New Mums/parents

Hi All,

I used to be quite a competitive runner and then became pregnant in July of last year. It was quite a difficult pregnancy that resulted in me not exercising after August. I gave birth via c section on 20th March to a gorgeous little one. 

I was given the ok to exercise at my six week app two weeks ago. I then did nothing due to be totally knackered due to this little bundle of joy..... but finally got myself out to do parkrun on Sat. I know that may sound a lot but I used to regularly run marathons and do track work etc. I dragged myself around via walk/run in 39 mins but totally loved it. 

I am off work until September with my baby but am struggling with the usual new mum thing of being exhausted. I can only run either at 0600 or 1800 when my husband gets back (although I am exhausted) BUT I am determined to do this. 

I was shocked by how much fitness I have lost... all. I ached after Sat until today (Wed). I have also put on so much weight I feel just awful about myself. I am finding it hard to get time to make good food for myself and the time has come to change. I miss the feeling of being healthy and fit. I miss racing and running.

So... this is me nailing my colours to the wall (is that an expression... mast possibly?) 

Any other parents or such who are struggling and trying get back to basics I would love to hear from you.

My plan is to take is slowly - a couple of a miles at a time with parkrun every Sat. Not to be too hard on myself and to nourish my body again. No drastic changes in diet, just to eat well and try to relax. 

If anyone fancies joining me on this then I look forward to hearing from you 



  • I am in a similar boat time wise. I am male though so don't have they hit on the body you have had....although I do look pregnant at the moment. I have a 2 year old and another one due on Wednesday. I found it hard to do any training during the sleepless nights and working through the day stage. I have to get up at 5:30-6:00 to do my running at the moment and although I hate dragging myself out of bed, its the best time to get it done. If you wait until the little ones are asleep at night you are normally ready to drop off yourself. I have just decided to do The Great Scottish Run yesterday so am going to try and focus on training for that alongside my work and daddy duties. Hopefully next week wont hit me too hard
  • SorequadsSorequads ✭✭✭

    Good luck, Lillias. Sounds like you have a really sensible attitude. I reckon running for enjoyment, rather than times etc (which will inevitably suffer in comparison to the past, at least at first), is key.

    Alex, I'm in the same boat as you, with an 18 month old daughter. I must say that I agree with the time of day. I only run in the morning, getting up at 5ish to either run straight away, or drive to work (missing the traffic) then running there. This means that the time is yours and is much less likely to be disrupted by childcare issues. It has meant me going to bed much earlier - 9pm ish - but all that has really changed is stopping watching crap tv. When I have had the odd night out, however, I have really suffered with the lack of sleep!

    Good luck both and I hope you enjoy your running.

  • Cara HCara H ✭✭✭

    Posting here for the first time in a couple of years due to a long layoff for the same reason!

    Background: I started running 5-6 yrs ago with C25k and got to the point I was running 10k towpath routes twice a week and Parkrun occasionally. 60min 10k and Parkrun pb 25.24. Then moved house, got married, restarted, and back to 9-10k runs. Pregnant in 2013 and decided to stop.

    After my daughter was born Aug 2014 I was very lazy, until I saw photos of myself at her christening.  41yrs old, over 2 stone overweight, and unfit. I had 3 months with a personal trainer and ran intermittently  but got fed up since I couldn't begin to match my previous efforts. Tbh it was hard to be consistent since my daughter still breastfed until Feb this year. There are no pavements here so  late runs in the dark are a no no.

    Anyway I've finally accepted I need to start from scratch so I have redone C25k starting week 4 and just about to start the Bridge to 10k. It will take time and I think I'm slower than before but I accept it for now. Back in my "heyday" I dreamed of doing the Black Country half marathon, so it's now a goal for next year.

    Colours nailed to the wall, and joining you!

  • Thanks all. Lovely to hear from you. I managed to get out Wed PM but only managed a poor 1.5 miles at a slow pace as was just exhausted from the day. I have tried to run every AM this week at 0600 but again just too tired. What I think I need to do is get my kit out the night before and just do it. As I am sure yoyu know, the nights are non stop, my son is 8 weeks so up every few hours then the day itself exhausts me. I just need to do it, even tired, as it will make me feel so much better. I just need to get back into it for myself. I have an hour each am if I can run at 0545. I used to regularly train at 0500 before a long day at work, so it can be done!

    Well done on entering races - I am doing parkrun every Sat and for now that's enough but hopefully towards the end of the year I may do a half - I will see!

