One of the more challenging components of getting back to running after having a baby is relearning how to balance & bounce on one leg! Your body has gone through an incredible transformation to create life, which required A LOT of physical changes to your muscles, soft tissues, and joints. These changes don’t immediately disappear postpartum.
Then add on sleep deprivation, tissue healing thats occuring, the hormone cocktail that’s supporting breastfeeding that’s also keeping your joints hyper-flexible for longer btw, not to mention a top heavy loaded milk supply you may be carrying, etc…so it’s a whole new world getting back to running from what you and your body remember pre-baby.
Then add in the very confusing “all clear” at your 6 week PP check-up with the generic, “just ease back into running, and listen to your body”… What does ease back in mean? What are you supposed to listen for? Mama, let me clear up the confusion – your mind may be ready but your body is definitely NOT, and I say that with a lot of love.
Running requires the following:
- Balancing well on one leg
- Shock absorbing 2.5-4x your body weight
BOTH of those have to happen with every step, and your abdominals + pelvic floor also have to relearn how to shock absorb this much, too, which is regardless of delivery method. None of this magically happens at “X” weeks PP.
In order to prepare for such running loads, you need:
- Breath training to re-coordinate your core
- Strength training to build your base
- Time to integrate your breath + base
How long does this take?
It varies, but it’s much longer than 6 weeks PP for most. The body needs 8-12 weeks of regular strength work to set a foundation. This is where working with a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist is especially helpful for assessing your individual baseline, and determining a breath + base plan tailored to YOU. This is how you get to the balance & bounce phase, and eventually the beginning to run phase.