Mums Running Club

How do you get going again after pregnancy?

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19/06/2007 at 10:29
Hi Minks - I'm not too worried about going away then - I'll see how I feel, but as the 1st 2 were late I'm fairly confident this one won't be early (or even on time - famous last words!) - I'm just hoping I can find ways to keep the kids occupied over the summer. I don't think I'd feel the same if it was my first baby though.

Well done on your running - it sounds like it's going well at the moment, and being made to build up gradually definitely sounds like the best thing. I've been looking at schedules for getting back to running post birth - just to make me feel better about my current low mileage really. I know it'll be really important to build up gradually though so I will follow your example!
21/06/2007 at 13:55
Just stumbled on this thread and I'm very excited. I feel as if I've bumped into old friends I haven't seen in a long time.
Haven't read through the posts as I'm back to work full time and sneaking this post in on my lunch break.

Hope you and your precious ones are all well and you are enjoying motherhood.

My DS will be 9 mths next week and my other DS is 3yrs 4mths.

I started back running when DS was 6wks and started training for the FLM in January when he was mths. I managed 60% of the training and finished the marathon in 5hrs 44mins. My best time before that was 4hrs 15mins.

On the day at many points I did think it was a really bad idea but looking back I did enjoy the day and I'm sure the training helped. I did the St Albans marathon 2 wks ago in 2hrs 11 which I was really pleased about as it means I'm getting back to my former pace.

I've said no more marathons as it's just too hard to fit in the training around family life, but my goal is to run a Half Marathon in under 2hrs by the end of the year.

My parents and MIL have been fantastic and have been on hand doing lots of babysitting which helps when you want to go out running, I'm lucky that we all get on so there are never any problems. I think I'm much more relaxed this time around and just let them get on with it, I was the opposite with my first.

I went back to work when DS was 5 and a half mths old. I'm a freelance contractor so grabbed the opening as it was so near home.
He goes to nursery once a week and my MIL looks after him on the other days. On the whole it's okay as long as I follow my routines when I get back from work.

I've almost gone back to my pre-preg weight which was 60kg, I'm currently 62kg, although I'll confess I've dabbled into several diet worlds detox, Atkins etc.
My only concern is my stomach, it was flat before my last pregnancy and now it still looks like I'm 3 mths pregnant especially in the morning.
It's feels like it's inflatable. Any tips please. I do weights maybe twice a week and stomach exercises after my runs.

22/06/2007 at 09:15
Hi Tonia, great to see another 'old' face! It really is like meeting up with long-lost friends - strange as none of us have ever met each other!

Not sure what to suggest re. the tummy. I'm about 5lb off my pre-pregnancy weight, but I'd just finished my 3rd marathon on my highest-ever weekly mileage when I conceived and I was a little below my normal 'resting' weight. So I'm probably about 2-3lb away from where I'd like to be but I'm fairly happy with my body considering Kit is only 4 months old. I was very impatient at the beginning to be back to being as slim as I used to be, but I've accepted that it might not be as instantaneous as I'd have liked - and may not happen at all - so I'm also starting to look at my current shape in a more positive light. My waist is definitely bigger than it was - I can get into all my low-waisted trousers comfortably but any that sit a little higher won't do up. My thighs are also slightly larger as are my upper arms. In some ways though I don't mind being a little bit bigger as it gives me a lot more choice when it comes to buying clothes. I was a very small size 6 before - probably nearer a size 4 - and everything drowned me. Now I'm probably a 6-8 and some of the clothes I'd abandoned pre-pregnancy because they just hung off me now fit and look quite nice again! Hubby seems to like my slightly curvier body so I can't really complain too much!

The biggest plus is that my tummy seems to have gone back to being almost flat again, although it's slightly more rounded than it used to be and is not as taut. My belly button will never be the same again though - it's definitely stretched! - and I still have the remains of my linea nigra which seems to be taking ages to fade. I haven't done any specific tummy-toning exercises although I probably should have done - am hoping that the running alone will tighten everything up in time. What sort of stomach exercises are you doing at the moment?

