Tag Archives: training

Training for a marathon as a new mother

20 Apr

How time flies. My son is almost one and I have been back into training for a The Gold Coast marathon in July for almost four months. I’m clocking up around 70km a week at the moment and it’s going well. I have to admit, it hasn’t been plain sailing all the way, and at times it has been quite tough. I have often wondered what on earth I am doing but I have stuck with it.

As a relatively new mum it’s a whole new experience just fitting in exercise let alone training for a 42km race. It is do-able but you have to just learn your limits and also be fair to your family and yourself. Were it not for the fact my husband is extremely patient and understanding in all of this I wouldn’t have decided to do it.

I told myself whilst pregnant I would like to do a marathon this year. I felt it would encourage me to get back into fitness. I don’t expect to do a hugely fast time and I am not putting any pressure on myself for me just being able to run one again is going to be an amazing achievement – and running the Gold Coast which is well organised and local is a definite plus.

I wanted to share some tips this week on things I have found in my training since having my baby that if you are in the same position and training for an event you might find useful. The most important thing I have found however is to enjoy it – after all the training especially for a marathon is intense and taking you away from your baby and family so it has to be something you enjoy to be worth doing in my opinion!

Tips to help you get the most out of training for a marathon as a new mother 

Mum and bub

I feel it is important to be enjoying your running as it is taking you away from your family time.

Get checked out and signed off to go

I started training again (as in not walking – I was walking after a few weeks) after 12 weeks of having my son. I didn’t push too hard and took it easy at the gym. I checked with my physio that I was ok to train and she advised it was ok but to take it easy where running was concerned for a bit longer….

I tried as long as I could to take it easy….but I must admit I did push myself back into it but wouldn’t advise anyone do that unless you know your body. Be sensible.

Prepare yourself: it’s hard work

I didn’t train during my pregnancy and a little while before as I didn’t have the best pregnancy – so it had been quite some time since I had trained and boy was it tough when I started training again. I didn’t start my marathon training until my son was roughly 8 months and before that I was struggling with my training. Once I started consistent training following a program from my trainer I found that muscle memory kicked in and whilst the first week or two were really hard my body bounced back gradually and it’s like I’m training for a marathon now not coming back from having a baby.

Don’t expect huge results over night

It does take time coming back to training after having had time off, so don’t beat yourself up if sometimes you are two steps forward one step backwards. It takes time.

Your body had just given birth to a little human being and that is quite traumatic on the body and takes time to get over. Like I said in my last post about remaining focused on training surround yourself with positive people it helps heaps. I figure that going through something like childbirth has to make me stronger right?

Keep a training log to see results

I wear my Tom Tom GPS watch at every training session both inside and outside and I can look back on how my training is going. My average km time has come down over a minute in the last couple of months so when I feel like training isn’t going well I review my training and can’t argue with the log can I? And it helps keep me on track.

There are lots of watches out there you can buy for reasonable prices or if you have a smartphone and don’t mind running with your phone then Map My Run or Strava are great apps to use instead which do the same thing. I’m not a fan of running using my phone strapped to my arm but I know a lot of people that do.

Try not to become fixated on weight

We are constantly bombarded with images of celebrities losing their baby weight in a very short time. Lara Bingle is the latest one I think in 3 weeks according to the gossip mags.

The thing I found the hardest coming back to training was losing the weight and pulling myself back into the Lycra. I was so self conscious with my baby belly and giant wobbly thighs the first time I went into the gym to train I almost didn’t go.

I soon got over it and realised that it wasn’t a big deal but that didn’t stop me from weighing myself a lot. I bought cheap workout clothes from Target telling myself I wouldn’t be in them long and I was going to achieve the weight loss I wanted to….and with the support of my family and friends I did but it didn’t happen overnight.

It took 9 months to grow my baby inside me and it took about the same time plus a month or two to get the weight back off again. Don’t feel pressured and don’t let it get you down. Once you start training and eating right the weight will come off gradually. That’s one of the advantages of a Marathon, there is a fair amount if training so I didn’t even have to really worry for too long.

Be prepared to be flexible

I have found training hard sometimes when my bub is sick or we have had a bad night and he has kept us up all night and then I am meant to then run two hours later, so I’ve learned now when that happens to compromise and not push myself to exhaustion. I sometimes take an unschedule rest day or train at a later time in the day and don’t get stressed about it.

The fact that I’m even managing the training with a baby under 1 is a miracle I think so sometimes it’s important to be flexible. I also found my Baby Jogger useful for training as when I didn’t manage to get to the gym and couldn’t train because there was no one to look after my son then out came the Baby Jogger and I ran with him and bonus – he often falls asleep!

