25th January 2016

Running. How do we feel about it? Love it, hate it? Wouldn’t do it unless you were being chased?

Or, maybe it’s your go-to exercise. And hey, why not? It’s free, not much hassle and it’s a good way to get that heart rate up.

But, you might have noticed that running can be a bit controversial. Especially after you’ve had a baby.

It’s just because running is a high impact sport and it takes its toll on your body.

And that body has been through a lot when you’ve recently given birth.

Deciding when to start jogging again is your decision. Listen to your body and wait until after your 6 week check. But after that, are you still really ready?

We asked top Osteopath Elaine Gregory* for her opinion on pounding the pavement after pregnancy.

“Running can be an excellent form of exercise – but postpartum women need to take special care whether returning or taking it up for the first time.”

“Women often underestimate the time it takes for the body to heal after birth.

“Pregnancy causes changes in a woman’s spinal curves and posture, and this takes a long time to change back to normal (and sometimes never does!).

Core abdominal muscles will be weaker after pregnancy, and hormonal changes will result in greater elasticity in ligaments and joints, which makes the body more susceptible to injury.

“It is important to adjust your expectations of how much exercise you may be able to do now, compared to before your pregnancy. Even if you ran before pregnancy, you will have to build-up your miles and speed slowly to avoid injury. Build up very slowly with a walk/run approach.”

When to start running after a baby

If you read last week’s blog you’ll know that running can exacerbate any pelvic floor problems. Experiencing issues with your pelvic floor post birth can be really worrying and we’re passionate about focusing on restoring these areas before moving onto more strenuous exercise. The last thing you want is to weaken that very important tissue further.

“The pelvic floor will often be weakened after labour,” says Elaine.

“Any trauma to the pelvic floor, whether it causes mild stress incontinence or a more serious prolapse, should be taken into account when considering postpartum exercise and running will not be appropriate as it could exacerbate the problem.”

Jelly Belly PT founder and trainer  Kellie Moore  believes in working from the inside out when it comes to restoring your body after birth.

“My view with running is to ensure your core and pelvic floor have restored fully before starting,” Says Kellie.

“Guidelines are generally 6 months –  but some feel ready earlier and for others later or never.

“When you do decide to start, build up gradually with intervals. So, 2 minute walk then 1 minute jog. You can then increase the jogging intervals and decrease the walking intervals each time you head out.

“Ensure you have the right footwear and a supportive bra. As soon as something doesn’t feel right, stop. It’s not normal to ‘leak’ after having a baby. It just means that your body hasn’t fully restored yet and you need to allow more time, focusing on exercises that will strengthen not weaken these muscles.”

*For expert Osteo advice Elaine Gregory can be contacted at E.gregory.osteo@gmail.com
Don’t underestimate the power of good trainers and a super sports bra…
 Most new runners understandably pull on their usual trainers and hot-foot it out of the door.

And often that’s fine – until about the third run, when an ankle, or bridge of the foot starts to feel sore, maybe even a knee becomes painful.

The way your foot strikes the ground makes a difference to what sort of shoe you need. It’s a really good idea to get your running style looked at and it can be easily checked at most sports stores. Don’t be embarrassed about running on a treadmill in a shop. It takes just a minute or so and is really worth it.

Running with the right shoes means you’ll have a more comfortable ride and you’re more likely to stick with it. Plus, new shoes are new shoes!

It’s the same with your bra. The better it supports you, the more you’ll get out of your run, but more importantly those ‘ladies’ of yours are delicate and you gotta treat them right!

Here’s some kit to whet your appetite for bagging yourself the right gear…

Screenshot 2016-01-24 at 9.28.08 PM

Asics Gel Pulse 7, £85

Nike Lunarglide 7, £110

Nike Lunarglide 7, £110

Adidas SOLAR RNR - Cushioned running shoes, £75

Adidas SOLAR RNR – Cushioned running shoes, £75

GT Supernova Heat Graphic Bra, £16.99

GT Supernova Heat Graphic Bra, £16.99

Wired Sports bra by Panache, £35

Wired Sports bra by Panache, £35

Shock Absorber Active Zipped Plunge Sports Bra, £21

Shock Absorber Active Zipped Plunge Sports Bra, £21

 

Penny Stretton

 

Are you really ready to start running again? - Jelly Belly PT