22/06/2007 at 11:09
Minks good to hear and that you and Kit are doing really well.
I do basis crunches, bicycle type moves, press ups, the plank and some exercises using a swiss ball which are hard to describe.

I think 9 months is long enough for it to be almost normal which is why I am starting to panic!

I'm worried I'll be back to my normal weight and still have a large tummy. I refused to buy any new clothes for work, even though I couldn't zip up my size 10 trousers, now I can zip them up but just can't do the buttons so that's progress I suppose. Have a good weekend and enjoy the little ones Jane Tri, Minks and everyone else.
22/06/2007 at 11:30
After children you find that your body shape changes. After my first I got back to pre pregnant weight but I still have some hot pants that I couldn't get done up on the waist and anything high waisted. After the second I went back to pre pregnant weight and my waist returned back as it had with number 1. Low waised jeans are great and not a problem and my hips/legs were slimmer than before number 1. Now with number 3 nearly 8 months old the weight is creeping off so slowly (i'm now 35). Still 5lbs to go and it loks like if I keep going as I am it will be a year before I am at pre pregnant weight(before all 3). I don't think I will ever have a 24 inch waist again and I have spoken to other mums about this and they have had similar experience with waist size.
22/06/2007 at 12:07
I agree, Tracey - anything I wore before that was low-waisted still fits fine. My hips are no bigger but my waist definitely is. After 4 months I'm sure I will probably still lose a little more weight, but the chances of me getting back into some of my smallest clothes seem fairly remote. But you never know.

I've stopped stressing about it now though - I am fully prepared to accept that my body shape may have changed permanently ... although it won't stop me having a shot at getting back to somewhere close to where I was! If I still don't get back there once my weekly running mileage equals what I was doing pre-pregnancy, then I'll just accept that I'm as slim as I'm going to be and that's it. I'm definitely not dieting - never have and never will. I like my food too much!
22/06/2007 at 16:34
Someone mentioned (when DS was 4 months old) to me about wearing a corset pretty much as soon as you are out of hospital. Something to do with forcing the ribs and soft tissue back to where it should be. Apparrently it is something that celeb mums have done.

Note: I have no idea if it works or not or if it is just one of those crazy rumours that are started and someone mentioned it who haddn't tried it either.. I wouldn't want to try it as breast feeding was hard enough in mormal bras without wearing scaffolding too and I like to be able to breathe!!!
22/06/2007 at 19:29
I don't think I'd want to try it either - especially not after having a C-section! I couldn't even wear 'normal' knickers for a while (i.e. non-Bridget Jones style) lt alone anything that compressed me still further!
22/06/2007 at 22:45
I did get a flat stomach back after my first 2 doing lots of crunches, planks and aerobics teaching etc....just the waist was never the same. DH recons I actually looked better at 33 tone wise than when 23 when I had the tiny waist. But at 23 I was a gym bunny aerobics queen and never ran above 1 or 2 miles.

At 33 did more running than I ever had and a lot of weights as the gym I used to use offered a creche(now closed is the creche). Trained for a half marathon when most runs before this taianing had never been over 3 miles. And took part in local triathlons. In fact I never though of myself as a runner till the gym creche closed and my only constant training now is running with the pushchair or the turbo trainer in the garage.

I have never been less than a size 8 (only fell to that size when half mara training before i fell pregnant with no 3) and I will be happy when all my clothes fit not just the size 10 ones although there is not much left I can't wear now only a couple of paits of jeans.

I need to train for a half mara again as the last one I did was completed in 2 hours and 1 minute. I want to do under 2 hours so I'm not a super fast runner. Maybe when DS is in nursery I can do a marathon one day. My long run (with pushcahir) is back up to 8 miles so I will be building from there for our local half in October.

