Running outside again for the first time after having my baby – harder than I thought

18 Oct

It’s been a few months now since I got back into running after having my son and in that time generally all of my running has been inside on a treadmill because I haven’t been able to run with the Baby Jogger because baby M was still in his capsule. Well he is finally out and I decided to try and run outside for the first time last week – boy it was a shock to the system. I had forgotten how different running outside is to running inside. I was spoiled on the treadmill thinking I was really getting back to good speeds again.

We went to New Farm Park which is really nice and has the Brisbane River running alongside it and is actually where one of the Brisbane Park Run’s takes place on a Saturday. My husband took Max and walked whilst I figured I would run strongly and feel like a proper runner again…. well i ran around the corner and then my heart felt like it was going to fly up from my lungs and I had to walk!

I felt somewhat deflated at the fact I was so looking forward to running outside and I wasn’t able to continuously and had to walk! I know how the poor tortoise felt now when racing the hare although the tortoise won in the end right! So I figure I will get there – it just takes time like everything else!

New Farm Park by the river

New farm park by the river is a great setting for a nice run. It’s also where one of Brisbane’s park Runs takes place on a Saturday Morning.

I’ve had a few people ask me how I got back into running after having my baby, I’m no expert but I thought I would share what I did as a few tips – see below:

Getting back into Running after having a baby

1. Take it slowly

Don’t think that after just having a baby you’ll be running marathons the following week. I had originally planned to run the Marathon du Medoc in France in September after having my baby in April. I realise now that it would have been too soon and the body needs to heal and harden up. A lot of the body is still soft and not prepared for the effects that running has on the body so I waited to run until 12 weeks. I think that may even have been a bit soon but it comes down to you, your doctor and being sensible.

2. Walk before you run 

I started initially before running again just walking on the treadmill and outside. I took the treadmill speed up a bit as well after a while so I was walking quite briskly and also took the elevation up to push myself harder. Then from there when I was told I was allowed to start running I would run for say 30 seconds and then walk for a minute or two to get used to it. It was a shock to the system to begin with. There are some great walk/run programs you can follow such as this one from Runners World.

3. Measure for motivation

I am very driven by seeing some sort of result and I found it hard trying to get back into running with my belly jiggling and feeling exhausted so I started to log all my sessions on the treadmill at the gym and then use my Garmin outside to measure and I did see improvements which helped motivate and keep me going when I felt like I was getting nowhere. There are some great gadgets out there now that don’t cost the earth even down to using your mobile phone and the apps on there like Strava completely free of charge (there is a paid version as well where you get more stats).  Also I have never been one for the scales but if you are then you could measure yourself at the start of going back to training to monitor improvements but I think it’s important to remember especially if you are breastfeeding that the body has and is still undergoing lots of changes and so exercising too much and limiting your food at this after having a baby is a no no.

4. Enjoy the freedom!

If you find that you are not enjoying the training etc and it is causing you more stress – at this stage of not long having a baby take a breather! I loved getting back into exercise, no longer feeling sick from morning sickness – it gave me great release. Putting baby M into the gym creche gave me a chance to exercise and have a coffee uninterrupted too and it made me a better mum I’m sure just having that break! I also walked with friends with baby M who were really supportive. We’d have a coffee at the gym and then go for a walk and it really made me feel a bit more normal again!

Anyway It’s a beautiful sunny day so I am going to now take advantage of that and that my husband is home and go for a solo run outside 🙂 Happy running 🙂

Please note I am writing from experience and I am not a qualified fitness professional or nutritionist so always check with your GP and qualified fitness/nutrition professionals before embarking on any change to exercise/eating. 

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