When Can I Get Back to Running After Having My Baby?
This is probably the number one question I get asked by my mother runners.
While many are looking for the answer of, “at X days/weeks postpartum”…which I totally understand since most other things during pregnancy/postpartum are measured this way…there is NO specific date to correctly answer that question. This is also why you will see all kinds of suggestions when you consult Dr. Google.
The ANSWER = when your body has enough STRENGTH to successfully support 2.5-4x with each step, because Mama, that’s what the body has to do when we run! WHEN that amount of strength is achieved postpartum = when you can return to running after baby. And that date varies greatly from person to person.
There are a number of factors that influence the variability from person to person:
?What was your strength training and running status during pregnancy?
?What was your delivery like? Vaginal? Any tearing or episiotomy? C-section?
?Any complications during the delivery that may require prolonged healing time?
?Are you breastfeeding?
?How are you fueling/hydrating?
?How’s the quality of your sleep, especially in those early weeks?
?Do you have support from a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist to help you know where to start with strength work, especially in those early weeks?
The vast majority of women are not ready to resume running at their 6 week check-up despite the usual “all clear” from their OB, which adds another layer of confusion around when it’s ok to lace up after baby. Tissue healing is nowhere near done at this early point, and I’m talking internally, abdominals (especially with a c-section) and pelvic floor. Those tissues need about 4-6mo of healing time. And it takes a minimum of 8-12 weeks of regular strength ? training before the body begins to build muscle back up. Yes, it takes that long!
Rebuilding a solid foundation in and around the pelvis is essential. We have to train the strength and movement prerequisites for running in order to successfully return to running postpartum.
What helped you feel successful with your return to run postpartum?
What do you wish you would have done differently?