Oh dear I'm rambling now so I need to go as it is my tur to get the beer. Nice quiet eve in kids asleep and DH and I are treating ourself to a beer or too.
24/06/2007 at 18:42
I useed a teutonina 3 wheeler style pushchair for the first 6 months with DS that I had for first DD who is now 6. It has a lie flat possition so it was Ok to start with and we were only going around a very flat steady block.

It was fine then for DD as then I only ran up to 2 miles with it maximum with the oldest and the rest of the time it was fab for dog walking but very heavy and big to lug in and out of the car. So for car we use a mothecare cheapn cheerfull buggy.

When I stared running 4 and 5 miles and was regularly coverind 3 miles 3 times a week I appealed for DH for a lighter pushchair specifically designed for running. So for DS at 6 months( this jogger is only suitable from 6 months+) we got a babbyjogger performance with the 20inch wheels.

It has a really long wheelbase, reclines for an older child to sleep, has a good firm harness and the sun cannoppy is very good as it is in 3 pieces and you can almost pull it over them completely. So no worries if the hat won't stay on. Ours came with a raincover and some sheepskin covers for the straps. For running it is great, if the wind is behind you it runs itself (so I always attach the saftey strap to my knickers). It is hard to jog into wind but more streamlined than my other. In my first month I have taken 3-4 mins of the longer run times and my 5k best this year is 25.20 without 26.19 with pushchair and it was nearly 30 mins with the older jogger.So I recomend it for running and dog walking. I managed to get it for around £250 online with the accessories but I think money well spent as 4 of 5 runs each week are with it.
Nugative side it is quite big and you would need a big boot to drive it anywhere and the front big wheel gets in the way when I nip to the shops but I have a small buggy to do this job if needed.

Must go DS ready for bed now and crying. Feel free to ask further Q's if needed
26/06/2007 at 20:52
Janie - what are Pushymums classes?

Tracey, your baby jogger sounds really good. We haven't got one, mainly because we have to keep Kit's main pushchair in the boot of the car due to lack of space in the house so definitely wouldn't have room for two buggies! Also, I decided once he was born that running time would be time out for myself - I guess I'm fairly lucky though in that hubby is happy for me to run three evenings during the week when he gets home from work so I don't have to worry about having to find time during the day. If I did then I would certainly look into the idea of a baby jogger.

I took Kit on the Tube yesterday. Hubby's colleagues have been demanding that he take Kit in at some point, so I decided to bite the bullet. He was a little angel! He slept most of the way and was charming everyone with his smiles and gurgling noises while he was in hubby's office. Made me realise though how bad the Tube is in terms of access for disabled people (and mums with pushchairs!) There are stairs EVERYWHERE. I simply had no choice but to rely on the kindness of fellow passengers to help me up and down flights of stairs. I hate appearing helpless but there's no way I could have managed on my own. More ramps are needed!! I won't be doing that again in a hurry though ...
30/06/2007 at 12:20
Sounds good Janie! I have to say that IF I ever have another baby I will find it very hard to believe any midwife who tells me my baby is cephalic and engaged - I had three midwives all tell me that and Kit was undiagnosed breech. There's no way he turned at the last minute either - there was absolutely no room for him to do so as I was literally all baby, and I definitely would have felt it. But I hope yours have got it right!

Apart from my waist, I am pretty much back to how I was pre-pregnancy now. I tried on clothes I couldn't get done up a month or two ago and they now fit fine - if anything are a bit loose again. I can even get into my smallest jeans but have to say I've completely gone off them! Had them a good few years before I got pregnant and they just look kind of wrong now. I wanted to be able to get back into them just to know I could get back to where I was pre-pregnancy so mission accomplished - now it's time to go shopping I think! It's amazing that in the few weeks I've been back running (four now) my figure really seems to have come back - and I've only been running about 10 miles a week as have had to build up slowly due to hurting my back by trying to do too much too soon. So glad I can run again - I really missed it!
04/07/2007 at 11:23
Well done Minks, good to hear you are back on the road and comfortable with your shape, not sure I'll ever reach that happy place ;-)

I'm running the Wycombe Half Marathon in 2 wks, my goal is to try and run a half in under 2hrs by the end of the year, so I’m looking forward to this.
Apparently you are supposed to be able to run faster Post-Natally, I've not found it to be true althoughI might have the odd spurt when I think about how much my babysitter is costing.

