Reflections on Postpartum Running

By: Andi Ripley

ME:“Holy crap, I just grew and delivered a human child.”
“What the heck, kid? Why don’t you sleep more than 2 hours at a time?”
“Is poop supposed to look like that?”
GOOGLE: Yes.
DOCTOR: Yes.
ME:“I am just so tired.”
“WHERE IS ALL THE CHOCOLATE?”
“Has that spit up been in my hair all day?”
MIRROR: Yes. Also your shirt is on backward.
ME: K, cool.

Enter running. A remedy for some of us to fight back against LOSING OUR FREAKING MINDS. Here are my reflections after now having two babies in the past three years.

#1 Focus on form.

Do it correctly. My body after babies was healing and readjusting from the ground up. Sometimes we have to run a different distance or pace to do this. For example, I had to run fewer miles a bit faster to execute good form. Slogging more miles with a slouched and tired posture only hurt me. I received help gaining health and mobility through physical therapy at Endurance Rehabilitation in Ada, Michigan and using a Zero Runner.

#2 Be consistent.

We made running a family thing. Our investment in a single and then double jogger was essential. We have a YMCA membership which also has greatly helped me with my consistency. Running buddies and running groups add fun, accountability, and add value by building friendships.

#3 Rest and cross train.

We get very few hours of sleep as moms, and our bodies may have a hard time recovering from a long run or workout. I took charge of my training. I changed the days of my long runs, chose to aqua jog or bike if the pounding hurt, and took days completely off. I found I could do a lot more when I was fatigued than I ever thought I could. If I could safely and sanely get the miles in, I did it.

A helpful question I ask myself is “Will running today hurt me or help me?” And the follow-up question: “What can I do today to set myself up for a better day tomorrow?” Sometimes the answer is using a foam roller and taking a bath (and maybe eating some chocolate).

Ok, so what do you think? Ready to run post babies? You’re tougher and more courageous than ever.

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