Wow…how has it been almost 6 Months since I had my baby?!! It feels honestly like yesterday that I went for my last pregnancy run back in December! I I always vowed to stop when it became uncomfortable, so when it became unenjoyable during that third trimester, I hung up my runners! Of course, I continued to do light resistance training as well as the elliptical and walking…but I missed that “runners high”.(( I documented my pregnancy running journey on the blog and you can read it here. ))
Today I’m sharing how the last few months has panned out in terms of regaining my fitness level after having my third baby boy, as well as what my upcoming training looks like!
Also, since I’ve done the postpartum thang a few times before, I’m also going to share some tips on how to manage postpartum running!
My Postpartum Running Plan
I was cleared to start exercising at 8 weeks postpartum and my first workout was actually in the gym, not a run. I have really prioritized strength training in order to avoid injury and to regain so much of the muscle mass I lost while pregnant.
Each week I’ve aimed to strength train 3 times a week, and run twice.
Over the last month I have increased my running to 3 days/week but I think its important to note that usually two of those days are either TABATAS or Interval training. The third day is usually a steady state 3-4 mile run. And while I have tried to get three runs in, sometimes it hasn’t happened because…well, LIFE. And babies! I realize that this is a season where my fitness might not take first priority with my three boys being so young!
How I feel
Truth: I’ve had a lot of runs where I’ve felt pretty awful. But I’ve also had some really good ones.
I definitely see I’m getting stronger in the gym and its reflecting in my times. My overall times and average splits have dropped, and my third mile split in a 3 mile run has dropped substantially. In March, April and part of May I had no energy my last mile and my split time reflected that (it was my worst split-like 15-20 seconds slower than my other splits!). So, I’m taking the wins where I can, and today the fact that I’m much more consistent is great in my book.
When I run sprints, I’m recovering faster and can cover more ground. I’m still pretty far off my goals, but its a start and summer is a great time of year to improve upon these. I am definitely fitter now than I was after having my second baby and that is so rewarding! I keep reminding myself of this, and keeping in mind how rest days are crucial to overall health/ fitness and NOT overtraining.
The Plan Moving forward:
My plan is to continue to run 3 days per week varying distance runs with sprint workouts. What I love about my distance day is I usually bring my kids with me and it involves them in fitness! My oldest son rides his bike while I run (as seen in above photo!), and my middle hops in the running stroller. Another 2 months and my baby will be able to hop in the running stroller and I can bring all 3 with me! I’m all about incorporating fitness into our family life!
As for running races, I definitely have some on my bucket list (like a half marathon). I’m thinking about doing a few others as the summer winds down depending on how my training is going.
Great Inflatable Race Giveaway!
I’m excited to be collaborating with the Great Inflatable Race to GIFT one of you two tickets to this race this Saturday! The Great Inflatable Race, or TGIR (pronounced: tigger) as we call it, is an obstacle fun run where you make your way through a series of giant inflatable obstacles spread throughout the race course. The Great Inflatable Race is the original all-inflatable fun run! This fun but challenging race will not only leave you smiling but sweating as well!
My first race postpartum & the race I’m MOST looking forward to is the Great Inflatable Race this week Saturday RIGHT HERE in Buffalo! This race can be done with your kids (like I said, we are all about incorporating fitness & family), and is a ton of incredible obstacles combined with running! What kid (of any age!!) doesn’t love slides, bouncy houses & obstacle courses??
I’m so excited to do this event that I want to share the experience with one of YOU! Head to my instagram page for the latest details on the event & how to win 2 tickets!
To check out the Great Inflatable Race, visit www.greatinflatablerace.com!
And finally, here’s a few of my tips for postpartum running!
Tips for Postpartum Running
Remember you just made a human: I know this might seem totally obvious, but if you’re anything like me, when you get back out there your competitive juices start to flow and you keep staring at that watch…and yeah. Those times ain’t gonna be the same, sister. Turn the watch off, take a deep breath and just enjoy the sweat for those few first months! You just made a human so… NO, YOUR TIMES WON’T BE THE SAME AS PRE-PREGNANCY, Karen. That doesn’t mean don’t push yourself…but just. Perspective.
Your First run back writes its own story: The first run back after pregnancy is always so hard, but so amazing in the same way. So hard because your body is still recovering from pregnancy. Hard because you probably haven’t slept, your boobs are full of milk, and your legs are like jello & lungs are burning. And so hard because it is so stinking slow (My thoughts are always…is this watch broken? Because I swear I ran faster than that! ha!))
On the other hand, it is so great because it is just you and the road, the sun shining on your face. One foot in front of the other, just like before you had a baby. For the first time in weeks you feel like you have a clear mind, and time to yourself. And the sweat. IT FEELS so good to sweat. For a fleeting moment you feel like yourself again amidst the crazy journey that postpartum is. Also, I promise that “fish out of water” feeling WILL GO AWAY and your muscle memory will come back. Keep working at it!
Get good workout gear. Your body has completely changed. I recommend basically a straight jacket for your upper body, and some serious high waisted leggings. Kidding. Kind of. But really, good workout gear can make or break your run. For one, comfort. Two, confidence. I know that if my ish is jiggling everywhere I’m not going to feel good about my run. A great sportsbra to keep the milk machines in place is CRUCIAL also. See below for some of my picks!
Timing: Fit it in when you can- I always find the first 6-12months early morning runs are really hard for me because I don’t sleep well at night so I have to find time throughout the day. THIS IS OK (some days I still beat myself up about not getting myself going in the morning!)
Also, if you are 3 months PP or less, I highly recommend feeding (or pumping) and then going running if you are breastfeeding! Running with full boobs=not fun. Coming home to a crying, raging infant is also ….not fun.
Ease your way in: I always started with walking (during the first few weeks postpartum, and then gradually started with 1-2 miles my first run back after I was cleared. In fact, after my first pregnancy, I didn’t run for about 3.5 months after birth (I had issues with my incision from my C-section). I swear to you I could hardly run for 200 yards, and I had to do a walk/run my first run back. It was like my body had forgotten how to run, how to function in a running state. That was probably one of the most humbling moments of my life. 1 year earlier I had been playing in the best women’s professional soccer league in the world, playing with and against some of the best players in the world. How quickly life can change.
My recovery after my second baby was definitely easier, and I would have to say that I’ve felt the best physically after this 3rd pregnancy!
Hope this helps some of you. I’ve linked a few of my favorite running gear for #postpartum life! Make sure y’all head to my instagram page for the Great Inflatable Giveaway!
Basic (roomy) Tank || I SWEAR by this sportsbra for nursing mama’s with bigger chests. Also, it has velcro on sides so when you get back you can nurse easily. || I love Pegasus for running || I love the Align legging for running! || Align Short || My fave running shoe || High Rise Leggings- A MUST for postpartum running!