In spring a mans thoughts turn to... Well, let's not get into that now. Instead, let's celebrate the end of winter hibernation with some good, healthy Victorian-style fresh air with the nipper in tow, which means transport of some kind is required.
This exhaustive range of all terrain buggies will see you right, whether you're planning to chunter around a National Trust carpark or complete the West Highland Way - there's something here for everyone.
BoB Revolution Pro
Straight in at the deep end here, the BoB (originally short for Beast of Burden) is one of the heaviest buggies on test, and rightly so. The build quality here would embarrass a JCB, and the ride quality makes a Bentley look like a shopping trolley. Like both of those things, it's not light, and it folds into a fair-sized package. However, if you actually plan to run any distance at all on uneven surfaces this is the tool you need, with multi-adjustable suspension, lockable front wheel and large diameter bike-style wheels. It's also rated for skating as well as running, which tells you plenty about the build quality. A comfy seat, razor sharp brake system (bar mounted, handy if running down a hill) and a capacious hood round things off. Just remember, back straight, bend at the knees to lift it into the Range Rover, darling.
Best for: Serious running addicts, no compromises.
£455 | Bobgear
Thule Urban Glide
A heavier version of the more hardcore Thule Glide, the Urban version wowed us as a lighter version of the BoB, but sans handbrake and with more minimalist suspension. Fine on a flat surface, less fun on a towpath. In spite of it's featherweight construction it's still good quality, but the intricate fold mechanism isn't to be approached carelessly if you value your fingers. However, it folds almost entirely flat, thus fitting into cars and cupboards with relative aplomb. There's also a massive stride space for even the most flat-out running stance.
Best for: Casual urban runners
£424 | Thule
Out and About Nipper Single
Much more a standard pushchair than a 'running buggy', but with similar design cues to the other runner buggys on test (Big sister Nipper sport is for the athletes), this hits a sweet midpoint in the group. With adequate suspension for village potholes, lockable front wheel, decent hood, comfy seat and an included raincover this is the ultimate suburban choice.
£269.95 | Out and About
Best for: Suburban school runs, muddy lanes.
iCandy Peach all terrain
The usual iCandy build quality and attention to detail shine through on the Peach, which wins the urban crown due to the sheer range of accessories available, from travel system components through to parasols and cupholders, all in matching colour ways, natch. On the more practical side, there's an excellent raincover, very flexible front wheel lock and a wheel pump stashed in the shopping basket. It's not light, and the folding method is more modular deconstruction than anything else, but as long as you get the chauffeur to lift it you're golden.
£640 | iCandy
Best for: Wandering in the park
Now you've got the gear, get the tips. Ellie Brown, UK Athletics Coach and Founder, Greenwich Fitness & Pilates helps you get fit when pushing a buggy.
Posture – Posture and Alignment of the spine and pelvis are extremely important when running and never more so when running with a buggy. The position of the handles can alter the position of the spine and pelvis, so it is imperative that the handles are set to the correct height. For this reason, make sure the buggy you choose has adjustable handles.
Warming up –As with any exercise it is important to warm up. When exercising with a buggy do not ignore warming up the upper limbs, shoulders and arms as well as the lower limbs; hamstrings, quadriceps, calves.
Warming down - This is the same with warming up. It is as important to stretch the upper body as the lower body. Pushing the buggy can cause tension around the wrists, arms, neck and shoulders. Make sure the neck and shoulders are released and stretched as these areas often take the strain.
Running Kit – No specific kit is required for running with a buggy although do not forget your buggy accessories. Rain cover as well as sun shade as you never know!
Running shoes – As with normal running, make sure you have the correct supportive shoes.
Running up and down hills – it may be obvious but if your buggy has a wrist strap, put it on! You will be surprised how often you take your hands off the handles without thinking. As you are pushing added load, we suggest coming onto the balls of your feet when running up a hill. It makes those long inclines a little less exhausting.
Not too far too soon - Don’t expect to go out with a buggy and run 10 miles on your first outing. Start with a relatively flat route and build up the distance over time and allow your body to get used to the added load and positioning of the hands on the handle.
Health and Safety – If running with a baby, make sure the babies head is supported. This can be done with a child neck support or a folded towel.