Almost back to my post-pregnancy weight I just have to try and be a bit more disciplined with the junk food.
I love biscuits and cakes and used to be able to get away with it when I could train for longer.
05/07/2007 at 12:30
Me too Tonia; realised the other week that I was eating as though I was running 40 miles a week, not 10! Have stopped buying biscuits and cakes, which I craved towards the end of my pregnancy. Interestingly I've now gone off them again.

Actually, I've found looking after a baby is great for the waistline - I barely have time to think about food. Certainly no time to sit around snacking - I'm lucky if the little fella lets me get lunch in some days!

Good luck with the half marathon. I haven't even thought about racing yet - probably won't do so until the beginning of next year as I feel my fitness has a long way to go before I feel able to do myself justice in a race. Not expecting PBs when I first start back but would like to manage a decent time for my own self-esteem.
05/07/2007 at 21:03
Hello, please may I join in??

Just starting running again after a 10month break due to having a wee little baby! Completed a 49.22 8K the day before I found out I was PG but finding it hard work/...like starting all over again!

Need a good support crew!

Viki
06/07/2007 at 08:59
Viki (and Janie) - DON'T try to do too much too soon, or worry about pace or what you were doing pre-pregnancy. How soon you can start again will depend on the kind of birth you have and how you feel in the first few weeks after the little one arrives.

I had great intentions of being Superfit Supermum - back running within a week or two of the baby arriving - but the reality was rather different. I had an unexpected C-section which, looking back, really knocked the stuffing out of me. I tried to carry on as normal, not really resting much or allowing others to wait on me, and in retrospect I was really shattered. Started back running after about 6 weeks - despite being advised by the hospital to wait 4-5 months! I was shocked at how slow I was and how unfit I felt, especially as I'd managed to carry on doing a small amount of running until 32 weeks pregnant.

Rather than taking it slowly I launched straight back in to doing 4 runs of 3 miles each per week. This lasted two weeks before I strained my back. I don't know if I did it running or if I did it lifting Kit in his car seat and the running exacerbated it, but on the advice of an osteopath I stopped again completely for two weeks. Lesson learned, I built up much more gradually as soon as I started back again.

I completely forgot about what I was doing before (I ran a 3:23 marathon the month before I conceived) and went right back to basics following a beginners' schedule. I'm much better when I follow a schedule and am not tempted to do anything other than what is down in black and white. I've now been running again for four weeks and am happy to report no further back problems. You have to remember that the hormone relaxin that softens all your joints and ligaments in preparation for the baby's passage through the birth canal can remain in your body for about 6 months after the birth, making you much more susceptible to injury.

My first few runs were at around 9:30 minute miles, and now I'm able to run 7:45 pace once I'm well warmed up. I haven't pushed it though - I've let the pace return naturally as my fitness slowly returns.

My advice would be to take it slower than you think you need to. You have the rest of your life to be a runner again - why rush it?
07/07/2007 at 22:48
Hi Jane and Minks, thanks for the welcome.

Jane, good luck for the impending addition to your family. Dont worry too much about rushing out the door to get back to running. You will need to take it easy for the first couple of months, if not just due to lack of sleep!! My little one is 9 weeks old today and I haven't slept for more that 3hrs at a time for 2months! It is surprising how quickly you get used to so little though and they are all worth it.

