What Does Return to Running Postpartum Mean???
Hi! Hannah here. I’m back from maternity leave and back to running. Well, kind of.
Running looks and feels a lot different than it did a year ago before I was pregnant. And I’m lucky – I work in a physical therapy clinic and am able to take advantage of prenatal/postpartum PT with our awesome therapists who specialize in this area. On top of that, both my pregnancy and delivery were relatively seamless. Don’t get me wrong, they both came with their own complications, but overall it all went pretty smoothly.
But running again is hard.
Mentally, I feel ready. I want to be logging those miles in preparation for a marathon, not only to push my body in a way I enjoy, but also as an escape from the weighty responsibilities of caring for a newborn.
However, working as closely with Pelvic Health PTs as I do, I know I am not physically ready – something that does not often get communicated well during “typical” postpartum care. There is so much work that needs to be done in order to make sure I safely get back to running. And that’s the goal. To be able to return to running without symptoms lingering from my pregnancy – without leakage, and without pain.
It’s hard. Building back safely comes with a bit of restraint. Okay, a lot of restraint. While doing more may feel okay in the moment or is just slightly uncomfortable, I know it can develop into something bigger if I’m not careful. So here I am keeping it simple and just focusing on strength and form for now. It’s not the fun fall marathon training I love and look forward to every year. It’s slow, and even harder for me, it’s solo. So much of what I love about running is social.
But I’m determined and I have all the right cheerleaders here at FLPT. I see one of our women’s health PTs weekly to relearn how to engage my core and how to incorporate pelvic floor. I am doing targeted postpartum return to running strength workouts that feel too easy in the moment, but somehow leave me feeling sore the next day. I’m incorporating cycling to build back my cardio without the impact and bouncing that running involves. And of course I am running. Hyper-focused on form. One minute at a time. Slowly building towards my goal.
Ultimately what I’m just trying to say here is, to all the mamas out there running, I’m here with you! And also, please let me know if you have any sports bra recommendations. 🙂
Do you have any postpartum return to running questions?? Reach out and one of our Pelvic Health PTs will help!