It is 6 weeks and your doctor has given you the go ahead to start back to running…does this mean your body is ready?
After my first, I was freaked out about keeping the baby weight on that I signed up for a 1/2 marathon six months postpartum. I do the thing they always tell you to do to proclaim your full commitment to a goal…I paid the entry fee.
At six weeks postpartum, I jumped on the treadmill (it was the middle of winter in Wyoming) and got to work. First starting off slow and gradually increasing my mileage each week. What I didn’t know at the time was my body just wasn’t ready. I was experiencing leaking with each step, my body flailed all over the place (maybe a bit of an exaggeration) due to lack of strength, and I developed chronic knee pain that would plague me for 5 years following!
Side note: Where did this 6-week mark come from anyway? I asked a group of OB docs this very question and their response, “this is what insurance will pay for.” Not related to tissue healing times or individualized readiness but the insurance system themselves.
If you are looking to get back to running, I am providing you with a nice little assessment to see if you are ready.
If you are experiencing:
You may need to seek help from a pelvic floor physical therapist for an assessment of your pelvic floor health.
This quick assessment will give you some insight as to whether or not your body is ready for higher impact activities.
If you can perform all these exercises without symptoms or failure to maintain good mechanics you can start progressing to running. Sometimes it is best to start with intervals between a run/walk and increase your run time as you tolerate. I have a lot of women I work with that do not have symptoms until later on in their run. A lot of times this is due to endurance of the pelvic floor and other support muscles. This will take time working on building your strength and stamina.
*Always monitor for changes in symptoms during and after your run!
Would love to know what your running story was postpartum, comment below!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!