Anyway hope these tips help and like I said the most important thing is to enjoy your training. If you arent then you might be pushing too hard or might want to speak with a qualified professional to help you work out some realistic goals or to even run with a friend to have some company :-)

As always – Happy Running :-)

Are you preparing yourself for your run?

4 Mar

This week has been tough so far and it’s only Wednesday!

Last night I had to train – I had a 7k to run followed by squats (thanks Roger!) and an hour or so before I just didn’t want to train. It’s the first time since I embarked on my marathon training that I felt like this and I really just couldn’t snap out of it. I forced myself to get dressed ready and got in the car and went to the gym – and even on the treadmill even though 7k seems relatively easy these days – (still slow but easier) mentally I struggled.Take water when you run - the girl that runs

As I got to 5k a light suddenly went on in my head. It was no wonder I was so tired and lacking energy as:

1. My little one has been sick and we have been fairly sleep deprived and I have been existing on a few hours sleep until a night or so ago so it was catching up with me;

2. I’d forgotten to have a proper lunch and had had some crackers and cheese;

3. I’d also broken the big rule of not having much water – I’d maybe had half a litre all day;

4. The biggest thing I would say that has been affecting me is since January I have consciously not been having carbs bar those in my vegetables in order to try and trim down a little bit so the marathon training was easier and I cut out wheat and all carbs – I think this has finally caught up with me in the sense it’s harder when running longer distances and needing more energy.

So with all of these things it was no wonder I was struggling and therefore lacking the energy or motivation.

I am very good at giving out advice but not always good at taking it myself so this week has been a real eye opener and I am intending on drinking more water, looking at increasing my carb levels, catching up on sleep and making sure I eat a decent lunch especially when training in the evening.

Now I am clocking up 60km a week and if you are doing the same it’s important to look after ourselves. I think sometimes for those of us/you that are parents it is easy to put yourself second but often I find when I have been racing after my son that it is easy to not have had proper food or even a cup of water all day and it catches up with you as I have found this week especially when trying to fit in an intense training program.

Anyway I just wanted to share that with you and if there is anyone in the same position I hope that sharing helped.

As always have a great week and happy running :-)

Over 50k this week and training is finally progressing!

20 Feb

This week has been a mixed week when it comes to training. I’ve got in the back of my mind that I’m running my marathon in less than 6 months and am trying to remain calm considering I’ve not been seriously training for a while. January was my ‘ok let’s kick some butt’ month and my training has been going well since.

I had a minor hiccup with socks and shoes mistakes but after a visit to the podiatrist earlier in the week I am all good and back on track and my lovely blue and pink Saucony trainers will be unfortunately going onto eBay as I can’t wear them. Back to the Kayano – not that I mind as I love the Kayano shoe – I just have a habit of ending up with the most expensive item because of some issue and this is no exception with my orthotics!

This week I clocked up over 50km – it should have been slightly more but I had a few setbacks getting back into training after having my foot strapped. I’m generally feeling good but have been very tired. Running on the treadmill sucks when doing longer distance – I did 13k last night and with the terrible rain we are having in Queensland the 15k and and 10k I have to do on Saturday and Sunday may well end up being on the treadmill too! I was lucky to be running next to a lovely girl in the gym last night and she kept me going for a fair few km! I thanked her when she finished for keeping me going :-)

In the last 6 weeks I have gone from struggling to run 5k at 8.5 on the treadmill to running 14-16km comfortably at between 9.5-9.8 on a good day so I am taking that as improvement and even managed to get to 10.5 last night when finishing off on the treadmill.

So how is your training? and what are your goals for the next month?enjoy-your-journey - thegirlthatruns.com

Here are mine:

– to get stronger in my training and not to feel like an old woman when running longer distances

– to stick to my training plan and not to be tempted to go further when feeling stronger

– to listen to my body and slow down when too tired or feeling niggles

but most of all to enjoy this journey and being able to run :-) I figure when it comes to our journey – running that is – we are in charge of the map and what we do and where we go – so enjoy it :-)

Have a great weekend! It’s going to be a wet one here!!

Happy Running :-)

Wear decent socks when running or pay the price with blisters as I discovered!

11 Feb

I made another running mistake at the weekend.

I wore old running socks.

Lightfeet socks I was running 10km and by the end I was in agony where my socks had rubbed the inner section of the foot. I had raced out of the door as I was late getting up and I hadn’t got my kit ready properly and forgot socks. It was very early so I didn’t want to disturb the family so I grabbed some old socks!

That little mistake has led to my wearing Compeed all week on the area that rubbed to ensure I could still run so I won’t be making that mistake again.

