• Alexa

Returning to Running after having a Baby

The wonderful Lucy from Lift Yoga and Personal Training has worked with me to give some advice on returning to running after having a baby; she's a pre and post natal exercises specialist.


"Depending on the type of birth you've had I personally would wait at least 5 months after having a baby to try running again. That might sound like an age (and I KNOW you'll be keen to as I was) but it's not worth risking pelvic pain, incontinence, prolapse or even just persistently sore joints. For a long time after birth you will still have relaxin in your system, the hormone that increases during pregnancy to relax the joints and make you more stretchy for your changing and growing body. The impact of running, and your body landing repetitively can effect more than you might think.


That said, not everyone suffers and you can do lots to help improve strength in the whole body — especially training the core and pelvic floor SAFELY (not crunches!). Alexa's programme will be a great routine to stick to, to ensure gradual progression and results. It's important to stretch out but when you do be mindful not to overstretch, again due to relaxin. Also note, you may need to at least a little careful even years after having children, as I got pelvic girdle pain for the first time when Matilda was 2.5 and I stopped breast feedings when she was one. If you need any more postnatal exercise tips, I'd love to hear from you at liftyogaandpt@gmail.com www.liftpersonal-training.co.uk "



I've included an introductory strength training plan and a start to 5k running plan below.


Strength Session for Runners


Tips; Start by repeating until you feel a burn in the muscles, but stop before they start twitching, build up reps from there. Keep your abs and glute/bum muscles engaged throughout.


Squats

  • Feet just wider than hip width.

  • Aim to get thighs parallel to the floor at your lowest point.

How to progress the exercise?

  • Add resistance; bar on the shoulders kettle bell held at chest height, or just a rucksack with a few books in it

  • Add instability; do them whilst standing on a bosu ball or a sofa cushion


Lunges

  • Take a long stride forwards and make sure feet remain hip distance apart so you don’t wobble.

  • If you can do these in front of a mirror and check your knees track over your toes and don’t go inwards or outwards.

  • Aim to drop down to having a 90 degree bend at both knees before coming back up - make sure your front knee doesn’t go over the foot.

How to progress the exercise?

  • Add resistance; bar on the shoulders, kettle bell held at chest height or just a rucksack with a few books in it

  • Add instability; do them with the front foot on a bosu ball/sofa cushion and the back foot on a step


Bridge Pose

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor tucked up near your bum.

  • Keeping abs engaged use your glutes to lift your hips until they are in a straight line with your thighs. Lower back down to the floor.

How to progress the exercise?

  • Add weight; put an elastic gym band around your legs just above the knees.

  • Add instability; do the with your toes and balls of your feet off the ground, your arms in the air or with one foot closer to your hips and the other further away


Standing on one leg

  • Standing on one leg! Build up to 30 seconds each side, not holding on to anything

How to progress the exercise?

  • Add difficulty; do shallow one leg squats, have the hand opposite to the leg you are standing on the wall for balance.

  • Add instability; do them with your eyes closed. Or move your non-standing leg forwards/backwards, sideways whilst maintaining your balance. You can even try spelling out your name with the leg in the air!


Monster Walks

  • A gym band around your legs just above the knees.

  • Slight bend in the knees, keeping knees facing forwards. Upright posture.

  • Leading with one knee step sideways. Then let the other leg catch up, with control.

How to progress this exercise?

  • Add difficulty; Upgrade to a higher resistance band. Or you can move the band to be around the ankles.


Cat/Cow post

  • Start on all fours with your back level

  • Drop your head between your shoulders and arch your back upwards

  • Reverse this by looking up and creating a dip in your back lifting your bottom up



Start to 5k training plan


Week 1 Think about why you are starting this running journey how it’s important to you


Run 1; Start with a 5 minute brisk walk. Then it’s 1 minute of running, two minutes of walking for 20 minutes

Run 2; Start with a 5 minute brisk walk. Then it’s 30 seconds of running, 1 minute of walking for 20 minutes

Run 3; Repeating this weeks Run 1


Week 2 Treat yourself to a 5 minute stretch and relax after your runs as a reward


Run 1; Start with a 5 minute brisk walk. Then it’s 1 and a half minutes (90 seconds) of running, 1 and a half minutes (90 seconds) of walking for 20 minutes

Run 2; Start with a 5 minute brisk walk. Then it’s 2 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking, do this twice. Then move on to 1 minute of running, 1 minute of walking for the rest of your 20 minutes

Run 3; Repeating this weeks Run 1


Week 3 Try a different route to usual, a local park or river for example


Run 1; Start with a 5 minute brisk walk. Then it’s 2 minutes of running, 2 minutes of walking for 20 minutes

Run 2; Start with a 5 minute brisk walk. Then it’s 1 minute of running, 1 minute of walking, do this twice. Then move on to 3 minutes of running, 2 minutes of walking three times

Run 3; Repeating this weeks Run 1


Week 4 Bring a friend along this week, or persuade them to do a run


Run 1; Start with a 5 minute brisk walk. Then it’s 2 minutes of running, 2 minutes of walking, 3 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 4 minutes of running, 4 minutes of walking.

Run 2; Start with a 5 minute brisk walk. Then it’s 3 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking four times

Run 3; Repeating this weeks Run 1


Week 5 Look back on all the runs you’ve done so far and how much you’ve improved!


Run 1; Start with a 5 minute brisk walk. Then it’s 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking twice through with 2 minutes running 2 minutes walking to finish off

Run 2; Start with a 5 minute brisk walk. Then it’s 6 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking twice through

Run 3; Start with 5 minutes brisk walk. 10 minutes of running. 5 minutes brisk walk to cool down


Week 6 What’s the most interesting think you’ve seen when out on a run this week?


Run 1; Start with a brisk five-minute walk, then five minutes of running, three minutes of walking, eight minutes of running, three minutes of walking and five minutes of running

Run 2; Start with a brisk five-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, three minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running.

Run 3; Start with 5 minutes brisk walk. 15 minutes of running. 5 minutes brisk walk to cool down


Week 7 Can you try a run in a park or on a footpath this week?


Run 1; Start with a brisk five-minute walk. Then two minutes of running, two minutes of walking, repeat three more times. 5 minute brisk walk cool down

Run 2; 5 minutes of brisk walking. 5 minutes of running, 2 minutes of walking, repeat two more times.

Run 3; Start with 5 minutes brisk walk. 20 minutes of running. 5 minutes brisk walk to cool down


Week 8 Treat yourself to some self massage on any tight areas in your legs. Use your hands of gently roll a tennis ball over any tight spots


Run 1; Start with a brisk five-minute walk. Then three minutes of running, two minutes of running, repeat three more times. 5 minute brisk walk cool down

Run 2; 5 minutes of brisk walking. 6 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking, repeat two more times.

Run 3; Start with 5 minutes brisk walk. 25 minutes of running. 5 minutes brisk walk to cool down


Week 9 Maybe try a park run for your first 5k of running? You’ll meet so many wonderful, supportive people.


Run 1; Start with a brisk five-minute walk. Then four minutes of running, one minute of running, repeat three more times. 5 minute brisk walk cool down

Run 2; 5 minutes of brisk walking. 8 minutes of running, 2 minutes of walking, repeat one more.

Run 3; 5 minutes brisk walk. 5k of running! 5 minutes brisk walk to cool down


Enjoy!!

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Reading, UK & surrounding area

alexa@ontherunhealthandfitness.co.uk

Tel: 07557 852600

Alexa Duckworth-Briggs

BSc LSSMDip MISRM

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