3 kids, 160lbs and a dog.

caitlin

This is how a typical training run for Caitlin looks

That’s how Caitlin rolls.  I mean literally, that is her entourage on an average training run.

Caitlin found her passion for running at an early age and when high school rolled around she wanted to join the cross country team, but her school didn’t have one.  So she ran as a one man (or woman) team, solely representing her school at every meet.
She continued running competitively through college, racing on the team at Claremont University while getting her B.S in Neuroscience.
Yeah, that’s right, Neuroscience.  Caitlin is also one smart cookie.  She completed her Masters degree from UCLA in the year between having her first two children where she also worked in Neuroscience research.
Fast forward to today where Caitlin continues to race competitively (often winning her age group an occasionally capturing first place finishes), is a full time mother to three kids under the age of 5 and is co-founder of an exciting new company.

Let’s hear a little more from Caitlin:

The first thing I noticed when I went to your website was the pictures of you pushing your triple jogging stroller.  I had to look closely to make sure the pics weren’t photoshopped.  Where can someone even find a triple stroller?  Have you ever seen anyone else out there with one?

I found my triple on Craigslist, I  had to drive about 50 miles to pick it up and have used it almost daily for the past year and a half.  Nope, I’ve never seen anyone else with a triple, I guess that’s why we get LOTS of stares everywhere we go and run with it!
 
So how much does that monstrosity weigh?
160+ lbs!  I remember the first couple of runs I almost cried and wondered if I made a mistake.  It was so hard pushing that thing but then it got easier and easier.  Now almost all my training runs are done pushing my kids in the stroller.How many miles do you do a week pushing the triple jogger?
I do about 40 pushing the triple jogger and then also get a couple runs in with my single and double strollers and an occasional run without kids.  Oh and I forgot to mention that our dog Clover comes along on runs that are less than 18 miles.

caitlin2

What is the longest run you’ve ever done pushing the triple jogger?
The furthest I’ve ever pushed the triple was about 12 miles, on hilly trails in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Okay, wow.  So now you’ve completely blown my mind.  You are pushing 3 kids, pulling a dog along, racking up some series mileage and racing competitively on the weekends!   Do you have any tips for other moms looking to start stroller running, whether its with a single, double or triple?
Make running with your kids part of your day.  The days can get tedious and monotonous, especially when your kids are young.  Going for a run is the first thing we do in the day, it gives us something to do together as a family and gets us outside.
Sometimes I will run them to school and back or push them to do whatever errands I need to.   Training with a stroller is an advantage, it is harder but it also makes you stronger and helps you to get fitter faster.   When I run pushing the stroller I hope to inspire others but I also inspire myself just knowing that I can do it.

RWK takeaways:
– Commit to running with your kids; make it part of your daily routine
– Get creative to fit runs in:  try walking or running your kids everywhere possible
– Training with a jogging stroller is tough!  Every time you run you are inspiring others around you.

How many races do you do a year pushing a stroller?

I’ve only raced a handful of times with a stroller. I love stroller running for training and it’s the only way to get in my mileage with three little ones but I am competitive and love to race to win, go after PR’s and run fast so I try to get out there and race alone. I use the philosophy of train heavy, race light!

Any tips for parents looking to run a race with a stroller?
Most races say you have to start in back, which is fine if you are looking to just finish the event.  If you want to race competitively start in the front, especially if you know that not many people will be passing you.
It is almost impossible to pass people with a stroller but other runners can easily get around you.  No one has ever given me a hard time for starting in the front with a stroller.
*RWK note:  This completely makes sense, especially if you are running in a larger, more crowded event.   Plus, starting closer to the front will put a little more pressure on you to run faster than you normally would.  Wouldn’t it feel amazing to get a PR while pushing a stroller?!?

DSC_0108 RWK note:

I went back and asked Caitlin to give me some proof of how fast she really is.  Here are her official 5k and 10k times pushing her strollers and wow is she fast!

  • 5K with single Stroller: 21:17
  • 10K with single stroller: 45:17
  • 10K with triple stroller: 54:33 (hilly course!)

Do you run trails with your kids?

Our regular stroller route is Dirt Mulholland, Woodland Hills. It’s a fire road that runs all the way from Woodland Hills to Bel Air and Brentwood, with access to over 90 miles of trails, nearly all of them stroller friendly, it’s a trail runner’s heaven! I have even run many single track trails with the single stroller – my kids love it, the bumps are like a roller coaster ride! I also love Chesbro trails in Agoura Hills.  I have attached one here of the Chesebro trail. Both routes are great for single, double or triple!
 
Any healthy snack ideas you pack in the stroller for the kiddos?

Some of our favorite snacks: Homemade granola bars, fig bars, dried fruit and nuts and homemade frozen popsicles for hot summer days!  I often keep organic, natural lollipops hidden in my stroller zippers for “emergencies” (i.e. breakdowns on longer runs).
 
I also read that you follow a plant based diet.  Can you tell me about that?
My husband and I have been eating a plant based diet for over 10 years now.  It didn’t happen all at once, I grew up on a Midwestern diet and over the years we learned more about the harmful effects of a diet high in dairy and meat.
There are some great documentaries and books out there that inspired us to go vegan like “Eat and Run!”, a memoir by Scott Jurek which is very inspirational, especially considering the fact that he’s one of the top Ultramarathoners in the world and he can fuel properly for top running on a plant-based diet.
However, I don’t believe in being completely subscribed to one diet.  I am okay with eating meat and if my body tells me I need something, especially weeks where I am doing high mileage, I eat it.
I also don’t want my kids to feel restricted so if they are out with friends or at school and they are serving dairy or meat then they eat it.
I think the best thing we’ve gotten out of this journey is that we eat a ton more fruits and vegetables now.
Any other books or websites you’d recommend for those interested in learning more about starting a plant based diet?
Oh She Glows is my #1 go to website and cookbook for quick, delicious vegan meals for my whole family.
CAITLIN 4

And you are also an entrepreneur.  Tell me more about that journey:
 
My husband worked in research for many years with a team of scientists who created the world’s lightest materials.   He had this idea for light weight custom insoles for runners based off this research and so in January, he quit his job and we launched Light Insoles together.  He is an inventor and scientist and came up with the idea and new technology, but bounces all his ideas off of me and we work together as a team.  My main roles with the company are: running product tester and social media VP.  I am in charge of getting the word out there, connecting with runners, running stores, bloggers and running as much as possible in my insoles on all different terrains to ensure we sell the very top product. Running in them is my favorite job perk! : )

–  Caitlin Jacobsen
RWK contributor
Read more about Caitlin
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