Were you a marathon runner prior to or during pregnancy? Are you looking for tips on how to train for a marathon post-baby? Read Amy’s tips below.
Hello! My name is Amy and I am a full-time wife and mom to my 10-month-old son, a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, avid runner, freelance graphic designer, coffee lover, and blogger. On my blog, “Life to the Full,” I write about motherhood, faith, running, and random day-to-day topics.
Exercise and the active lifestyle are just part of who I am. When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first baby, we were ecstatic and a million questions raced through my mind. Could I exercise while I was pregnant? Does motherhood mean I won’t have time to exercise? Was this baby going to change my life forever? How could I train for a marathon post-baby?
In the first 5k I ever entered, a fellow woman runner yelled to me, “You won’t be running like that after you have kids!” Well, now I couldn’t agree with her more. Since my first 5k, I’m running faster and farther. If anything, being a mom makes you stronger! Having our son has drastically changed my husband’s and my life, but definitely for the better.
During my pregnancy, I continued to run, did prenatal yoga, and strength training. Staying fit gave me more energy, eased the aches and pains of pregnancy, and definitely helped with labor and delivery!
After our son was born, the postpartum recovery stage began and the marathon bug bit me again. I wanted a fitness goal to stay motivated to exercise, so I signed up to run my 6th marathon that fall.
Marathon training is challenging no matter who you are, how fast your splits are, or how many marathons you have ran. Compared to the last five marathons, training as a new mom definitely presented a unique set of challenges. Motherhood, breastfeeding, and marathoning do mix, but I saw training in a new perspective now. Here are a few tips that helped me through my first post-baby marathon.
Six Tips for Post-Baby Marathon Training
Whether it takes 6 weeks or 6 months, each woman’s body is unique and it is important to take enough time to heal after delivery.
Take It Easy
When your body is ready to begin exercising again, gradually ease into training mode. Personally, I experienced hip pain after speed training sessions so I cut back on speedwork while training for this marathon.
New parenthood presents so many new responsibilities. I knew that my responsibilities as a wife and mom came before running, so I would train whenever I could fit a run in. Many of my training runs were either done early in the morning before my husband and son were awake or in the afternoon with my son in the jogging stroller. For cross-training, I would strength train or do yoga at home during naptime.
Ask For Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. My husband and parents would sometimes watch the baby while I went out for long training runs. I don’t think my son would have had the patience to handle a 20-miler in the jogging stroller!
Pregnancy isn’t all roses and parenthood is tough. I received quite a few negative comments for exercising while pregnant and that didn’t feel good at all. We should really support other women and build each other up rather than waging “mommy wars”!
Give Yourself Grace
If you aren’t hitting your goal mile splits or you are frustrated with your “new” body, don’t beat yourself up. Go home and snuggle with your baby – it will make any bad run seem so small. The fact that you are putting forth the effort to exercise and be a healthy example for your child is great in itself.
My first post-baby marathon turned out really well and I finished in 3:37:37. I’ve always been a fan of finisher’s medals and the post-race food tent, but the best part of crossing the finish line this time was holding my son again! Being a healthy example for my son is very important to me and, who knows, maybe he will be a runner some day.
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