Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Postnatal Running: First Impressions

This is going to be rough. I have come back from time off before, but this time I feel out of shape in an entirely new way. While I did run until 38 weeks pregnant, the last few weeks amounted to little more than a few fast walks. Then, I took a solid 4 weeks off - the 2 before delivery and the 2 after.

My first run was 1.5 miles 2 weeks after delivery. I deliberately kept it easy and short. The first thing I noticed, stepping out the door, was how light I felt. Having lost almost 20 lbs since the last time I ran, I felt awkwardly light on my feet. That sensation only lasted about a half mile, but it was quite interesting!

Since then I've done a handful of 3-4 mile runs. I plan to try and bump that up a bit this weekend, when I'll be 6 weeks postpartum. Part of me wanted to wait until my 6-week checkup before increasing the pace or distance.

My last four runs have been with the baby girl in our new BOB Ironman stroller. I'll do a detailed review soon, but suffice it to say that I love this thing. It's best feature is the freedom it brings. I don't have to try and run early in the morning before my husband leaves for work or in the late afternoon, during the baby's fussy period. It's a sanity saver!


  1. Hi! I was happy to see other people blogging about running while pregnant. I am 38 weeks and still running....I am hesitant to stop running even though my bladder is killing me because I just don't know how much time I'll have to take off after delivery! Is running after delivery painful? several running friends of mine took weeks off after delivery because of bleeding and pain.

    I am not a super long distance runner, I ran the 800m in college and never run further than 10-12 miles/day, but I haven't taken more than 4 days off in a row since I was in high school --- so the thought of weeks off is super scary to me. Also, how soon is it safe to take baby in the jogging stroller?

  2. Hi Li Li. Congrats on still running, and good luck with your delivery! I didn't find running post-delivery to be painful (I started 2 weeks after delivery). In fact, it was a relieve after running with the big belly for so long!

    No worries about taking some weeks off if you need it. You'll be absorbed in your little one and hardly notice the time flying by! You'll know when it's right for you to get out there. Good luck!

  3. Oh, and to answer your question on the running stroller, it depends on what stroller you're using and if you're using it with an infant car seat adapter or not. Check the manufacturers guidelines re. your specific model.

    I have a BOB ironman and used the car seat adapter (BOB recommends not running with the car seat adapter, but I didn't find it to be a problem). I think I took the baby for the first time when she was 4 weeks old. Without the adapter, you can't really use the running stroller until around 4 months, when the baby has good head support. Good luck, again!