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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. 

It’s ok not to be perfect

22 Aug

I was umming and ahhhing whether to write this on a published post that everyone could see but figured there might be other people that have felt or currently feel the same way.

Since the birth of my baby in fact since being pregnant I have had getting back into exercise on my mind especially my running. I didn’t think that having a baby would be a big deal and I figured shifting the weight and getting back into it all would be simple. I was going to be super mum!  

To an extent the first bit was easy enough – getting back into exercise and losing the first bit of weight – but I didn’t realise it would be so hard to get back to where I was before or the sheer energy drain that a new born baby can be and so this week I have been feeling a bit down and eating rubbish food and then feeling even more miserable.

I went for a run on the treadmill at the gym earlier this week, I was just cooling down and one of my friends arrived and hopped onto the treadmill next to me and we chatted as I cooled off. I said to her -‘ how come it’s so hard!. It all just feels so hard.’ I was running at 9.5km on the treadmill whereas before being pregnant i could get up to 15km on a good day.

She responded by reminding me that I had just had a baby and had only been back into exercise for 4 weeks. I kind of nodded but I still had this overwhelming desire to be better, to be perfect and get back to where I was. It was only when in Harvey Norman yesterday paying for my purchase with baby M that the penny dropped.

The lady at the check out desk said to me ‘It’s hard isn’t it!’ – I looked up at her – and she said to me ‘You are doing an excellent job – just remember that – but it takes time.’its ok not to be perfect

I almost cried there and then but reflected on the way home that she was right. I have been trying so hard to be a good mum and wanted people to see that I am a good mum but I have been punishing myself for not losing weight quick enough, not getting back into exercise quick enough and not being able to do as much as i could before – but I have a baby now – a beautiful wonderful baby and that is enough.

I think sometimes we spend so much time worrying about what people think about us and trying to be what we think people want/expect us to be that we end up often doing more harm than good. This weeks experiences have really put me in my place and helped me to realise that it’s ok not to be perfect as long as we accept who we are and that that’s enough then that’s all good. It’s hard not to worry about what people think but it is a real downward spiral if we have that on our minds all the time. It doesn’t help when we are constantly bombarded with images from the media with celebrities that appear to be perfect. It’s only later we often read about their melt down. I get tired of seeing people that had bounced back after having their baby within weeks plastered all over the latest magazines. Another good friend of mine reminded me that it takes 9 months to put that weight on – allow at least that to lose it again. 

I want to encourage anyone else feeling the same way I have that you are a beautiful person inside and out and if the people around you can’t see that then you are with the wrong people. Keep doing what you’re doing – you’re doing a great job 🙂 

One step forward – two steps backward….. getting back into running

12 Aug

Hope you are having a good week of training! It’s been beautiful here in Brisbane with gorgeous blue skies everyday. I’ve been taking full advantage getting out and about with baby M. I’ve slowly been getting back into my running which has been great, baby is 15 weeks now so I feel like I’m good to go and managed 5k yesterday walking/running at a very super slow time of 40 mins!! but I’m getting there.

I have a new hindrance now it seems. From lifting baby M in and out of his capsule, in and out of the car and his stroller I have damaged my wrists to the point it hurts all the time when I lift him now 😦  My back is also hurting from lifting him the wrong way so I went to see a physio and she said no strenuous exercise, no weights, no nothing! I said to her in a (Im sure) whining voice – so “no running?” and she said yes for one week….

The physio told me to sleep in a wrist brace (see inset) and I actually woke up in the middle of the night in agony so removed it. Called them the next day and they told me I have to see an Occupational Therapist…wrist

I was a little bit naughty yesterday as I did run but I made a pact with myself if I had any pain (which I didn’t) that i would stop. So it’s back to the physio and an occupational therapist on Friday to see what can be done and in the meantime resting my wrists the best I can and doing my physio exercises! I never realised having babies was so hazardous!

I’m loving being back at the gym and running though. I remember when I was pregnant I kept saying to myself it wouldn’t be long and I would be back running in no time and here I am – yay. I bought new trainers (Kayano 19s on special) and I’m set to go.

Anyway have a great week and happy running !

Exercising with no car and a baby!

29 Jul

Hope you had a good week last week. I was so proud of myself as I did my first run – it was very slow and very short but I did it 🙂 I think I did 20 mins in total of walking for one minute and running for another at 9km p/h – not much and quite slow but a start 🙂 it’s hard to do too much cardio at the moment when breast feeding but getting there.

