Ready to run?
I was asked a few weeks ago about how/when you can return to running after you have had your baby.
A great reference is the Return to Running Guidelines which were created by @absolute physio, @physiomum and @runningphysio (IG handles for the creators) last year. Their infographic was published in the British Journal of Medicine last month.
It is really important to remember that new Mums need time to heal and regain strength (particularly in their core and pelvic floor muscles) after pregnancy and delivery.
You can begin to return to running at three months postnatal - providing you have healed and are strong enough to do so - and the guidelines give a baseline for this. They also recommend that every woman should see a pelvic floor physio to assess the strength, function and co-ordination of their core and pelvic floor. If you have any symptoms or weaknesses you may not be able to start running until later than three months postnatal and will need to work on strengthening certain areas prior to starting.
Running is a high impact sport and the guidelines give an example plan of what the first 12 weeks postnatal should look like if you want to return to running - including pelvic floor strengthening work and how to gradually introduce low impact exercise after the birth of your baby. Once you are ready, a graduated return to running programme like the NHS’s Couch to 5k is a good starting point to progressively return to running.
As tempting as it is to dust off your trainers and pop out for your old pre-pregnancy 5k loop, just remember that slow is fast in this case and postpartum is just a short phase when you think about your whole life. Returning to running slowly and progressively will help ensure the long term function of your pelvic health for which when you are older, you will be truly grateful.
If you would like to chat about how to return to running safely or join an online strength training for running programme drop me a message.