising with Kids

The plan was simple. And fool proof really – 5 km run. Child 1 – happily riding his bike in front of me. Child 2 – happily sitting in the jogging pram. Dog  – happily running beside me on the lead.  The route was easy too;  there are no big hills, no traffic lights, no heavy traffic.

Picture perfect.

Let’s Get Ready to Run

The first two steps should have been an indication of what was to come. As soon as we hit the street my bloody dog makes his mad escape, knocking me to the ground and sending the pram rolling down the street much to my daughter’s delight.

Let’s start again.

I wrap the dog’s lead around my right hand, firmly grab the pram with my left hand, give my son the signal to make a move on his bike. And we’re off. Down the road. Through the trail. Into the park for one lap before heading out to the open road. 200 meters down.

And the dog needs to shit.

And of course I didn’t bring a bag. And of course there are people everywhere, judging Mrs. Letsherdogshitanywhere. So I do what any logical dog owner does. I undo the lead. Let her do her business and continue running along with my kids. I didn’t see it. So it didn’t happen. End of story. Run of shame. Exit park, never to return.

Onto the road where I quickly slide the lead back on and prepare for the next stretch.

jogging with children

The Open Road

4 kilometres of pathway with nothing in our way. Child 1 and Dog are happy. Except Child 2 decides that she doesn’t want to sit in the ducking pram. She wants out. So while I try to get a good pace to keep up to the racing hound, she is busy thrashing and screaming, trying to turn herself around and out of the seat belt which, 400 meters later, she manages to do.

So we’ve stopped.

Racing hound and Child 1 are mad. Child 2 is happy. She is now standing in the middle of the pathway. And I am left with an empty pram. 1.01 kilometre down.

So we walk. We walk at the rate of my toddler. Which means fifteen minutes later when I check the Garmin, we’ve done 1.03 kilometres. We may have even gone backwards.

I convince Child 2 to get back into her ducking pram by pulling out a muesli bar. Except then Child 1 wants one. And he doesn’t want to eat it while riding his bike. He wants to have a rest. So we are resting again. And ten more minutes later, we have still done 1.03 kilometres.

Finally, bars eaten. Child 1 has helmet back on. Child 2 is still sitting. Dog is digging a hole in frustration. I am ready.  So we go. And we run.

And this time we make it 300 metres.

jogging with childrenDistractions

Then we reach the road that leads to the park. And this is where Child 1 decides we need to be. Scrap the bike ride. The new plan is to go to the park.

And I tell him no. I tell him we need to ride our bikes to the finish line. He insists we don’t. I tell him the park is closed. He insists it isn’t. I tell him I’ll buy him a skateboard if he just keeps going.

And he does.

And I’m down $20 for a skateboard.

But we’re off again. And we’re running. And I am actually starting to feel a sweat. Why? Because the pram is seriously the heaviest ducking jogging pram in the history of the world. And my dog, who only 1 km ago was a race hound, has now decided she doesn’t want to run this pace anymore and has slowed to a leisurely stroll. So I am dragging her with one arm while pushing the world’s heaviest pram with the other, resulting in a half run and half sideways balancing act.

And then we’ve stopped again. We’re at the turn around point. We’re 2.5 kilometres in.

The Home Stretch

Child 1 doesn’t want to ride his bike anymore. He is too tired. He wants to go home. But, honey, the fastest way to get home is to ride your bike. No, he can’t. He wants to sit in the pram. The world’s heaviest jogging pram just got heavier.

And we head home. By now running is just not happening. So it’s a long walk home. And a tiring one, especially, when at the 3 kilometre mark, Child 2 decides she doesn’t want to be wedged behind her brother; she wants to be carried.

So I bundle the world’s heaviest toddler (Child 2) in one arm. I throw the world’s heaviest bike over the world’s heaviest jogging pram and push the world’s heaviest four year old (Child 1) with the world’s most annoying dog tied to my waist the 2 kilometres home.

jogging wiht children image 2Take the kids with you. It will be fun. It will be a family adventure.

And I curse my husband. The whole way home.

Your Workout: Track My Run

But we make it home.  And I switch the Garmin off.

  • 5 kilometres.
  • 1 hour 24 minutes.
  • Fastest Pace (when chasing after my runaway pram): 3:04 split
  • Slowest Pace (when toddler walking): 61:17 split
  • Two muesli bars. One park shame. $20 for a new skateboard.

Some mums can juggle a heavy pram loaded with kids as they run around the park. Some mums make it look easy. And to those mums, I say, seriously, how the f do you do it? Because clearly I’m doing it wrong.

And clearly, it will never happen again.


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