The week continued to go well with my trying all sorts of different classes at the gym such as CX Works – an awesome ab class, a boxercise class, Body Combat and RPM. For the first time in a long time I felt really good.

The weekend was interesting and took turn for the worst when my car clutch and gears died! Thankfully we managed to pull over and slow down but had to be towed back to the mechanics and my little car is now sat waiting to be fixed. As a result however I suddenly realised I wouldn’t be able to go to the gym and I haven’t really started running again properly otherwise I would have run outside – then realised I couldn’t anyway  as baby M is still in his capsule so I can’t use my baby jogger until he is out of that.

So I attempted to train using my XBox at home doing the Nike training program. It turned out to be a bit of a farce since baby M didn’t play ball! 

Nike-Kinect-Training_X360_US_RP

I found myself every minute or so soothing him or sticking his dummy in his mouth much to his amusement as I can’t let him cry out too long at the moment and wouldn’t have been able to hear the instructor anyway! I did manage to do a few squats and some sit ups but it didn’t go as well as I hoped. It was quite funny looking back at it but you really had to be there. 

I realised how much my life has changed since having a baby and how even simple things like exercise I had to alter when I can’t get to the gym. 

I thought about what things would work in future if I couldn’t get to the gym and have listed below. If you can think of anymore feel free to post your ideas in the comments box below!

Some ideas for training with baby 

Walk outside with the stroller – I do this most days and wander around the neighbourhood where I live. If you aren’t good with your own company then invite a friend. You could also use your baby backpack/front pack such as the Baby Ergo (i have one of these), Baby Bjorn etc

Max buggy

Train at home – I have weights, my XBox and technically don’t even need a gym membership 🙂 Timing is the most important as I found out – preferably train when baby is asleep 🙂

Train with baby – There are lots of classes for mum and bub these days as well as exercises you can do at home involving your baby – see these two articles from Good Housekeeping and Parenting.com for some ideas.

Again these are just recommendations and my opinions – I’m no expert and it’s always good to consult with a doctor or physician before starting exercise.

 

Back to the gym!

30 Jun

Today was my third time back at the gym after having my little boy – he’s 9 weeks old now 🙂 I started back to training last week as I figured I’d give my body a couple of months to heal.

Great to be back

It was so good to get back into the gym but first I had to get there!

It’s no longer simply racing out the door to the car to the gym but now I have to make sure baby M is fed and nappy bag is ready to go, and then get him into the car and drop him off at the creche. The first time I went back last week I was so nervous leaving him but the girls in the creche were amazing and even came around when I was training to let me know how he was doing – he was asleep and has been all three times I have dropped him off!!

Getting there slowly - 9 weeks

Getting there slowly – 9 weeks

Training

I’m taking it easy training wise and running is off the cards for another few weeks until I hit 12 weeks just to be on the safe side so I have been doing a mixture of:

  • Walking uphill doing a bit of pyramid training – raising the incline by 1.0 every minute and then back down again on the treadmill,
  • Hammering it on the bike on the hill program and
  • Some light weights to get me back into training gently and I love it.

I get the adrenalin rush and plug into my music and it’s so great to be back! My new gym I joined has a cafe too so I make sure I have enough time to have a drink afterwards and then back to being a mum!

 

 

Goals

I’ve set myself a couple of short term goals to get me back into my training:

1. Run a race or two by the end of the year

2. Not stress over times and weight – just to enjoy the training

3. Build weights into my program and struck at it – have never been big on weights but understand their importance in a training program

so the fun begins again and I can’t wait – a few more weeks and I can run – yay!

Happy running 🙂

Product Review: SRC Pregnancy Recovery Shorts

17 Jun

I have had a few people ask me how I found the SRC Recovery Shorts after my pregnancy so below is my account (not an advertisement!) of how I found them and how they got me from day 1 post partum to where I am now – week 7.

Whilst I was pregnant I was very conscious of the birth and recovery – would I have to have a C section?
Would I need stitches? and what would the general recovery be like. After wearing the SRC Pregnancy Shorts I decided I would also get a pair of the Recovery Shorts which from what I could see have awesome reviews. I liked the fact that they came right up to under the bust and would stop my belly from wobbling as well as help me to recover from the birth.

SRC Recovery Shorts

benefits of Recovery Shorts

How do they feel?

