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We got an email from Mariel Sugbay, a first time mother who just gave birth and wants to get back to her training routine as soon as possible. Our resident online guru, Coach Ani de Leon-Brown shares her insight as to what Mariel can do to slowly ease herself back into her training regimen.
From Mariel :
Hi Coach Ani!
I have just given birth and want to resume training as soon as possible. Can you give me a timeline as to when I can safely train again, from your experience?
Also, as a first time mother, how did you balance training and caring for your son?
From Coach Ani :
Hi Mariel! First of all congratulations on being a new mom!
Personally I fast-tracked my progress between giving birth and training/ racing as I set some big goals for myself right away (i.e. 70.3 after 3mos and ironman distance after 5mos. I do not recommend this for everyone. )
May I suggest that you do the following?
- Do it by minutes, not by distance. Gradually build it up. For example for running: start with walking (10minutes or below). You can do this already in the first week. Then progress to a jog-walk combo in the second to third week. Do not put pressure on yourself to go beyond 20min. By the end of one month you can probably do a 30min jog-walk. It will be easier to slowly get back to straightforward training after that.
- Your priority is your health. There will be a lot of days wherein you will have no sleep, will be tired from breastfeeding/ caring for the baby, plus work. Opt to rest/ sleep more than going for a workout if you are overly tired. If you are just moderately tired, do a short and light workout without intensity. If you push yourself too much, you will get sick, and everyone in the household will be affected, especially your baby.
- Set some race goals for yourself which are manageable. I am pretty sure that even with just a few days a week of training you can do a 5k/ sprint race within the first 6mos. Within a year i believe you will be able to do either a 21k race or an olympic distance event. These are all distances which are doable at a relaxed but consistent training routine.
All the best and looking forward to seeing you at the races!!!