For a man, being a father and a runner don’t always go together. In fact, finding time for running together with a career, partner, and social life can be as challenging for a guy as getting all their kids buckled into the minivan without anyone having to go potty — you think you’ve got it all under control, until everything comes crashing down. Ladies, do you ever wonder how these supermen do it all? In this Week in the Life, a busy #fatherrunner tells us how he balances family, work, life, and running. Read more >>
Today we’re addressing a question from reader CW that she left as a comment on a post about how to run a sub-3 marathon. CW asks a very common question: how to get back to her pre-baby race times.
Can it be done? Absolutely. Two of our resident fast-as-F moms, Hops and Parsley, have been there and done that. Below, they share their top 3 tips for CW and anyone else in her situation. While the question is sub-3-specific, the advice can apply to any woman at any level looking to train seriously again after having babies.
I am 32 years old now with two kids (seven months old and a three year old) and I really want to get back to racing. My last marathon was Boston Marathon 2013 and I ran it in 2:51. I ran that by running pretty much every day — maybe one day off every two weeks. I consistently did one long run a week of 18-22 miles with some at goal marathon pace and did at least one tempo run a week. I raced a 10k and half marathon in the training period to gauge fitness. I PR’d in the 10k with a 37:37 and half marathon with a 1:23. After having my first baby, I started running three days per week 6-ish miles at a slow pace for me. Then I got pregnant with my second kid (now 7 months old). Currently I am running three days a week about six miles per run. I really want to start training for another marathon but have no idea where to begin. Any ideas or training plans? I’d love to be fast again.
Sure, being pregnant and going through childbirth (and subsequent recovery) taught me a lot about what the human body is capable of. And coming back from pregnancy and childbirth forced me to get back into shape. I’d never needed to do that before. I was always in a constant state of getting more in shape, fitter. But not back into shape.
In any case, those lessons weren’t terribly surprising. What was surprising was how pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood have changed how I feel about running a race but not racing it. Read more >>
I ran a marathon in January. After that, I decided to take a break from marathons and from working with the coach that I had worked with for over three years. I honestly wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go with my training at all. I didn’t do any races in February (the first month in over two years that I haven’t done a race!). I did four 10ks in March and then I decided to chill a bit during April. Going into May, I gained a newfound sense of clarity as far as what I want to do in the next year, training-wise at least. There are still a lot of other areas in my life that are lacking clarity.
It’s been 32 weeks since I became a “party of two” runner, and those weeks have been about as up and down as your least favorite race course. As I come down the home stretch of this marathon, here’s a little update on my first experience running through pregnancy.
Running has been my “thing” for a long time; marathons have been my thing since 2011. Between 2011 and 2016 I ran 14 marathons. I’ve had amazing races, horrible races, races I ran just for the experience and everything in between – but no matter what, the distance kept drawing me in. The last marathon that I ran was Boston 2016, while 5 weeks pregnant. I had a blast, crossed the finish line, but certainly didn’t race it. After that I didn’t start two planned marathons: once because I had just suffered a miscarriage, and once because I was pregnant with Hannah.
So my last 3 marathons before I toed the line at the Buffalo Marathon this past weekend were comprised of two DNS and one altered Boston experience. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but it certainly made the lead up to this year’s Buffalo Marathon on May 27th a bit more emotional. I also had to remember what taper and race prep felt like for a goal marathon. The last time I truly raced a full marathon was my 2:58 at Erie in 2015. Here we were in May of 2018, three years later; my PR felt like a lifetime ago. I trained hard but ultimately had no idea what to expect from my first post-partum marathon.
Read more >>
Hi everyone! This week you get four weeks for the price of three. That’s because one of those weeks is basically empty, like expensive filler air at the top of a bag of chips (no, Frito-Lay, I’m not totally bitter). Analysis reveals a bunch of walking these past weeks. Sunshine, fresh air, podcasts, multitasking with errands – it looks like a lot, but includes the errands I’d normally run and commuting I’d normally do. And definitely not enough strength work. (What? Getting up and down from the mat is a pain. I am a lazy person.)
