Running After Having Your Baby - PART FOUR

Welcome to the final part in my 4-part series, a complete guide to running after having your baby.

We look at the most recent research carried out by women’s health specialists/physios. I’ve put this guidance into an easy-to-follow plan with lots of my workout and guidance videos to help you truly be ready for running after having your baby.

If you missed any of the other blogs then check out the links below.

Test Your Body - Are you ready to get back to running?

I loved bringing you this four part series, here’s a recap of what has been covered and what you need to do before testing out your body.

Click the links to go to the full blog posts which are full of guidance to help you with this.

Running After Having Your Baby – Part One

  1. Read about why running could cause harm to your healing body.
  2. Book an appointment with a pelvic floor/women’s health specialist and follow their advice on your recovery.
  3. Learn about the warning signs that you need more rehab.
  4. After-birth care links.

Running After Having Your Baby – Part Two

  1. Things to consider with your healing body before running.
  2.  A 12-week strength building guide with videos.

Running After Having Your Baby – Part Three

  1. Diastasis – check your stomach muscles.
  2. C-section & perineal scar care and massage.
  3. Other things to think about like breastfeeding, bras and trainers.

So What’s Next?

  1. Testing strength 
  2. Testing cardio/load and impact 
If you do the tests and your body doesn’t quite feel ready then you can spent a little longer building up your walking distance, hill walking, pelvic floor and body strength.
Here’s an overview of moves (video from the guidelines) that you can build up with, I’ve included exercise videos with coaching included in Part Two of the blog series.

12-Week Guide Leading To The Tests

So after at least 12-week of building up your strength, pelvic floor and walking intensity (following your pelvic health specialist’s advice) you might feel ready to test your body.

Please remember that everyones journey is unique and this 12-week guide must be done alongside your Women’s Health or Pelvic Health Specialist’s advice.

So next let’s test your strength and then test your body to see if it’s ready for more impact.

Once you are happy with all the tests and can achieve them without pain, dragging or incontinence then you could build up your running with the NHS Couch to 5k Plan.

If you are experiencing any of these then it’s highly advised to visit a women’s health physiotherapist/pelvic health specialist.

  • – Leaking Urine
    – Cannot Control Bowel Movements
    – Heaviness or Dragging in the Pelvic Area (this can be linked to prolapse)
    – Pain with sex
    – Diastasis (stomach muscle seperation/weak midline)
    – Lower Back Pain
    – Ongoing Blood Loss After 8-weeks Postnatal

Strength Tests for running after having your baby

Let’s build your strength even more by adding in these one-legged exercises. Build up over time to be able to do 20 reps of each exercise.

Single Leg Calf Raise

Single Leg Bridge

Single Leg Sit to Stand

Side Lying Abduction

Tests to see if you're ready for impact and load

As part of the research paper, exercises are given to help you check if you’re body is ready to run.

These videos below are provided by the research women’s health specialists.

Can you achieve these exercises without pain, heaviness, dragging or incontinence?

  1. Walking for 30-minutes
  2. Jog on the spot for 1-minute
  3. Running man – 10 reps on each side
  4. Single leg hop – 10 reps on each side
  5. Forward Bound – 10 reps
  6. Single leg balance – 10 seconds on each side
  7. Single leg squat – 10 reps on each side

Videos for the tests

jog on the spot

running man

single leg hop

forward bound

single leg balance

single leg squat

Couch to 5K

So you’ve built up your fitness, strength and pelvic floor and you can complete the impact and strength tests without any pain, heaviness, dragging or incontinence.

So now what?

Couch to 5K

The couch to 5k plan is a beginners running plan that can help you safely build up.

There is a Podcast which gives you a week-by-week guidance of the 9-week plan. Each week involves 3 runs. Grab the podcasts here >>> Podcasts/Audio Guidance

Grab the app here >>>

Apple App

Google Play

Help with strength building?

If you feel like you need help with your pelvic floor and strength building then please get in touch.

Here’s my email:

Manda xxx

Running with a buggy...

The authors of the latest research recommend that women do not consider running with a buggy until their baby is at least 6-9 months old (as per manufacturers guidelines).

Further, that when they do start buggy-running, the buggy is designed for running and the woman commences slowly, in a graded fashion, initially using the 2 handed technique. A strength and stretch program for spine, pelvis, and hips should also be advised.

Sophie Power - Ultrarunning mum extraordinaire talks postnatal running

Sophie Power is well known for being an incredible ultra runner and of course that Strava photo where she was photographed breast feeding. Sophie is a running advocate and passionate about women’e health. Here she talks to Grainne and Emma about her personal experience returning to running post baby and the impact she feels the guidelines have made.

The Research

This is advice is from physiotherapists who are passionate in helping women get back into exercise safely and who specialise in postnatal rehabilitation. I have read the research and put the advice into an easy to read blog series along with my own knowledge of postnatal recovery training to share it with you. You can get the full research paper here.

About this postnatal running series

I’m so excited to share this running series with you! I’ve worked with mums who loved running before having a baby and wanted to get back to it as soon as possible, but depending on your birth/labour experience and how your body is healing from this need to be considered.

Running is such a high impact exercise and your body needs time to heal after having a baby. I was so happy when I came across some specialised research about this. 

I’ve done advanced postnatal training to ensure I can pass on the best information possible to new mums to help them recover from birth and feel stronger than ever. In general with my workout and rebuilding plans for new mums, the advice is low-impact, strength building and pelvic floor recovery for all but I’d not been able to find guidance specifically to running. So I was really excited when I came across a new running research paper dedicated to this! More information on the research at the end of the blog.

I’m excited to share with you the guidance from the research physiotherapists and myself on building up to running after having a baby.

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