Hi there! Last time you all heard from me I was discussing my journey of running during pregnancy.
On 12/1/16, my husband and I welcomed our sweet boy Easton into the world. It was one of the greatest days of my life and one that I will absolutely never forget.
I qualified for the 2017 Boston Marathon in October before I got pregnant. I knew that it was a large undertaking to run the race 4 months postpartum, but I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t give it a shot.
As soon as I was officially cleared to run by my doctor, I laced up my running shoes to get back out there. Postpartum running has been a whole new world for me, but also one of the most rewarding journey’s I’ve taken. I’ve been marathon training for 5 weeks now and I’m already learning so much about myself and about postpartum running.
First, don’t go into it with expectations of any kind. As new Moms we already have a lot of pressure on ourselves and running should not be one of them. I approach every run without any expectations. Sure, there are workouts I try to do to get ready for Boston but if my body tells me no then I listen to it. Between the sleepless nights, growth spurts, and just learning this journey of motherhood its best to go easy on yourself for a while.
On top of your running make sure to not neglect your strength work. After giving birth your muscles and body are not what they once were. You must spend time building back the strength especially in your pelvic floor and core. I try to make this my primary focus even before running itself. If you want to run your best postpartum, then you have to strengthen what has been weakened.
Even through the hard work make sure you continue to celebrate your accomplishments, even the small ones! Did you have a great run? Run a new post-baby PR? Celebrate! Your body has gone through so much and even the small accomplishments are big ones coming back postpartum.
I’ll go ahead and warn you just like with anything you will find yourself falling into the comparison trap. I can’t tell you how many times I was told “you will come back faster”, but that hasn’t happened for me yet. I’ve had to work back from the ground up and that’s okay. Our bodies all respond to pregnancy different so take what your body gives you and don’t push beyond your limits. Trying to force your body to go faster than it’s ready for will just lead to injury – bet patient and it will come.
Finally, no matter how hard postpartum running can feel sometimes it is by far the most rewarding experience. Each day that I get to run and see my sweet boy’s smiling face at the end of my run is like nothing else. The joy I get from knowing I am strong because I am a Mom is far better than anything I could have imagined. Postpartum running isn’t always easy, in fact some days it’s down right hard, but just like with anything consistency, persistence, and determination can get you far.