    I should have probably done C25K - I am just sort of running then walking when tired atm! Parkrun was so hard last week after nothing since Aug - took me until yday to recover!

    Looking forward to supporting each other moving forwards!
  • BallesterosBallesteros ✭✭✭
    A lot of familiar sounding experiences here, thanks for sharing and good luck to you all.

    My short story:
    We've got one under three years old and another under 3 months old, and we don't have any family local to help out with childcare most of the year round. I'm a Dad not a Mum, so obviously didn't have to take the direct hit of pregnancy and childbirth, but have suffered rubbish sleep for most of the year because even before the newborn arrived my wife suffered bad sleep disturbances during pregnancy. Then with the tiredness and busy work and family life and catching bugs from the toddler, I let myself go, the comfort food and occasional wine and beer mounted up and suddenly I hadn't run for a year and have put on well over a stone.

    The longer version:
    In 2014 when our eldest was born I took about six weeks off running but managed to get back into consistent training and was back to similar fitness after about 3 months - I was lucky that he was a very good sleeper from quite early on so I could get out early or late to train most of the time without stitching up my wife at the weekends and on weekdays I could train during weekday lunchtimes - I had a Good For Age place for London 2015 to stay fit for and that was a long term target, so she was accepting of me training at unsocial hours in order to not waste the opportunity to get my sub3, knowing that would mean I'd be less likely to want to train for another marathon in the near future if I managed it!

    Pleased to say I managed 2:59:50 at VLM 2015, but once my my wife returned to work part time and my son started at nursery, I started catching bug after bug and by October 2015 I couldn't seem to piece together any consistent training without my immune system losing out to infections, and gradually fell into running retirement. Then last year we managed to get pregnant again and I spent any 'spare' time over the last year doing home improvements so that we didn't need to move house to make space for the second child, so again no time for running.

    With 18 months elapsed since I last raced, and 12 months since the last aborted attempt at restarting training, and having put on 8kg in that time and struggling to fit into most of my favourite clothes, I finally started running again last month now that the initial new baby haze has passed and most of the home improvements are done. One of those improvements was having a conservatory built and sticking a treadmill in the corner - ie the most expensive way to do my least preferred type of running, but it is a way both of us can take turns to get some exercise in whilst the kids are asleep without abandoning the other parent in case they wake up!

    Starting again has been tough - I still have the mental strength and experience and knowledge of how to train gained from my years of running improvement - but I have had to face the fact that my fitness is starting from scratch. I tried a parkrun a few weeks ago when we were visiting the inlaws so had help with childcare. I was only 20 seconds faster than my first ever parkrun from back in 2011, and 5 minutes slower than my PB. I couldn't even run 1 mile at my old marathon race pace :-o

    Attempting to run at my old 'long run' pace - that I used to comfortably do 20mile+ training runs whilst keeping my average heart rate in my easy zone - I couldn't even run 2 miles at that pace any more without my heart rate rocketing up. So I have had to back off my 'easy' pace slower again to try and get some base fitness back. After a few weeks it feels like it is starting to work - 2 kilos down and the slow stuff is feeling a little easier again, but I need to do some longer runs to really get some of that aerobic fitness back and I struggle to go long enough on the treadmill - it either gets too boring, too hot+stuffy, or too early/late for the treadmill noise to be fair on the neighbours!

    I love my kids, they are awesome, never regret becoming a parent for a minute, but that doesn't stop me feeling a tinge of sadness thinking that by the time things at home change to allow me to train well again it will probably be too late to ever get back to where I peaked before, let alone improve on those PBs. At least I hit most of the running goals I had at the time, so don't have too much 'unfinished business' in that regard. However I used to love being out running on the trails and along the coast and the buzz that I got from it, and the camaraderie of racing with clubmates whom I no longer see outside of Facebook and Strava.

    Getting to run outside is still a very rare occurrence though - I'm managing it less than once a week. I have found that my best bet is like what @Sorequads said - getting up early, beating the traffic to work and running before work when my time is my own and I have more interesting choices of where to run. The problem with that for now though is that the baby is still waking for feeds twice a night so the "getting up early" bit is easier said then done!

    I think a good thing to remind ourselves, is that even if we have lost fitness, put on body fat etc, is that if we are not injured then we should be grateful because there are lots of people out there who would love to run buy physically cannot due to illness, injury, disability etc.
  • MsEMsE ✭✭✭
    Hi Lillias and all.  I am not a new mum but do have 4 kids aged 8 to 14.  I trained through each of the pregnancies, juggling work in three instances, and worked hard on coming back each time.  I wanted to say well done all of you for making a positive commitment to getting back out there.  Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding may not affect dads in the same way but the aftermath of having another one to consider certainly takes its toll and is not to be belittled. 