There are some great socks on the market starting at a fairly cheap $10 per pair for Brooks right up to performance socks by the likes of Injinji, Balega and 2XU as well as Lightfeet which are in the middle and what I currently wear. (I did write a previous product review a year or two ago about Lightfeet socks with some tips to avoid blisters!).

It’s easy to forget about the importance of a decent sock when running as we often focus more on the shoe, but without a good sock as I found at the weekend it can result in pain and under performing in your training.

Anyway I hope you are having a great week of running, it has certainly been warm here in Brisbane. I’m steadily getting into my marathon training and the pain is starting to kick in now as the training runs get harder and harder – but loving every minute!

Happy Running!

First Marathon after having my baby!

8 Feb

Its been 9.5 months now since my son was born and all I could think of whilst I was pregnant was how I was going to get back into my training and what I wanted to achieve as I missed running. Don’t get me wrong I was delighted being pregnant but I’d always run and not being able to was harder than I thought it would be!

Running the Gold Coast Marathon in 2015 - The Girl That Runs

This photo of Nadia and I was taken just before we were about to run a race a while back.

So I decided that in order to give myself a goal to get back into running I set myself the goal of running another marathon once my son was born – and that chance has arisen and I’m going to run it with my lovely and most awesome friend Nadia :-)

RunStopShop invited me to be an Ambassador which has been an awesome opportunity, and they have given me the opportunity to run a marathon of my choice in Australia which is very cool. This will be my fifth marathon and I was intending on running the Perth but decided that this year I would do the Gold Coast Marathon as it’s a well organised race and on a nice flat route with plenty of entrants – as my other fear when looking at some of the races such as the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane was that I might actually be last as I am coming back from not running for a while!

So since the beginning of January I have been following a schedule done by my professional runner friend back in the UK to get me to marathon ready by the beginning of July! It’s been tough as whilst I started training again after my baby was born I hadn’t really pushed myself until I decided I was going to go for the marathon.

I’m excited but scared at the same time. I’ve already clocked up 55km last week (Thursday – Wednesday) and I know it’s going to go up and up! I ran 16k yesterday and 11.5km today – and whilst it hurt it was so good to be back into the two figure numbers in distance :-) I have been doing a fair bit at the gym but also training with friends who are also training for races this year and my one friend that I am slowly convincing that running is fun :-) which is great to have someone to chat to whilst running the long distances.marathon-number-5

RunStopShop will be providing me with lots of kit for the race day which I will review and I’ll be writing some blog posts for them too which is exciting and fun! So it has given me the motivation I needed to get back into shape. I have already seen progress just in the 4+ weeks of training where my heart rate has lowered and also I could hardly run 5k at the beginning of January and like I said – this weekend I have run a total of 27.5km :-) Anyway watch this space. I’ll be writing more about my journey back to the marathon. I’m really excited as it’s a ‘special birthday’ year too so I’m hoping it will be a great year of achieving and having fun running :-)

Have a great weekend (what’s left of it and as always – happy running :-)

8 Tips for safety whilst running

1 Feb

When I lived in London safety was always an issue when I used to run outside. When I talk about safety I mean being careful when running alone and always having good measure in place for if there was an accident or something happened.

Running in some parts of London was a bit scary and I had a few near misses with being hassled by guys or being in remote places and hurting myself as well as knowing people who were actually attacked whilst running – so safety is something I take seriously.

I used to run with an awesome rape alarm which when I activated it – i would hold it and run with it clenched in my hand, if someone then pulled me from behind the alarm would go nuts and this bright Batman type light would shine in the sky (not quite as bright as the one in Batman or as long!). Thankfully I never had it go off but it made me feel safer having something like that to carry.

Brisbane is safer but I am still cautious when running. As runners we go running all over the place and we never once think we will get into difficulty but things like injuries or getting sun stroke can be just as hazardous. So here are some tips from my experience as well as tips that have been given to me that might help.

1. Run with someone

Running with someone can solve a lot of issues i.e. you are not running on your own and if you do get into difficulty there is someone there to help. There are lots of running clubs around and a lot of gyms even have running groups if you don’t like running alone. Running with friends has helped me out of a lot of scrapes at time such as when I rolled my ankle running in Brisbane – thankfully I was with friends and I had someone to limp back home with :-)

2. Take your mobile and some money 

I always take my mobile phone when on a long run as well as a small amount of cash in case I need to get a bus/cab or something or all failing that want a coffee at the end of the run! I got stuck whilst out on a long run back in the UK in Richmond Park and ended up having to hobble miles back to civilisation. After that I always took some money with me!

