Post Natal Return To Running


When can I start running after children — Have you had a baby and would like to get back to running but not sure when and where to start?

I remember after having my first baby I expected to bounce back with my running trainers on in no time but quickly realised this wasn’t going to be the case. At the time there was limited evidence or advice about when or how you should get back to running after having a baby. We’re now lucky that there’s more and more evidence based research emerging about how to go about this. Earlier this year saw the release of the Return to Running Programme which is an excellent resource for Physiotherapists, Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors. Being a Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor myself I come across lots of Mums who want to get back to activity and I feel so lucky that we can help them achieve that safely and correctly without complications.

We know after childbirth it’s common to have pelvic floor weakness, tummy muscle separation and pelvic girdle problems. We know that it’s common but we also know that it’s not normal and something can be done about it.

We also know that trying to run too early can worsen these problems. Therefore it is recommended that the first three months post partum should focus on low impact exercise, core and pelvic floor control. Pilates is a great way to regain muscle strength, address your posture which often changes with pregnancy, allow for diaphragmatic breathing and start preparing you for more vigorous activity. If you have any pelvic floor symptoms it is recommended to see a pelvic health specialist and if you do start Pilates to ensure the instructor is aware of any symptoms you are experiencing.

It is recommended that from 3-6 months post natally you can start to return to running. This would depend on some certain factors such as pelvic floor symptoms, lower limb strength and your ability to transfer load. The recent guidelines provide us with a standardised assessment to assess pelvic floor health, lower limb stability, strength and load management which would enable us to establish whether you are ready to start a return to running programme. Working with Mums together allows us to work on a return to running programme building up your strength and control, running technique and running tolerance.

One of the most important things is to get the correct advice and if you are concerned about any symptoms following child birth ensure you see a specialist to help address this as there is a lot of advice and help out there.

Being a Mum myself who also loves exercise I can assure you that getting it right is so important and even if you’re feeling a million miles away from being able to run again right now, you can get back to it and can be stronger and fitter than you ever have been.

At Kate Cadbury Pilates we’re lucky to run Mum and Baby Pilates Classes which allow you to exercise with your baby. A great opportunity to have some fun with your baby, meet fellow Mums and get back to what you’d like to do safely and correctly.

Kate Cadbury