running & racing post birth

I'm due to give birth early/mid October.  Due to previous medical problems I was advised to stop running more or less from the start.  Since then I've done no running but have tried to keep relatively fit with some walking.  By now however that is also not as enjoyable and I've been suffering from some back pain but mostly from breathlessness. 

I'm now contemplating when I could realistically expect to be able to start participating in races again, specifically at half marathon distance.  Will I honestly be able to re-join the action by next Spring?  I would dearly like some advice from others who've gone through it all before. 

 I know that assuming all is OK I should get the go ahead from my GP at my 6 week post birth check up.  So medically I should be able to start building up on distance/pace etc.

 However I am not foolish enough to believe that it is as simple as all that.  Family and friends who've given birth tend to find the baby takes over many/most aspects of their lives due to time constraints, tiredness etc.

 What are other women's experiences from a practical side of things?  Is say 6 months enough between giving birth and running a half marathon?  Taking into consideration that I've done no running for 8 months before the birth?


  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    Hi Ceirios

    Congratulations!  Hope all goes well with the rest of your pregnancy.  I've a 3 year old, and really struggled to get back into running after she was born (I ended up having a C-Section as she was trying to come out sideways, and then got an infection).  I'm now pregnant with number 2, and am determined to get back out there once it arrives (due in December).

    There are 2 long running threads in this section - the Pregnant Runners' Club and the Mums' Running club - with a mix of people who managed to run all the way through their pregnancies and started again almost immediately, to those who had to give up and who are struggling to get back to it.  Both are really friendly threads, so pop in and say hello and I'm sure someone will have been where you are, and where you want to be.

    Personally, I'd say just wait and see.  Yes, have your goals (and anything is possible) but be prepared to have a plan B.  Babies do have a tendancy to take over your life! 

  • Many thanks,

    I did see the threads you referred to but with thousands of messages in both it isn't easy to find your way around.  I'll try to have a look as per your suggestion.

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    Hi Cerios

    I wouldn't try to read back - it'd take you weeks!  Jut post a message saying "Hi I'm new" and ask your question.  The regulars in there will make you feel welcome.....image

  • Hi Cerios

    I have had 3 babies since I started running, the last one 2 years ago.  I struggled to run during any 3 of my pregnancies and stopped completely during my last one due to getting my appendix out at 15 weeks!  HOWEVER i managed to get back into running quickly after all of my pregnancies.  I waited 1-2 weeks before started training and although it was certainly tough found fitness came back really quickly.  I raced a 10k 6 weeks after baby 1, 4 weeks after baby 3 and a half marathon 6 weeks after baby 2.  7 months after baby 3 i ran a half marathon PB of 1.29 - and that was at the age of 40 and after giving birth to a 10 pound 12 baby and having the other kids to look after.

    So have confidence you may find like me you run better after having your baby, I ran so well after all of mine I would have another one if I wasn't too old!!

    If i can give you any more advice please let me know.

  • Hi Ceirios - I also stopped running pretty soon after falling pregnant with each of mine (I have 3 girls now). With my last pregnancy I had been running up to 20 miles a week before getting pregnant and was worried that it would take forever to get going again after delivering. As it was I started running again 5 weeks after having my baby and my first run was one mile out, short walk and then one mile back. I built up very slowly from there and raced my very first half marathon when my daughter was 8 months old.  So based on my experience, yes a six month build up to a half after having a baby sounds do-able even without running during pregnancy.

    I can also vouch for Nessie's comment that the ladies on the Running Mum's page are fabulously friendly and helpful so maybe we'll see you over there sometime.

    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and everything!

  • HI

    I'm more of a plodder/jogger and I managed to do so until about 7 weeks before birth of 2nd baby. However, please please don't rush out to run after having your baby:

    1. You will be exhausted once baby is in bed and really should be catching up on sleep!

    2. Get lots of walking done in the day withe the pram.

    3. Remember your pelvic floor. I ran about 8 weeks post baby and wet myself at the gym. Was really upsetting and reminded me that I needed to do things slowly.

    4. Boobs (if breastfeeding) will be huge!! So get a big sports bra.

    That said I started run/walk at about 6 wks and was ok but I really was not prepared for the pelvic floor situation. I had had a normal delivery (1st baby was c section) although had torn badly (not felt due to lovely epidural)  and in all honesty it took about 4 months for things to feel normal down there. I'm trying not to be negative as it was imp for me to get back out there, have time on my own and lose weight but I put a lot of pressur eon myself when perhaps a hot bath woul dhave been better.

    Don't underestimate the power of listening to your body. You will know in yourself when it's ready. It's 9 months on and I'm planning on a half in another 2 months and I'm proud about that.

    Good luck and enjoy every moment of your newborn x x x

  • Congratulations!!

    Great to hear your news and great to hear your drive to get back running.  I have two children (now aged 8 and 5) and was just as eager as you to get back into it.

     From my experiences however, I would say there are two watchouts:

     1.  Due to breastfeeding, even with the most restrictive sports bra, it was far too painfull to try running any real distance.

    2.  As soon as (Breasts permitting!) I was able to run I pushed myself so hard that I developmed ITBS (due to over stretchy tendons) and then went on to spend around a year in and out of hospital having physio and steroid injections and discussing knee ops.  Eventually I was forced to stop running alltogether until my body was recovered not only from the pregnancy but also the damage I caused from rushing things.

    To summarise, from my experience, I can totally understand your urgency to get back training but realyl, if you take it too quick you may suffer longer term like I did.

     Hopefully you will be OK and snap back physically, but I really wouldn;' want you to go through the pain I went through because of rushing it.

    Good luck!! 


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