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How to Get Back to Running Postpartum
Postpartum Running

How to Get Back to Running Postpartum

Running has been a passion of mine since my senior year of college. I started running because I wanted to run a half marathon just to say that I could do it. As a highly competitive person and someone who loves health and fitness, it just made sense! Fast forward several years and many half and full marathons later, now here I am trying to find a way to get back to running postpartum.

Since I am currently in the middle of this crazy, emotional time, I wanted to share with y’all my tips for getting back to running after having a baby. I’m not a doctor, so be sure you are cleared for exercise before you begin. I’m simply a mom who loves to run and wants to share her experience to hopefully help over mommas out there.

You just had a baby and now you're trying to figure out how and when to get back into running. These postpartum running tips are what helped me eventually return to my pre-baby fitness levels. It takes time, you need to start slow and listen to your body, but you'll get there! #postpartumfitness #postpartumwellness #runningafterbaby #getbacktorunning

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Getting back to running postpartum.

I was lucky enough to have an easy, vaginal delivery {birth story part 1, part 2} which allowed me to get back into the running game fairly quickly. I was cleared by my doctor at 6 weeks postpartum, but I didn’t start running immediately. However, I was itching to get back out there since my running during pregnancy was cut short due to my ankle injury in my 16th week.

Here’s how I got back into running during my postpartum phase.

Take it Slow.

A slow and steady start will help you ease back into the swing of things. Jumping in too fast could potentially cause injury or becoming incredibly discouraging. Your body has accomplished so much over the last 9 months, so it’s important not to overdo it.

For me, it all started with walking. As a runner, walking never seems like enough. In fact, it feels like you’re not trying hard enough or taking the easy way out. Remember, having a baby is a traumatic experience for your body. You need to let yourself heal completely before doing too much. I started going on walks after about 2 weeks. This time will vary for everyone!

After two weeks, I was ready to get out there and take it slow. I mean slow. I couldn’t walk with the dogs because they went too fast for me. Eventually, I was able to pick up my walking speed and I even learned how to take the stroller and one dog out together.

Start out slowly with walks in your early postpartum days!

Try your first few runs solo.

Once you’re ready to try to run, which you shouldn’t do until you’re cleared by your doctor likely at your 6 week postpartum appointment, go out solo.

**NOTE: Just because you’re cleared by your doctor doesn’t mean you need to start running or working out right away. Your body went through A LOT during pregnancy and childbirth. Don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a while to get back into things. While writing this note, I’ve now had 3 children and it’s taken me longer to get back to running with each subsequent baby. I didn’t even start trying to run until 11-12 weeks after my third and that’s OKAY! It’s important to take care of your body and heal.

You don’t have to worry about slowing anyone down or keeping up with them either. This way, you can take walk breaks when you need to, and you only have to worry about how you feel. Remember to make adjustments during your run, and keep in mind that you’re just getting back in the game. You don’t have to be fast, perfect, or be even close to the runner you were before baby.

Going out alone will help get rid of insecurities and you can just be proud of yourself for being out there! I attempted my first run in College Station at about 8 weeks postpartum. I did 2 slow miles, but I was out there and I did it!

Related Post: 4 Steps to Getting Back to Fitness Postpartum

Don’t expect to be the same pace you were pre baby yet.

Getting back into running is hard. Not only is your body different, but your endurance is as well. The most discouraging thing about running again is that you cannot pick up where you left off.

Your normal pace is no longer normal, it’s now your goal. Your previous goal pace is now a stretch goal. Try to remember where you are, and be proud of yourself for getting back in the game. Start slow and gradually push yourself as your body becomes stronger.

Try going out for your first few runs without a watch. I used a running app to track my mileage. I wouldn’t pay attention to it during my run, but I was able to see how far I went.

Just so you know, Chloe will be 3 months old this week and I’m still about 30 seconds per mile slower than I used to be on average!

Train with a jogging stroller.

Jogging strollers are great! You can get your runs in with baby in tow and it’s an awesome training tool. You think you’re slow without the stroller, wait until you’re pushing several pounds while you run. Again, you may be slower and need more walk breaks, but this is amazing for your endurance! Don’t get discouraged and keep using it. When you run without the stroller, you’ll feel like a rock star!

Here’s an important stroller tip, don’t assume the tires are completely inflated when you get it all set up. My wheels were only about half full and it took me 2 months to realize it. Once my dad pumped those babies up, running with it was so much easier. Magical really!

There are tons of jogging strollers out there and everyone has their own preference. I recommend going to a store and getting a feel for the strollers before purchasing. I have the Graco Relay Performance Jogger and love it! Chloe loves it too. She usually sleeps during our runs together, but sometimes likes to stay awake and watch her momma bound around. Here we are post run when she was awake for once!

Using a jogging stroller to get back to running postpartum is a great way to be active with your baby.

Related Post: My Favorite Workout Gear Essentials

You might pee.

This could be TMI, but I wasn’t expecting it. I thought this may help some other confused new mom out there. Your bladder is not what it used to be, but it does get better.

Here’s how to avoid embarrassment:

  1. Go to the bathroom right before you start running. Not 10 minutes before, right before you walk out the door.
  2. Wear a pad on your runs. After a little while, you can graduate to a panty liner. It’ll keep you feeling more comfortable on your run.
  3. Focus on engaging and activating your core and glutes while running. If you think about it, you’re likely to do it!
  4. Do gentle core and pelvic floor exercises every single day. Kegels are your friend.

You’ll survive, jush through it. Know that you’ll probably pee yourself some, and it takes a little while for it to go away. (After having two babies, I can say that both time it went away for me. Don’t fret!)

Enjoy the run.

Getting back to running postpartum isn’t easy, but you’re running again because you’re a runner, so enjoy the run! Don’t focus on the negatives. Focus on how far you’ve come and the fact that you’re actually doing it again. It takes time to get back to where you were before, but this about how much your body has accomplished. It’s pretty amazing really! Now go out there and find something about your run that lights you up. It can be a song on your playlist, a favorite route, or even just time alone. Just run!

Getting back into running after having a baby is no joke. It's important to take it slow and listen to your body! Here are some tips from a two time mom and runner to running postpartum! #postpartumfitness #postpartumrunning #runningmom #motherrunner

How did you get back into running post baby?
Do you appreciate running more now?

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