Monday 4/23 – walk (errands) 2 miles
Tuesday 4/24 – run/walk with kiddo, 2.5 miles
Wednesday 4/25 – run/ shuffle at track, total 4 miles.
Thursday 4/26 – walk commute, 3 miles
Friday 4/27 – off
Saturday 4/28 – Ballet class. Then chased kiddo and friends around the park, followed by hotdogs and ice cream
Sunday 4/29 – errand run/walk, 4 miles
Monday 4/30 – off (sick)
Tuesday 5/1 – Aaptiv maternity strength workout, 25 minutes
Wednesday 5/2 – run/ shuffle around the track, 2.5 miles
Thursday 5/3 – off
Friday 5/4 – swim, 30 minutes
Saturday 5/5 – ballet class
Sunday 5/6 – off
Monday 5/7 – walk to/ from lunch, 3 miles
Tuesday 5/8 to Sunday 5/13 – absolutely nothing. I was working 14-16-hour days at a conference. We might have walked around the conference centre and to and from a couple of other venues, but that was it. I flew home super late on Friday night. On Saturday and Sunday, I SLEPT and we did a few family things (it was Mother’s Day after all) and I attempted to get over the cold I’d brought home.
Monday 5/14 – short Aaptiv run/walk plus some errands – 5 miles total
Tuesday 5/15 – off
Wednesday 5/16 – walk commute, 2 miles
Thursday 5/17 – walk to dr appointment and back, 2 miles
Friday 5/18 – Aaptiv strength workout (lots of wall sits), run/walk 1.5 miles
Saturday 5/19 – Spent all day prepping for son’s birthday party, wrangling about 20 toddlers and their families in our rain location (20 kids indoors gets LOUD), and cleaning up thereafter.
Sunday 5/20 – Kid woke up super early and I ran/ walked 3 miles with him (roundtrip) to get coffee and breakfast. Later, walked 2 miles to brunch with some girlfriends – trying to take advantage of this one kid/ no diapers/ low-maintenance life for the next few months. I know what’s coming! Total for the day, 5 miles.
At this point (start of 3rd trimester, yikes!) I’ve switched from the belly band to the Gabrialla support belt, plus heavy-duty cushioned shoes (the NB 1080). I also found a 2min walk/ 3min run ratio is most comfortable right now, after playing around with various combinations.
I thought I’d list a few runners and other information sources I’ve been following or reading through this pregnancy:
First, the Salty Running brain trust. Plenty of us have been runners while in the kid-having stages, including Salty, Parsley, Licorice, Barley, Turmeric, and Avocado. These few alone give you a taste of how different one person’s approach can be from another. Salty ran through most of three pregnancies; Parsley comes from a very high-level running background and scaled back accordingly; Barley switched to lower-impact activity early on; and Licorice, Avocado and Turmeric, like me with my first pregnancy, were somewhere in between.
Other sources of info and/or fun:
SarahFit (Sarah Dussault), a fitness instructor whom I find refreshingly honest about pregnancy and postpartum movement; bonus – she’s currently expecting her second kid, and teaches a mom-and-baby fitness class that’s local to me
Lindsey Hein (who is on her fourth baby so she definitely knows what she’s talking about when she says every pregnancy is different and to listen to your body when it comes to running).
Celeste Goodson of Recore Fitness, a certified pre-and-post-natal trainer who teaches women how to recondition their core after giving birth.
I was a mother for five and a half years before I became a runner. I survived colic, various illnesses, one round of potty training, daycare, preschool and Kindergarten before I started running. I’ve got a freshman in high school now (how did that happen?) and when I look back over their childhoods – please not over yet! – I see that being a mother-runner, or a mother who runs, is something that develops in stages.
A little over a year ago I became a mom, and along with that came the title of “Mother Runner”. I love being a mom, I love being a runner, and yes, there are times I wear the Mother Runner title proudly.