They feel like compression pants unlike the pregnancy shorts which for obvious reasons have a bit more ‘give’ in them and I put them on on day 2 post partum and they’ve been great. They basically come right up under the bust and go right down as far as a long cycling short would. The fabric feels comfortable and very supportive and stops all the wobbly bits wobbling and at the same time I felt comfortable as well as confident wearing them under my clothes and felt much happier in terms of recovery. I wore them under my dresses to the shops and in my training walking bub around the lake and found them to be really comfortable.

They are easy to wash and don’t get sweaty!

Price

Price wise they don’t come cheap like some of the shorts I have seen in shops that claim to be compression post recovery shorts but you get what you pay for at the end of the day and just Google their product and you’ll see the reviews for yourself.

Results in terms of recovery and aiding weight loss 

From a recovery point of view I have been wearing the shorts since day 2 post partum and have recovered really quickly, had no major pain from the pregnancy and felt raring to go exercise wise. Weightloss wise my stomach has gone right down – see photos – who knows if that is just my body or with help from the shorts but a lot of my friends that have had babies have been surprised at how quickly I have started to get back to my old size so I’m thinking the shorts had to have helped!

Have a look at the photos on the right. 1 is the day after my baby was born – 2 is a week or two later, 3 is week 5 and number 4 is a week ago at my citizenship ceremony – back into my very early maternity jeans and stomach getting a lot flatter. I have been eating a lot, not dieting just wearing the shorts and walking every day. I still have a bump and I am not punishing myself to get my flat stomach back but 7 weeks on the shorts have helped me feel like I am raring to go with training and that little bit closer to getting back into my skinny jeans 🙂

 

Training after having a baby

5 Jun

I can’t believe my little bub is 5 weeks old! How time has flown ! 

I’ve been attached to my Baby Jogger and bub and I have been walking briskly around the lake every day near where I live doing a total of around 4.5k each day – me walking, bub chilling in his stroller!

image
Here is the latest photo of my little bub

Training is not far away!

I’ve been waiting for the moment that I can train again, not because I am an exercise addict but because I’ve always loved exercising and being pregnant I wasn’t able to do much at all due to medical reasons.  I’ve got 8kg left to get back to my pre pregnancy weight and I am not stressing too much – I only gave birth 5 weeks ago! My tummy is almost back to normal – I put it down to being active, my recovery shorts and breastfeeding.

Pressure to lose weight

There is a lot in the press about losing pregnancy weight quickly and many celebrities seem to give birth and within days look super skinny again – I know many women that felt pressured to get the weight off but have tried to ignore all of that and just concentrate on being healthy and being a good mum and if I feel like eating something naughty I have done. There is also a lot of pressure for women to breastfeed. It isn’t always possible for every woman and I’ve chatted to a lot of people heartbroken because they couldn’t – it’s terrible in my opinion as every person is different and it is noone’s business but theirs!  

Training Plan 

My bigger plan is to slowly get back into training and maybe do my first race later this year and just appreciate and enjoy being able to train 🙂 

I’ve joined a gym this week too – not able to start for a few weeks as I have to get Max vaccinated and I have to be signed off to train by my Obstetrician and Physio then it’s all systems go. I feel like I have so much energy I can’t wait. The plan is to start maybe with step and cycling and gradually ease into running but just to get my trainers on and get near the treadmill will be awesome! 

Exercising postpartum*

I asked my friend from NADU Fitness what exercise I should be doing now before I am able to do any major cardio and she said the following* which I have been doing as much as I can :

Pelvic floor exercise
-Breathe in and as you breathe out, tighten your pelvic floor muscles. The feeling is like squeeze and lift.
Hold this while you count to 10 without holding your breath and then slowly relax your muscles. Repeat 10 times

Pelvic tilting exercise
-Lie down on the floor or on your bed. Place a pillow under your head. Bend your knees by sliding your feet up towards your bottom. 
-Tighten your pelvic floor and pull in your lower tummy muscles, before squashing the small of your back down into the floor or bed. Hold this for a count to three and then arch your back away from the floor or bed. Repeat this 10 times. Don’t hold your breath:)

Upper back exercise
– Sit up straight with your arms crossed over your chest. Twist to the left and then to the right. Repeat 10 times each way. 

-Sit and link your hands behind your neck. Twist to the left and then to the right. Repeat 10 times each way. 

-Sit and link both hands together in front of you. Take your arms up in front of you and above your head as far as you can. Hold for 2-3 seconds and then slowly lower your arms down again. 

Walking

– gentle walk for 10-20 min each day.  -Stop and rest if needed

*Please always consult your doctor before embarking on exercise. I am not a qualified trainer – NADU Fitness is but it is always good to consult your GP before starting new exercise regimes.