3. Tell someone where you are going

If I am running alone I tell my husband where I am going just so if I am late home he knows at least roughly where I have gone and where to go and look if I don’t come home! When I first got married I never realised that my husband might actually worry about where I was and if I was late home so for his sake now I always tell him where I will be and what time roughly I should be done to keep his nerves in tact!Small headphones with mobile phone

4. Use a Tracking app 

A number of my friends track their spouses lol! But there are some good tracking apps out there that can be used so that someone can see where you are and if you get in trouble they can easily locate you! They are easily found on iTunes or Google Play.  I also found this safety app which looks quite good for those of you that carry your phones whilst running. I haven’t tried it out but it looks like it might be a good one.

5. Stick to the roads and open areas

If you are unsure of an area you are running in then stick to areas that are open and the main roads rather than really closed off remote areas.

6. Be cautious about running with headphones

I have mixed feelings on this one as I used to run with my music on so loud I couldn’t hear traffic or people shouting me. I am really motivated by music and it pushes me to finish but now I am far more conservative about the loudness because of not wanting to damage my ears but also being aware of surroundings and people around me. A friend of mine got pulled from behind by a guy when running and she had her headphones on and didn’t hear him coming and also the number of accidents involving runners being run over – quite a few of those are from not hearing a car/bike. It certainly made me think twice about wearing mine. I tend to have one in and one out.

7. Wear fluros at nightFuel Belt

If running in the dark wear a fluro vest so you can be seen at night and run against the traffic so that drivers can see you easier.

8. Carry water 

In a previous post about running in the heat I listed a few tips to take into consideration –  but my main one would be carry water or make sure on your route you have a water stop. The number of times I have had heat stroke is not funny and it was actually worse when I was in the UK believe it or not! I’ve learned now and actually have my little Fuel Belt that I bought recently so I don’t have to worry about where I will get water from.

Anyway hope these tips help you and this post was not meant to alarm you just to keep you aware when on your runs.

As always Happy (and safe) running :-)

Tips for staying motivated in your running

25 Jan

It’s been a good couple of weeks with my training dare I say it and I’ve been running 5 days a week following the schedule given to me by my trainer and I’m slowly getting there. It’s amazing how quickly you lose your fitness but great that thanks to muscle memory the body gets back into things fairly well. My distances have ranged from 5k-12k this week and in the next few weeks the numbers really start to creep up so I’m a bit nervous but equally feeling good that 5k doesn’t feel so long anymore and whilst I am running slowly I can feel myself getting fitter again.

I mix my training between the gym and outside and its hard at the gym to not put my speed up when the adrenalin of having other people around kicks in but I’ve tried to be sensible and I think the fastest I’ve got up to was 10kph – I try not to think about the fact I used to be able to run starting at 13 and get up to 16kph+. But the upside is that I feel good and confident rather than pushing those numbers up and failing because i push too hard too soon.

I’ve been having up and down moments with staying focussed and motivated but have done a few things that have helped which I’m sharing below. Here are a few tips I thought of whilst out running today for if you are struggling with your training right now. They are things that I have found work for me anyway :-)

Tips for staying motivated

Remember the goal Try to remember the end goal. Mine is to do a marathon in my 40th year (eek there I said it out loud!) and when you feel down or wanting to push harder quicker remember that end goal and this is just training for the real race day. If you don’t have a goal – it’s good to have one. Even if it is just to run 2km that is still a goal and a great one at that!

Monitor your progress  Write each training session down as you will be amazed how much you improve. I wear my GPS HRM watch all the time and log everything so I can see how I am improving on my running splits, heart rate and overall distance and time. I was only training a few times a week last year and now I train 5 days so I have to give myself a pat on the back and look through stats when I feel like I’m not getting anywhere. I am not running as fast as I used to but I am running and I am running a lot and that’s good enough for me right now :-)

Running buddy  Find someone to run with you in some or all of your runs if you find more motivation that way. I run with my lovely friend on Sundays and will be running with another lovely friend on my longer Saturday runs as the mileage goes up along with my fitness – running and chatting is such a liberating thing and the time flies by.

Be held accountable 

I have found the best thing to keep me motivated was to use a trainer to coach me to my next goal. He follows up and does my program as well as encourages and keeps me focussed. It makes me much more motivated to train as I know I will have to answer to him if I don’t train!

Plan a shopping trip or treat at a certain point

Have you been eyeing off those lovely running pants? Well give yourself some motivation by setting a goal to treat yourself when you do something in your training. It might be running that race, running that extra km per week – something that will motivate you to push that bit harder. I love shopping so that’s a perfect one for me. Yesterday I bought new shoes :-D

Anyway just a few thoughts as I chill after my Sunday run :-) Have a great weekend and as usual – Happy running :-)

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