Before I had Hannah, I had a lot of opinions about the whole #MotherRunner thing. As a childless runner, I had my accomplishments diminished many times because I wasn’t a mom, or because a mom out there did a similar thing but hers was considered more impressive. I always fired back that we ALL have responsibilities and things in life that make it hard to fit things in, doesn’t make one easier or harder than the other. I usually also used the pros as examples saying it would be ridiculous to compare female athletes by their childbearing status. Are Desi and Shalane less accomplished because they don’t have kids?
Now that I have a year of being a mom under my belt (which in some ways feels like a lifetime, yet I also still feel like I’m a pee-wee quarterback lining up with NFL pros) I have reflected a lot on my personal experience with being a mom, being a runner, and how my beliefs about both have shifted and grown over the last year. Read more >>
Originally posted by Salty in 2015
Uh, come again? We’re pregnant? There are very few circumstances when this statement is cool.
Two pregnant women standing next to each other berating someone for calling them fat? Totally cool, especially if followed with “you __hole.”
A not-pregnant person standing with his or her pregnant surrogate or adoption birth-mom-to-be? Way cool.
“Hey guys, Maureen and I got married 2 years ago and just celebrated our 32nd birthdays and guess what … you’ll never guess what we’re going to tell you … OMG! You’re going to be so shocked! …
Oh come on. I mean, seriously! I love when men are excited about having babies and I love when men want to be involved fathers. Men should do those things! But, sorry guys, you don’t get the right to claim you’re pregnant. If we can’t say, “we’re peeing standing up!” when our men use the toilet, men can’t get in on the whole pregnancy thing.
But maybe you’re just a guy who really wants to know what it’s like to be pregnant. If you’re one of those guys, I have some ideas for how you might experience the ‘joys’ of running during pregnancy.
Originally posted by Catnip in 2015
Do lactation and breastfeeding slow us down?
To be clear, the benefits of breastfeeding for my son and me outweighed any short-term negative impact on my speed. Fortunately my livelihood does not depend upon running so I was free to make that choice.
Running is a key component of my lifestyle, however, and I have lofty personal goals! I sat on a plateau of essentially identical 5k and 10k times from 4-14 months postpartum and began to doubt my more ambitious goals. I’m pretty confident in saying that lactation is not performance-enhancing, but how much, if at all, does it hold us back? Read more >>
Being a new mom, having a full-time job, and training is not all butterflies and giggles. Let’s be honest, being a mom is both taxing and wonderful at the same time. I returned to work as an ICU nurse just 12 weeks after William was born last June and was just rolling with the punches. As I wrote in my last post, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 6 months after William’s birth. I always expected to be tired and that being a mom would be tough sometimes, but the disease was pushing me to a whole new level of exhaustion. Read more >>
It’s officially Boston Marathon weekend! For about 30,000 runners and their friends/family that means making the trek to Beantown to dive into the madness that is marathon weekend. The banners, the expo, the photo ops, the shakeout runs, the schmoozing, and of course one of the most epic races on Earth.
For many this is the highlight of their running career. Other runners have barely heard of it. Over the years I’ve experienced marathon weekend in many different ways, from “what marathon?” to PR’ing on the tough Boston course. Each time, embracing the life phase I was in allowed me to enjoy Marathon Monday as much as possible.
Originally posted by Gingko on April 3, 2013 (five years ago today).
Long distance relationships are hard, but how about long distance running and relationships? When you’ve got to go out for a 3-hour training run on Sunday and miss quality time at home, how do your loved ones feel? For those of you with a partner at home, does your training provide your mate with much-needed alone time, or does it put distance between you? I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting married in three weeks, but lately I’ve been finding myself feeling guilty for having running be such a priority in my day-to-day schedule when I never really worried about it before. Do you ever feel guilty or selfish going out on your daily runs? Is serious training compatible with married life?
I’d be lying if I said that my running habit is the same as it was pre-baby. (And let’s be honest, the mamas out there would roll their eyes and never believe another word I write if I said that.) This post isn’t even going to go into the physical aspect of running post-baby (I’ll save that for another time). But over the past six months I have learned a few tricks to make running “work” with a new kiddo.
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