We met Joanna for a chat about what becoming a mum to Aio means to her, where she highlighted the beautiful harmony between pursuing her passion for running and embracing the transformative journey of becoming a parent.
Continue reading to get Joanna's tips and tricks and be encouraged to get started on your own stroller journey, even amidst the joys and demands of motherhood.
BECOMING A MUM
Joanna's running adventure began in 2015, when she was given the chance to establish a running community in Copenhagen with a small group of women. Although she didn't consider herself a runner at the time, her background as a personal trainer and therapist attracted her to this opportunity. Since then, she has continued running and is now part of another running community in Copenhagen.
In 2020, Joanna experienced the great personal milestone of becoming a mother for the first time. The arrival of her child, Aio, completely reshaped her perspective and priorities, leading her on a new and rewarding path that combines both her love for running with the joys and challenges of parenthood.
What inspired you to start running with Aio in a running stroller?
Running is a significant part of my life, and I wanted both Aio and myself to embrace the benefits of using a jogging stroller. I was highly motivated and determined not to give up on running, so it felt like a natural step to incorporate it into our routine.
Incorporating running with a stroller into my routine not only has kept me physically fit and mentally refreshed but is also instilling healthy habits in Aio at an early age (or so I would like to think). She has already began associating running with joy, bonding and exploration, as she always seems excited every time we lace up for a run.
How do you manage to find time for your runs while taking care of your child?
When Aio was a baby, I strategically planned my runs to align with her nap times. As she grew older and became more curious about the world around her, I adjusted my approach. I started scheduling my runs when she was awake, making sure to have snacks prepared to keep her content. Now that she's three years old, I pick her up in the stroller from day-care. During our runs, she enjoys having a snack and sometimes listens to music. To ensure a positive experience, I always conclude our runs by visiting a playground, the beach, or simply swinging in our garden. Preparation is key, so I meticulously plan everything in advance, including snacks, dinner, and diapers, to make it as effortless as possible for both of us.
Could you share any tips and tricks for other moms who may be interested in starting to run with their babies?
Absolutely! If you're considering running with your baby, I recommend planning ahead by ensuring you have snacks, diapers, water, and any other essentials prepared in advance. Additionally, it's crucial not to burden yourself with excessive expectations at the beginning. Instead, focus on enjoying the experience and forget about pace or covering long distances. I encountered initial challenges when my daughter didn't take to the stroller initially, so I adjusted by carrying her in a baby carrier for the first few kilometres. It took about a month for her to become comfortable in the stroller, particularly when facing inward. Patience and flexibility are key during this transition period.
How has running with your daughter affected your overall physical and mental well-being?
Running has become an integral part of my life as a mother, positively impacting both my physical and mental well-being. Engaging in this activity three times a week allows me to be a better mother. Our runs have become moments of shared enjoyment and exploration. In fact, we've even taken the stroller with us on various vacations. As a single mom, running has become a necessity for me. While I may feel tired after completing a 10K run, the physical activity provides me with an overall surplus of energy and a heightened sense of fulfilment.
Can you share a memorable or heart-warming moment you've had while running with Aio?
One of the most recent heart-warming moments occurred during a race when Aio began cheering me on enthusiastically. It was incredibly uplifting to witness her support and encouragement. However, the most significant and cherished moment was when we crossed the finish line together during the CPH Half, alongside a group of ladies from my running club who all became mothers within the same 6-month period. It was a shared accomplishment that created lasting bonds and a sense of camaraderie.
Looking back at your journey as a mom who runs with her baby, what message or piece of advice would you like to share with other parents who may be facing similar challenges or considering incorporating exercise into their parenting routine?
My message to other parents facing similar challenges or contemplating the inclusion of exercise in their parenting routine is simple: go for it. Recently, I inspired a friend who wasn't a runner. She started by alternating between running 500-600 metres and walking 300 metres. Over time, she gradually increased her running distances. With dedication and consistency, she is looking to successfully complete a full 5K with a stroller in just a few months. Running with your baby can be an incredible way to foster an active and healthy family dynamic. Embrace the journey, set realistic goals, and remember that being together in this endeavour creates special and lasting memories.
THIS SEASON’S MUST-HAVE ESSENTIALS
Inspired by Joanna's tips and tricks, we've gathered products for people who want to get started running.
Amongst this selection, you will find short tights with plenty of storage, long sleeve t-shirts for those chilly mornings and late evenings, breathable and lightweight t-shirts, or singlets, for the hot summer days. Lastly, don't forget the small details that make all the difference, like a good pair of socks, a sun-blocking cap, and a supportive sports bra for women. Click the link here to get off to a running start.