Minks, I hear what you are saying about the aspirations of being a superfit supermum. I also have a 2.5 yr old and it took me 18months before I started running again after he was born so I have been committed to not leaving it so long this time around. I have been taking it really easy and mainly doing run/walk sessions to ease my body back in. That first post baby run is a real eyeopener for the reality of the effects of pregnancy. I felt sooooo unfit! I do agree though that there is no rush and there is no shame in taking it slow and easy.
08/07/2007 at 10:39
Hi
I eased myself soooooo gently back in to running but I think it is paying off now. I started at 7 weeks post birth after I had got the all clear from my gyno. Even though I have been running since I was nine(with a huge break from 18 - 30) I started back with walking breaks. I never felt like I really needed to walk (and had to swallow my pride to do this)but was ultimately so excited about getting back into running that I didn't want to jeapordise things. I am now running normally (6 months on) 5 times a week and have done 2 races which have gone well. I think come Autumn I will be back to where I was.
I was also surprised at how unfit I was but it seemed to come back quickly. I had a natural birth to a heavy baby and I remember it feeling weird down below the first time out as if something may fall out. I was fairly good the first 6 weeks at doing pelvic floor exercises.
I love my running "me" time...I have to fight for it at times and have become an opportunist...I will run at the drop of a hat whether the sun is beating down, it is late at night, I have just eaten etc otherwise I would probably only manage 2-3 times a week. Sometimes I wish I could just shut my eyes while I am running!
09/07/2007 at 11:20
Thought would join in. Not much time for forums as my two are so mobile now am rushed off my feet, presently sitting quietly playing together so nows my chance!

I started back at 4 weeks, but was very hard. I jogged until 26 weeks then walked and swam, but even so. Started off with 10 minutes, of run 3 mins, walk 1min. then progressed up to 20 mins before I attempted to run without without a break. Am now up to 50 mpw, and entered a half in October when boys will be 1.

I find it hard though as the boys are exhausting, even though they sleep very well, I fall into bed by the end of the day.

Good to hear you are doing so well Minks. I am still 7lbs heavier (now 7 stone 13) than before pregnancy but can live with that for now, am useless at dieting as love my food far too much!

My two are still pretty small for their age 16lb and 18lb at nearly 9 months, but that just means being so light they get themselves round the room rather quickly!!
09/07/2007 at 12:04
Nice to hear from you, MM - wondered whether you'd find this forum! Just checked and I've actually been back running for 6 weeks now, not 4! Time flies! My longest run is still only 4.5 miles but gradually upping the distance each week. Interestingly I seem to be a little quicker than I was pre-pregnancy although I definitely lost a lot of my former stamina. It's slowly coming back, but I still have days where I feel quite tired and heavy - probably just due to the demands of being a mum and never getting out for my run before about 7:15pm, which is later than I'm used to and I'm also starving by then!

MM, I'm still heavier than pre-pregnancy too, by about 4-5lb (now 7 stone 4-5lb instead of 7 stone). I don't much care what I weigh, it's how I look and how my clothes fit that matters to me. I can just about get into my smallest jeans (which were a bit loose when I last marathon trained) but wouldn't wear them as they feel uncomfortable and don't look that flattering! It's mainly my waist that's bigger but I guess that's to be expected.

Kit is now 14lb 1oz at just over 4 months old. He's doing really well and after a blip last weekend where he woke up constantly all through the night, is now pretty much sleeping through the night again. He woke up this morning at 5am and although I went into his room, he settled himself back to sleep after a couple of minutes without needing me to intervene. I have a feeling he may be an early mover: he's SO strong, and every time I try to sit him down on my lap or in his bouncy chair, he puts his feet down and pushes himself to a standing position. He's also holding his head really steady when sitting, and tries to lean forward in his chair to retrieve his toys if he drops them. I find it amazing how much progress they make in such a short space of time.

Janie, I went on to the Hal Higdon website (www.halhigdon.com) and under Training Schedules, went to Beginner and then the Novice Supreme marathon schedule: a 30-week programme designed to take you from beginner to marathon. The first few weeks (which I'm doing at the moment) are ridiculously easy - runs of 1.5 miles - but I decided it was worth being over-cautious if it meant the difference between being able to run and being sat at home with a bad back. You can always modify the schedule a bit if you find it too tedious.
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