Start Running Safely & Stay Strong With These 4 Trainer Tips - Mama ResetMay 20, 2021
Every spring as the weather gets warmer we hear from mamas wondering if their bodies are ready to start running. Listen, we know in year two of #quarantinelife you just want to run as far away from your home and your littles as possible!
Are you ready to run? How can you run without hurting your joints or pelvic floor? And why are you running in the first place?
If you’re thinking of running this summer, we encourage you to take a day or two and reflect:
♥︎ Is your desire to run coming from frustration with your body or the results of your fitness program?
♥︎ Do you feel pressured to fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothes or slim down your post-pandemic bod?
If these are the primary feelings when you think of starting to run, it might not be a good fit for your mind OR body right now. Some fun, feel-good and body-positive home workouts might be the best place to start as you work through your postpartum body image journey
Now, maybe you’re just itching to get out of the house and feel the wind in your hair.
We get it!
Before you hit the pavement let’s make sure your body is ready to handle the challenge of running with these 4 tips:
- Determine where your hips, back and pelvic floor are at before you add thousands of high-impact steps a day. If you haven’t yet seen a Pelvic Physiotherapist for an assessment - psst: you can do it virtually and you don’t have to get an internal exam - now is the perfect time. Up to 70% of women with pelvic organ prolapse, where the uterus, bladder or rectum descend into the vagina after pregnancy/birth, don’t even have symptoms. Often, symptoms pop up after we begin adding stressors like heavy lifting or running. By then, it’s possible more damage has been done. Find out where you’re at first and get a professional’s opinion about whether running is a reasonable, or risky, choice for you.
- Devote as much time to strength as you do to running. The human body is made to run, but it’s designed to do so much more than that. The foundational human movements of squat/lunge, hip hinge, push and pull, twist and carry are equally important as walk/run. Try alternating running and strength days. You can start with our FREE Movement for Mamas Membership to get access to home strength, yoga, pilates, barre and even HIIT classes for 30 days. Our workouts ALL contain the mobility training, core & pelvic floor and total-body strength you need to stay injury-free and feeling strong!
- Begin with walk-run intervals based on how you feel, not the time on your Fitbit. We recommend “fartlek” intervals to mamas starting out with running - whether you had your kiddo 6 months or 6 years ago. Fartleks are intervals based on children’s play, and may be different depending on how you slept, what you’ve eaten, what your mood is, etc. Warm up with a few bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, arm swings and calf raises to prime your joints. Then head out and walk until you feel warm. Choose something to run to, like a stop sign or tree up ahead. Run at the pace that feels right until you reach your goal, then walk as long as needed to recover. When you’re ready to run again, choose your next distance and go. You’ll naturally vary your speed and distance based on how it feels, which is the best way to get started.
- Expect to need more mobility and stretching work when you add running to your routine. Running places repetitive stress on the shoulders, hips, knees, feet and ankles, not to mention the pelvic floor. After each run, assess how you feel the next day. Are your hip flexors super tight? Are your feet stiff? Got a bit of low back pain? Treat those stiff parts to some strength and mobility love the next day. Not sure where to start? The FREE Movement for Mamas Membership has you covered! If you feel pain, pressure in your pelvic floor, experience leakage or feel exhausted after running or the following day, it’s a sign you should not progress any further and instead seek advice from your physiotherapist or qualified coaches, like us! You can always find us & ask questions on IG, Mama!
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