Am I just unfit?

Hi guys, just wondering if anyone could help shed some light on the struggle I'm having coming back to running after pregnancy. I have a 15 week old baby, I got pregnant not long after running a marathon and was running about 30 miles a week. I ran until I was 34 weeks pregnant, by the end was doing 3 miles with a little walk break every mile. I started again when my baby was 4 weeks old so took 10 weeks off altogether. I didn't do much exercise in that time except walking and the occasional swim. I started out doing 3 miles very slow and worked up to doing 2 x 3-4 miles in the week and a longer run of 6ish miles at the weekend. The problem is that my fitness levels don't seem to have made much improvement, if anything I'm finding it harder. My heartrate is absolutely sky high as soon as I even set off. I've always has a naturally high heart rate anyway, it would peak at but 205 doing hill reps so I would have thought that was my max but recently most runs it's between 190/200 and I've seen it go over 210! My pace is slower now than when I was 34 weeks pregnant and I feel sick and dizzy try I go any faster. Just like I would feel if I was running hard intervals or hills pre pregnancy. I don't know if is normal to lose so much fitness in 10 weeks. And not to see any improvement ion my fitness over the last 7 weeks. Could it just be because I'm tired and breastfeeding? My partner thinks I should see a doctor because my heart rate is going so high but I can't imagine them taking me very seriously when it's not affecting me the rest of the time. By the way I have taken used my heart rate monitor at the gym so I could check I was getting a similar reading to the machine and they were pretty much the sAme so I don't think the problem is the monitor over reading . Sorry for the huge essay but any advice appreciated! ????


  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    Hmm, this sounds bizarre.  Are you really tired?  up in the night lots or does the baby sleep well?  Are you eating a good diet?  Do you have much weight to lose (i doubt it as you were running well in to pregnancy so i doubt weight has much impact)?  The fact that you feel sick and dizzy when putting effort in isnt great.  10 weeks off really isnt much at all.  I dont really know what to advise except maybe take a week or two off totally, look after yourself and try again.  If you still have the same issues, try your GP.  If you dont get anywhere with a GP, maybe a physio with experience with pregnancy.  Good luck.

  • Thanks PG3, I'm not actually that tired. My baby is a pretty good sleeper. I have a4year old too so I'm pretty busy but I don't feel tired most if the time. I'm inly a few pounds over my pre pregnancy weight and have lost weight in the last few months so if it was that I would expect it to be improving. Maybe done time off would help but I'm sick if time off! I'm so desperate to be able to get going again properly now image
  • Are you eating enough you should still be eating more than pre the birth, and that's without eating a bit more for the exercise. 

  • Just throwing in a few thoughts from a totally lay perspective.

    Could the feeling sick/dizzy when exercising be a nutrition problem or maybe low iron, possibly as a side effect of breastfeeding?

    How difficult was your labour? Thinking maybe it might have put more strain on your body than you realise. Have you monitored your HR during the day to see what is happening when you're not exercising?  No harm in seeing your GP  doesn't take

    One other thought is that maybe you are just trying to regain your former form too quickly.  Frustrating as it may be, perhaps you need to back off and go right back to doing a few more weeks of very short, gentle run/walk or even just brisk walking if necessary to keep your heart rate down. 

    Good luck


  • getting back to running 4 weeks after the birth is pretty soon. As others have said, your body may still be knackered from the birth, and looking after a new baby and another young child is knackering in itself (I have 2 with a similar age gap so am talking from experience) - breastfeeding will be taking a lot out of you too. 

    Also, as trogs said, your iron levels may be low, from the birth or from the breastfeeding. I would go to the doctor and ask for advice - don't bother asking the midwife at baby clinic! 

  • Thanks everyone, my diet is ok not quite as good as pre pregnancy but I always make a point if eating 3 healthyish meals a day and I definitely get all the calories I need. Breastfeeding makes me ridiculously hungry. I had a really easy labour this time round, a quick homebirth with no complications. And I know my irons not low because I've had a blood test recently and it was fine.

    I think you're right Trogs and I'm going to have to back off a bit and go back to the beginning again. Work on trying to get some base fitness back before I try to push myself. I had my heart set on doing a half in the spring so maybe my expectations have just been too high!
  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    If you back off a little, recover and start off again ok, i dont see why a spring half isnt doable.  You might not PB but, given your recent fitness levels, it should be fine.  Maybe do some other things, gym classes?  spinning?  swimming?  They might help with fitness/strength.  If it helps, I ran a half marathon pb 2 weeks ago (I have done more than 30 HMs) and I had my second baby in March.  I was really overweight when I had him and I hadnt run for over a year as i had a bike crash just before I got pregnant.  You'll be back.  Try not to stress (easier said than done, i know)

  • I just wanted to update this to say that this problem suddenly disappeared. One day I couldn't run much faster than a 12 min mile with my HR sky high and the next day was managing 10 min miles again and can do speedwork and things at the speeds I would expect and my heartrate goes up and down as it should instead of just rocketing up snd staying there. Very strange. I had a good consultation with Dr Google and I think my thyroid might have been a bit out after having my baby and it was affecting my heartrate. So hopefully that's the end of it!
  • Well that's good news. Fingers crossed things remain as they should be from here on in. Enjoy image

  • I would check your iron levels. V common to be anemic post pregnancy.
  • Sorry for the random post but - does anyone know how I actually post a new thread in here?? Ive just registered on this forum but it seems I can only respond to existing threads rather than posting new ones
  • TTTT ✭✭✭
    JJ you need to post on a number of threads before you can start your own. I think it is five. 
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