Accessory Gear for the Running Parent

man with her daughter standing in jogging stroller outside in autumn nature
Being a parent is often both incredibly rewarding and incredibly exhausting. Whether you just welcomed a newborn, have adopted your first, or have teens—it's a lifelong journey filled with ups and downs. Balancing parenting and an exercise routine in your life can present an additional challenge.
Are you a running parent? Or perhaps, you've never tried running before or want to get your feet back on the trail—but are unsure how to make it easier for yourself and your little ones.
Did you know there is a wealth of specialized gear for the running parent to help you balance being a parent and a passionate, committed runner of any level? If you're struggling to determine which gear might make your next family run a bit easier, we're here to help!

The Running Stroller

You might think you already have a stroller; what's the difference between that and one specifically built for running with your kiddos? And, is it worth it? If you're an avid runner or belong to an avid runner family, having a specially adapted stroller suitable for jogging may be worth it. Running strollers are built more robust and have more stability than the regular baby and toddler strollers on the market.
A lightweight regular stroller isn't probably going to remain stable enough to push them in front of you on sidewalks or your usual running terrain. Generally, standard strollers weigh between 8 – 33 pounds, while most jogging strollers start at 23 pounds and go over, thanks to larger wheels and extra stabilizing accessories.
Since running strollers are more robust, they have a higher weight limit of around or above 75 pounds. There are two reasons for this. First, you shouldn't go running with your baby until they are six months old or older; second, running strollers can handle weight better due to sturdier builds.

What other features do running strollers have that regular don't?

  • Running strollers use either pneumatic tires or foam-filled tires. Pneumatic tires are heavier, with an inner wheel structure, an air tube, and an outer rubber tire. Pneumatic tires are flexible, giving you a smoother ride on bumpy ground. Foam-filled or EVA foam rubber tires are solid and lighter than pneumatic tires but tend to be stiffer. In general, jogging strollers are three-wheeled. Either way, running strollers should feature big wheels. However, EVA tires can be as smooth as pneumatic if your stroller has suspension.
  • Great running strollers should have suspension. Suspension is crucial because it makes the ride smooth and comfortable for your kids while making it easier for you to push it while running.
  • Reputable jogging strollers should always have a five-point harness, as you'll be moving faster than usual in probably more complicated areas when running. Many running stroller models also can interface with a car seat and a canopy to protect your little one from the elements.
  • A running stroller will either have a fixed front wheel or the ability to lock the front wheel when running to prevent swivel.
  • Running strollers should come with two types of brakes: hand brakes for running and a foot brake that can be engaged when your feet aren't moving, but you aren't holding the handle. Additionally, a safety wrist strap is critical because, as a parent, we're human, and after a long day or run, you may forget to engage the foot brake. Extra precautions to ensure safety is always an excellent choice.

Running Belt Bag or Waist Packs

Now, we can guess what you're thinking. "A fanny pack? Really? Hear us out! A running belt or a waist pack is designed exclusively for those who need to carry essential items while running or doing cardio, like hiking and jogging. Running belts consider that the body wearing them will be bouncing around. They work to ensure there's less discomfort while allowing you to carry your essential items like keys, wallet, water, or phone without pockets. Running belts also utilize lightweight, sweat-wicking material that won't chafe, which is ideal for runners.
Some running belts are also designed to hold water bottles, allowing you to keep your hands on the stroller.
Fanny packs, on the other hand, can be worn—but they are not designed to account for the more extensive range of motion when being worn. Fanny packs also tend to be much bulkier.

Energy Gel

If you prefer just water, that's fine! However, if you want to sustain performance and boost your endurance, many nutritionists recommend consuming additional hydration, carbohydrates, and electrolytes, especially for longer runs.
You can choose sports drinks, more water, energy bars, chews, blocks, or gels. Regarding what offers the most portability, consistency, and convenience for running parents, we recommend energy gels. Gels are essentially sports drinks without bulkiness or weight.

GPS and Fitness Tracking Watch

If you would instead leave the smartphone behind, having one less thing to carry, a GPS and fitness tracking wristwatch might be perfect for you. GPS running watches can be an excellent tool to add to your running routine and even more so as a parent. Track your miles effortlessly; plenty of models offer other unique smartwatch features you can use outside your run.


Whether your little one or you are an early riser or a late-evening run sort, your safety is as essential as your kids. One of the best tips for running safely at dawn or dusk is to ensure you're visible. Reflective clothing or gear for mom and dad is prudent. Making sure you're visible isn't just for vehicles, either. Reflective clothing is an excellent way to be seen clearly by others running, walking, or walking their dog along the same trail. We recommend looking for something as minimalistic and lightweight as possible that is soft, chafe-free, and doesn't trap sweat.
When it comes to being a running parent, there is a lot of excellent gear out there that will help make running with your kids much more manageable. But try and remember, you can head out the door planning your usual with all the best gear in the world, but your kids may have other plans! Remember to manage your expectations and be flexible. Enjoy this time you have together with your kids.