As most of you know I recently completed my first post partum half marathon which I started training for around 4 months post partum and ran at almost 7 months post partum. I know many people have told me that it was crazy but I went at it with a different outlook, made training flexible and it was a great way for me to feel like myself again.
Disclosure this post is part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program that I am taking part in over the next bit.
Training for any race is no easy task, no matter what the distance. It takes time and commitment, two things that when you have a infant (or kids for that matter) cane be hard to come by. So I wanted to share a few of my tips of how I was able to train for a half marathon while being a new Mom and not loosing my mind And actually gaining sanity from it!
#1 – Set a plan but be realistic and flexible
Make sure you follow a plan, whether it is one you do on or own or if it a pre-done one, it will help you to make sure you are well trained and prepared for race day. IF this is your first race I definitely recommend following one someone else has done. You can find lots here, plans vary depending on your running experience and goal time. Another option is working with a personal trainer to make a plan that will work for you. If you have a GoodLife Fitness location in your city, they offer a personal training service that will do just that.
However, with a baby every day is different, some days you might get a wonderful 3 hour nap where you can get in a good run/workout and then the next you might get no time to workout so make sure you keep that in mind and be flexible. If you miss a run one day that is okay, try and get it in another day. This is where flexibility is key.
Being realistic with your plan with also help you have a successful training period. Don’t pick out a plan that has you running 5-6 days a week. Not only will this commitment stress you out it will most likely be very hard to stick to it with babe. Everyone is different but I made a plan that had me running 3 days a week, long runs on the weekend when Chad was home and one other day of cardio, all which was easily doable with being home during the week with Avery.
#2 – Schedule workouts/runs during nap times or when your spouse is home
One way to make sure you get in your workouts is doing them during nap times. If your baby has a regular nap schedule this will be a lot easier (in many more ways than just this!) so pick a nap and commit to doing your workout then. I did mine during Avery’s first nap of the day which was usually 90-120 minutes after she woke up. Because Chad goes to the gym in the evenings I do my workouts during the day, but if your spouse is home in the evenings and you have the time it is also a great time to get in your workout. Long runs typically take at least an hour which will be hard to do with baby so schedule these when you have extra help. I did all mine on Sundays when Chad was home with Avery.
#4 – If #3 does not work, include your baby in your workouts
Not everyone has the flexibility of having your spouse around or of a baby that likes to nap, and we all have those nap protest days! Often those days are also fussy days and I found a great way to get in a workout those days and help with your stress was to include baby in your workouts. It can be doing your run with the baby in a jogging stroller (we love our BOB Revolution SE), attending a Mom & Baby Yoga or simply having the baby beside you while doing a home workout. Yoga is a great workout to include in your plan to make sure you keep your flexibility as well as strengthen your core.
Avery napping in Mom & Baby Yoga:
Above – bundled up for a Spring training run
Also, many gyms offer child minding which is another great way to get in your workout with baby kinda in tow If you are a GoodLife Fitness member some of their clubs offer child minding so make sure to see if yours does.
#5 – Listen to your body
This is so, so important. You have recently had a baby, before that you carried that baby for 9+ months so jumping into anything too soon or too much will be a shock on your body. If you are tired or sore, take a day or two off, maybe go for a walk, or do some light yoga to stretch out. A happy, healthy Mom is the best thing for baby
#6 – Have fun
If you are not enjoying the training for the most part, it might not be the time to train for a race. You should enjoy the running most days. Since running & training is not for everyone this is okay! I really enjoy most runs, especially the ones outside when the weather is nice and I am really enjoying my runs with Avery in the stroller. If I did not love running I know I would not be training for races.
A beautiful view from one of my runs:
My friend and I after my first post baby half marathon:
Any other training tips for training with a baby or kids?