Running and pushing a wheelchair

Hi Next year I will be running both a half and full marathon while pushing my uncle in his wheelchair. He previously has run 36 marathons but late last year was diagnosed with Motor Neurons Disease. He can't run anymore, but with me he can still race! He's 62 and average build. I'd value any tips and insights into training for racing with a wheelchair. We live 150 miles away from each other so I won't get to practice with him before the half marathon in Feb which is a trial run for the full marathon in April. So far I'm thinking: 1. Run with a pushchair (we have 3 kids) once a week, with a child in it 2. Get some structure gloves (like weight lifters) to protect hands 3. Do more hill work for quads and glutes Anybody had experience of this? Thank you for any useful comments...


  • Sorry I have no experience or anything to help your question but just wanted to show my admiration for you. I think I read your tweet about your challenge a little while ago...Brighton marathon??

    Good luck and I hope some people have some good advice.
  • BB ✭✭✭
    Hi cj, Mick is the person you need to speak to. He does loads of races pushing his adult son Phil. Not sure if he posts on here anymore, he does post on FetchEveryone. But he has a website and there is a contact on there. He is very generous with his advice and support to other runners so I am sure he would be happy to give you some advice

    Good luck image
  • Thanks gemgemx - yes it is Brighton, as that's near where my uncle lives. Your words are very kind. I'm daunted but hopefully I can help create the very best experience for him.

    Thank you B - I have emailed Mick this morning as he is local to me, so I hope he will be able to spare a little time to help me on my learning curve.

    Will be blogging from the new year about it to help tell the story...
  • cj i have nothing but admiration for what your doing. Will be following you all the way image and hope you achieve your goal.

    Hill work will be very good for you and would probably work on stamina aswell, can't hurt can it?

    Good luck cj
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    Good luck CJ. I cannot offer but wanted to wish you all the best!

  • maybe some upper body weights..............normally runners wouldn't use their top half much.but to push the wheelchair it would involve quite a bit..........

    you haven't got time to adjust so i imagine its going to be hard...........pushing all three kids around ion a shopping trolley might be closer to the weight than a pushcahair....not that i'm advising this........

    good luck

  • I sometimes run pushing my son in his running pushchair. I would say that a child is very very different to an adult. My son doesn't yet weigh ( he will be 3 in a couple of months) but the change in posture can put extra pressure on your shoulders and lower back. Use your rest days to do some core strengthening as this will help.
  • As above talk to mick he's got more knowledge on this than any sane man should. Just putting the link up in case there is anyone out there lucking and wants to cheer him on for the next year.


  • Thanks - i managed to have a good long chat with mick on how to pimp a wheelchair for a marathon and lots of handy coaching tips including how not to cut other runners up.

    Great to hear his story too. Even cooked up a plan together ahead of the marathon...

    Ps. If you want to follow the story of preparing for my uncles last marathon, but his first living with motor neurons disease and this time in a wheelchair with me quite literally behind him all the way, then at the mo I am tweeting from @chrislikes2run

    Will blog from the new year.

    And a big thank you all anyway for taking the time to read this on the forum, take an interest and spur me on. It's a big encouragement. image
  • cj runner - it is also had controlling a wheelchair down a hill. Mick is a friend of mine and I have pushed Phil for a couple of miles at Draycote marathon when Mick was suffering. Look forward to seeing you and your uncle at Brighton marathon.
  • Thanks Tracey. Yes I understand why Mick has a small wheel at the rear!! it's incredible how the seated person naturally rocks the chair to a backward tipping position when going at a pace. Not something I ever detected at walking pace. Are you running in Brighton?
  • For those that want to read...or are curious...

    I've started telling the story about pushing my uncle.

  • Well I've done 5ks pushing a pram...which is obviously easier than what you intend to do. One thing I would say though is that you tend to lean forwards QUITE a bit more. So I think a few training runs are required with the wheelchair if only to see if you can run in that 'position' for so long. GOOD LUCK.

  • I have just started training pushing my disabled stepson in a wheelchair and could really use the voice of experience. Would you be willing to give me some advice please?

  • I have now completed my first race pushing Owen in a Sports wheelchair and although it was only 15K it was an awesome experience!

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