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335: Motherhood and Marathons: Running After Having Kids with Dr. Katlyn Lennemann

Nov 30, 2023

Returning to running after childbirth can feel like a daunting task, but with the right mindset and approach, it can be an enjoyable and fulfilling journey. In a recent podcast episode, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Katlyn Lennemann, founder of Run Resilient, who shared her personal experiences and insights on this very topic.

Running post-childbirth is more than just a physical exercise, it's a form of self-care for new moms. As mothers, we often prioritize the needs of our children over our own, but it's essential to remember that our health and well-being are equally important. Finding a balance between motherhood and personal health can be challenging, but not impossible.

One thing that can help the journey back to running is maintaining fitness during pregnancy. This sets the stage for a smoother transition to an active lifestyle postpartum. However, it's important to note that each woman's experience is unique. Staying active doesn't necessarily mean keeping up with your pre-pregnancy running routine. It could be as simple as regular walks or light strength training exercises.

After childbirth, the process of returning to running should be gradual and patient. It's not about bouncing back to your pre-pregnancy fitness level as quickly as possible. Instead, it's about listening to your body and progressing at your own pace. As Dr. Lennemann emphasizes, it's crucial not to rush the process.

An essential part of this journey is the mental shift that occurs when transitioning back into running. Before having kids, your relationship with running might have been focused on performance or achieving personal records. After kids, running might serve a different purpose - it might be your "me" time, a stress reliever, or a way to reclaim a sense of self.  Let it be what it needs to be during this phase of your life, knowing that there are phases and seasons for many different goals and pursuits.

One of the common challenges new moms face is the comparison trap. It's easy to look at other women who seem to have effortlessly returned to running after childbirth and feel discouraged. Remember, everyone's journey is different. Focus on your progress and set realistic, achievable goals.

Dr. Lennemann also discusses the importance of having a support system during this transition. Whether it's your partner, family, friends, or a community of other running moms, having people who understand and support your journey can make a world of difference.

Lastly, consistency is key. Find a simple and effective strength training routine that you can stick to. As you regain your strength and stamina, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Remember, it's not about how fast you get back into running, but how you feel along the way.

Running after childbirth is a journey filled with ups and downs. But with patience, balance, and a positive mindset, it can also be a rewarding and empowering experience. As Dr. Lennemann puts it, "It's not about comparing yourself to others, it's about setting realistic goals and focusing on the progress you're making." And with that, you're not just running towards fitness goals, but also running towards a healthier, happier you.

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