Top 10 List For New Mother Runners

By Sarah Bowen Shea

Need a simple and effective way for shedding some of that baby weight and getting in shape? Trying to get started with a running program? Check out these tips for new mother runners:

  1. Like getting married, having a kid, or changing a job, there is not perfect time to start running—or to even just go for a run. The sports bra doesn’t hook itself, the shoes don’t walk themselves to you, the door doesn’t magically open to let you know that this exact moment is the perfect time to go. You don’t find time to run: you make time to run.
  2. Starting over sucks. Set yourself up for success, not failure, so set your bar at two or three short runs per week—then if you squeeze in
a fourth run or go a bit longer than planned, it feels like a win.
  3. Running can truly change your life. You can run away from depression, bad relationships, negative body images, frustration, anger, and anything else that doesn’t do you good. And you can run towards con dence, happiness, peace, patience, strength, contentment, and optimism. All at a pace that makes sense for you.
  4. A female who also has a bunch of other titles— mother, daughter, partner, boss, employee, chef, grocery shopper, toilet cleaner, face wip- er—is not adding to her load when she takes on the title of “runner.” In fact, her load will be eased since she regularly takes care of her body, mind, and spirit—and as such, can focus much better on everything and everybody else. In other words, no guilt allowed. Period.
  5. There is an important difference between good enough and good. Make the former your baseline goal for every outing, and enjoy the good—and delicious—runs when they decide to grace you with their magical powers.
  6. Running is never easy. But it definitely gets easier.
  7. No running-induced injury was ever healed by simply running more on it. If something hurts in the way you know it shouldn’t, stop and gure it out before you plow forward. Strength train- ing and physical-therapy exercises (clamshells, anyone?) are vital to running injury-free. Bet- ter to cut a run short and get them done than neglect them—and pay the consequences.
  8. Nobody cares about your nishing times but you. Feel free to obsess about them all you want, but realize people don’t judge you by your PR’s. (And if they do, they’re not the kind of people you want to hang around anyway.)
  9. Do your best not to put energy into worry-
ing about the weather, the hills you have to climb, what things will crash around at your house while you’re out running. You can’t con- trol those things. Direct your energy towards having the best run you can possibly have on having the best run you can possibly have on this day, in these circumstances.
  10. As you plan your race schedule, pick a distance that feels exciting and right for you;you’re a runner whether your normal run is one mile or 12. Post-baby, you owe it to yourself to taste victory, so maybe opt for a strong 10K in- stead of a taxed-out-on-training half-marathon.



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