I had baby Mackenzie about 9 months ago and have had a few people ask me how I got back into running and have seen some posts on Facebook in running groups I’m in asking the same thing! I figured I could write what worked for me and maybe help out some ladies after having their babies!
First of all – I didn’t have any crazy difficulties with labor and delivery and was cleared to resume running by my doctor at my 6 week appointment. Definitely consult your own doctor on when you should begin running again. I also ran until 32 or 33 weeks (can’t remember the exact date of my last run).
My tips for starting to run after having a baby!
- Start EASY – my first few runs were run 1 minute, walk 3 minutes for 24-32 minutes.
- SLEEP IS KING. If I had the choice between sleeping and running, I picked sleep. My baby was a terrible sleeper in the first few months and I was barely getting more that 4-6 hours of sleep (not all at one time) per night. Don’t beat yourself up because you missed a run – your body is still recovering and you are taking care of a baby!
- For the baby – nurse or feed the baby right before running. This will ensure that the baby won’t get hungry while out running and will make sure mom is more comfortable! Also dress the baby appropriately for the weather – since I started running again in the Texas summer, the baby would wear a onesie and nothing else. We also would put one of our phones in the stroller with her favorite noise playing to encourage her to sleep while we were running.
- When doing those first few runs at a pace so slow you think you may be able to walk faster relish in them! I clearly remember my first few runs because I told myself I would be able to look back on those runs in a couple months and see how far I had come.
- Set small goals and get excited when you achieve them! The first time I ran a mile without stopping you would have thought I just finished a 10 mile run I was so excited.
- Invest in new sports bras if needed! This was definitely something I needed! While I love all my Oiselle running gear the bras definitely weren’t supportive enough for me.
- Find buddies that will go slow with you! Both my mom and my husband were willing to take it slow with me which made my runs more fun!
- Sign up for races! I signed up for a 10K 3.5 months after having the baby and another 10K about 6 weeks later – it was fun to see the progression in speed! I took almost 2 minutes off per mile in 6 weeks :-). I also signed up for a half marathon 6.5 months after the baby was born which was the perfect amount of time for me to build back up to running 13 miles.
- Join a training group! After running my first half marathon after having the baby, I joined the Lukes Locker Half Marathon training program. It was just what I needed to work on getting my speed back! It has been fun running with a group again and getting my legs moving at a faster pace again. I definitely still have work to do but I am definitely feeling like my old self again.
- Finally my last tip is to BE KIND TO YOURSELF! Don’t beat yourself up for missing a run or running slow or being a few pounds heavier than you used to be. You are still a runner and if you want you will get back to where you used to be with some hard work! Just enjoy the miles and the process. Enjoy sharing your love of fitness with your little one and maybe you will pass the running bug onto the next generation
What other tips do you mamas have to share?
Feel free to comment with any questions you have! By taking it easy and slowly ramping up I have been running (fingers crossed) injury free for almost 8 months now and am really enjoying the process! I actually get excited for most of my runs and just feel blessed to get to go out there and run. Today I did intervals in the wind while pushing the stroller and loved almost every minute of it. I already have a post ready to go on must haves for running with baby!