Running as a New Mom

Were you a runner before you gave birth? A few things will be different as a new mom and a runner. One thing you will notice is you will be very thirsty if you are breastfeeding, especially compared to before you gave birth.

Your body will also have aches and pains it did not have before. This can go on for a while so if it gets to be too much, talk to your doctor with any concerns you have.

It does take a while to get going after giving birth, so be patient with yourself. Keep in mind that you may not get back to your regular running routine or pre-pregnancy body, and that is okay. Furthermore, it will take at least a year before you start to feel like your old self again.

We broke it down so you can focus on what you need to do to start running again. The following sections include:

Core Workout

Working out your core isn’t for looks, it helps keep you strong and your form correct while running. Your body has changed a lot since giving birth, so your abdominal muscles need to be strengthened again.

In addition, having a strong core will give you better posture and control over your body. The following are some gentle workouts you can do to tighten your core back up.

Pelvic tilt on your back – lie on your back with legs bent and hip distance apart

  1. Inhale while relaxing your abdominal muscles
  2. Exhale and tilt pelvis upward and pull abds to your spine
  3. When you inhale, let your pelvis down and release the abs

Pelvic tilts with diaphragmatic breathing

  1. Get on your hands and knees
  2. Inhale and curve your back upwards – like a cat
  3. Exhale and pull abs toward your belly button
  4. Return to neutral and release your abs on inhale

Bent-leg heel taps

  1. Lay on back, bend legs and engage low abs
  2. Bend legs 90 degrees
  3. Tap heel on the ground and make sure your lower back doesn’t get off the ground
  4. Lower your heel back and repeat on the other leg

Single-leg extensions

  1. Lay on your back with your abs pulled toward your spine
  2. Bend legs with feet flat on the floor – hip distance apart
  3. Straighten one leg with heel sliding along the floor – keep abs engaged
  4. Pull the heel back towards you while ab muscles are still engaged
  5. Repeat with other leg

Stretches

Stretching is important postpartum because along with giving birth to a child, you are now taking care of that newborn. This means bending over more, carrying your baby, and moving your body in positions that you previously never thought of before.

Stretching will help with aches and pain while keeping you mobile. Keep in mind your joints will be somewhat unstable after birth, so only go about 70 percent of your stretching ability.

Diaphragmatic breathing – belly breathing

Supine Lower Back Release

  1. Lay on your back and bring your knees to your check
  2. Pull shoulders to the floor keep your hands behind your knees
  3. Pull knees close to chest and hold for 30 seconds

Lying Knee Roll-Over Stretch

  1. Lay on back
  2. Bend knees and let them fall to one side
  3. Put arms out to your side and allow back to rotate with your knees

Kneeling Quad Stretch

  1. Kneel with one foot in front of the other knee – hold on to something if needed
  2. Stretch til you feel a stretch then hold for 30 seconds

Door Frame Chest Stretch

  1. Open up your chest with a door frame
  2. Put your palm on the door frame and step a bit forward til you feel a stretch
  3. Repeat with other side

Running Program

After getting clearance from your doctor, try this program. It is a combination of cardio and strength training. Do cardio about three to four times a week and strength training three or more times a week. Be sure to check all our free, downloadable running training plans!

Week 1

  1. Cardio – walk 20 minutes
  2. Strength
    • Belly Draw-in 10x with 5-10 second hold
    • Glute Bridge 10-15x with 5 second hold

Week 2

  1. Cardio – walk 20 to 30 minutes
  2. Strength
  1. Belly Draw-in 10x with 5-10 second hold
  2. Glute Bridge 10-15x with 5 second hold
  3. Clam Shell 10-15x with 2 reps per side

Week 3

  1. Cardio – Walk 4 minutes and run 1 minute for a total of 20-30 minutes
  2. Strength
  1. Belly Draw-in 10x with 5-10 second hold
  2. Glute Bridge 10-15x with 5 second hold
  3. Clam Shell 10-15x with 2 reps per side
  4. Side plank on elbow and knee – 6x per side 10 second hold

Week 4

  1. Cardio – walk 3 minutes and run 1 minute for a total of 20-30 minutes
  2. Strength
  1. Belly Draw-in 10x with 5-10 second hold
  2. Glute Bridge 10-15x with 5 second hold
  3. Clam Shell 10-15x with 2 reps per side
  4. Side plank on elbow and knee – 6x per side 10 second hold
  5. Four Point Opposite Arm/Leg reach 10-15x per arm/leg and 5 second hold

Week 5

  1. Cardio – walk 2 minutes and run 1 minute total 20-30 minutes
  2. Strength

Week 6

  1. Cardio – one minute walking and 4 minutes running for total of 20-30 minutes
  2. Strength
  1. Belly Draw-in 10x with 5-10 second hold
  2. Side plank on elbow and knee – 6x per side 10 second hold
  3. Four Point Opposite Arm/Leg reach 10-15x per arm/leg and 5 second hold
  4. Chair Pose Squat – 10x with 2 reps

Week 7

  1. Cardio – run 20 to 30 minutes
  2. Strength
  1. Belly Draw-in 10x with 5-10 second hold
  2. Side plank on elbow and knee – 6x per side 10 second hold
  3. Four Point Opposite Arm/Leg reach 10-15x per arm/leg and 5 second hold
  4. Chair Pose Squat – 10x with 2 reps

Check Your Baby Bag

Before you head out on your walk or run, make sure to pack your baby bag. Here are a few things to take along:

  • Two diapers
  • Change of clothes for your little one
  • Extra clothes for cold weather
  • Clean plastic bag to put soiled clothes in
  • Formula – breast milk – snack – or other age appropriate food
  • Portable or disposable changing pad
  • A couple of toys
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen and/or bug spray
  • Blanket
  • Hand wipes/wet wipes

What Jogging Stroller is Right for You?

There are many jogging strollers on the market but they all have a few things in common. They should be stable, have a large front wheel that can be locked in the straight position, adjustable handle, hand brake, sun canopy, and easy folding.

Expect to spend between $100 to $600 on a good jogging stroller. Here are a few strollers on the market and some of their features.

Urban Glide 2 – can handle marathons, short runs, and walks

  • 75 pound weight capacity, so can be used past infancy
  • Rear suspension
  • Folds up nicely
  • Good overall stroller
  • Can hold infant car seat with adapter

Baby Jogger Summit X3 Stroller – very durable, will last a long time

  • Waterproof fabric, 75 pound weight capacity
  • One-hand folding
  • Can hold infant car seat with adapter

BOB Revoution Jogging Stroller – BOB stroller designers teamed up with Ironman Triathlon for a serious jogging stroller

  • 16 inch wheels – stay in a position
  • 75 pound weight capacity
  • Handlebar adjusts

Final Thoughts

Running postpartum can be difficult at times and may even be overwhelming at first. Take your time and ease back into things. Soon, you and your baby will have your own routine and schedule that running together will be a breeze.




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