3 Exercises for Getting Back into Running!
When I was 5 wks postpartum with my first baby, I started running again. It did not feel great, but my mind was obsessed with losing the baby weight & the only way I knew was to run. I hadn’t done any core work, I just started. For so much of my life an easy run was 3 miles, so why not start there? I was sure my natural abilities would kick in & I’d be fine.
I can’t say I injured myself, but I knew running didn’t feel “the same.” I know now that it’s because my core was no way CLOSE to being ready. I thought running was natural & I should easily be able to get back into it, but I NOW know that running is a complex, high-level activity, & the latest research recommends not starting until 6 mths postpartum.
If you want to get back into running, here are 3 exercises I’d recommend for working on core & lower extremity strengthening. These are single side b/c running is really “hopping” from one leg to another, & single-sided exercise reveals a lot about our weakness.
Regular squats might be easy, but what happens when you go to just single-leg squats? What do your hip & knee do? What does your foot or core do? How’s your balance?
1. Single-Leg Squats – goal: 10 with good control
2. Single-Leg Heel Raises: 20+ (research shows numbers as high as 100 for runners wanting to go 30+ mins)
3. Side Planks – goal: hold for 2 minutes
I honestly don’t know any postpartum moms who can hold a 2 min plank or do 10 single-leg squats at 6 wks postpartum. You shouldn’t be – that’s no shame on you! I don’t want you doing those in the first few weeks postpartum. But if you can’t do 1-2 single leg squats or hold a 30-sec full side plank, then is it smart to go out for a run?
If you’re just getting started, please don’t start here. Do a modified side plank on knee, start with double leg squats & heels raises (plus deep core work! These are assessment tools, not a strengthening protocol). If you’d like a personalized plan to get back into running, I’d love to see you! If you love to run, I’d love to help you get there safely, without injury, incontinence, or pain. Head to my bio to set up an appointment, or DM me for more info.