    I am currently recovering from ankle surgery so am on RW online browsing daily.  If you are happy for me to contribute, I am happy to provide any useful suggestions, so please say so.  I am a qualified fitness instructor and run leader with a background in psychology so can come at it from various angles!  My previous career was spent in the city so I know what juggling a demanding job is like too.  
  • I'm in a similar situation, used to run up to half marathon, then went through 2 years of ivf where I couldn't run. Had my son by c section almost a year ago and just got back to running in the last couple of months. I've got a guaranteed charity place in the london marathon next year so am training as much as I can! 

    I hate feeling unfit, hate the extra pounds from pregnancy that didn't just fall off as I imagined they would! 
    I find it easier to get out in the morning and also had a full blood count done as I was so exhausted, and it found that I was anemic after the birth. 

    You are doing great getting out there again, just find a pattern that works for you and build up from there 
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Well done everyone on getting back out there (or in there if you are on a treadmill!) with kids.  I did very little after about 14 weeks in my first pregnancy due to SPD, and, having run a marathin 2 weeks before falling pregnant, found that the weight piled on due to keeping eating for marathon training, plus eating for two, plus spending a lot of time on the sofa.

    I put on 4.5 stone in my first pregnancy............

    Didn't really get back into running after #1 was born in July 2008, then had a miscarriage in 2010, before having #2 in December 2011. Started running again in January 2013 but faltered over the summer.  Entered a half marathon in March 2014, which was painful as I hadn't really got the miles in, then followed it up with the 5x50 challenge which got me back in the groove a bit, but it was still rather sporadic.

    I started doinf parkrun regularly in January 2016, and seeing improvements week on week helped with the motivation.  Once my youngest went to school in August last year, I found I had a bit more time, and with my 50th birthday at the end of this year, decided to do something "big" this year to celebrate.

    I've been running on my one day off a week (up to 8 miles) and long run on a Sunday at 6am (up to 19 miles) and last weekend did a marathon PB (ok, still very slow 5:22, but it is almost 10 years since I ran my last one), and have 2 more planned for later in the year.  Hoping to break 5 hours in September.

    I find that my running is more focussed now - I used to plan a long run for a Sunday morning, then wake up and think I'd do it later.  Then something would come up and I'd either not do it at all, or do a much shorter run.  Now I know that I have limited opportunity, I just get out there and do it so I don't spoil the day for the family.

    It's tough, but if I can do it knocking on 50, all you young things should have no problem ;)
  • Do you do running with a buggy? That can be a good way to get you both out! Or excercise classes for new mums and babies-lifting and stretching with the baby as part of the exercise can get all those stiff muscles going again. Or if you're not able to get out apart from the park run, exercise dvds at home to build up strength or cardio fitness to make the park runs easier.
  • Also if you're feeling totally knackered after baby make sure to get your bloods checked-really common to be anaemic after having a baby, which would make you feel tired. Breast feeding totally wiped me out too.
  • Bump!

    hello all. I’m a mum of two little ones (recently 2 years old and 7 months) and just getting back into running after a hiatus of about 3 years. After 2.5 years of sleep deprivation I’m finally at a point where I get a reasonable night sleep and want to get back in shape. 

    I used to be a regular runner of 10k in about an hour - so not great but reasonably fit. I am now several stones overweight and struggling my way through the NHS C25K programme. I’ve just completed week 5 and it’s tough but I’m still going. 

    I’m looking for a bit of inspiration and help as to what to do once I finish the programme. I still have a long road ahead of me in terms of weight loss and fitness goals and so need a bit of guidance. I was thinking of targeting a half marathon in September- I’ve done one before and it seems long enough away that I should theoretically manage to get the training done. However I struggle for time - my runs happen on a treadmill when my babies nap and so I can manage 20-30 minutes tops. I’m going back to work in May and then most running will have to happen in my lunch breaks which again will limit me to ~45 minutes. I might be able to get a long run done at weekends if I get up super early. Is this an unrealistic target?

    Any suggestions on how to squeeze in running when working full time and with young kids, with time is at a premium? Also when incredibly unfit and still recovering from two pregnancies in three years? 

    Thanks!! Xx
  • I'm about to start the C25K app from NHS to help me start running after having my little one, she's now nearly 9 months old and I really want to start getting into better shape for her sake as well as my own :)
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