The Run Report – Postpartum Running Preview

The Run Report - Postpartum Running Preview. Everyone knows what failing to plan leads to - that’s why I’ve set some manageable goals for my postpartum return to running! my thoughts on training, signing up for races and the humble experience of returning to running after giving birth.

I was googling inspiring running quotes a couple of days ago (as you do, right?) and one of them made me want to get up and just go – head out the door, up the road to the park, then just run. No GPS, no pace, no nothing – just go and feel the ground beneath my feet and the air in my lungs.

For me, like so many others, running is the answer. Out on the road it is just you, the pavement, and your will.

– John Bingham

Then I shifted in my seat a little and was quickly reminded that it takes me about five full minutes to get up from a seated position these days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m staying active and trying to have as fit a pregnancy as possible, but at 38 weeks and a few days, there’s no more running for me until I’m a mama of two. I’m not going to lie, I’ve interviewed so many mother runners for Fit Mama Friday, many of whom have said, “Oh, I went for a run the morning of the day I gave birth!” I stopped running at 36 weeks in my first pregnancy and I always had it in the back of my mind that this time around, I would be like those fit mamas and run run run right up until labor. Very clearly, though, that will not be the case with me and I’ve made my peace with that. (Kind of).

So since I’m not getting out and running right now, I’m making myself feel better by focusing on my postpartum return to running. I remember distinctly the first time I went running after giving birth to Roman. It was about 6 or 7 weeks postpartum and while I figured it would be slow and a little uncomfortable, I also thought that not being pregnant and a lot lighter would make it feel so much more comfortable than my last few pregnant runs.

It was miserable.

I was miserable.

It was hard; everything about it felt a little ‘off’; I was slow; my pelvic floor had not recovered, so each step made me pee a little. And here’s the thing about running while pregnant – people glance at you and see a pregnant woman kicking ass. Here’s the thing about postpartum running – people glance at you and see an out-of-shape woman who may never have run a day in her life. At least, that’s how I felt. I wanted to carry a sign reading, “I just gave birth!!” What I will say is that every time I went out after that first awful run was better, more fun, easier and faster. Starting from scratch has a huge benefit that you are constantly making improvements in the beginning – it’s incredibly motivating.

The Run Report - Postpartum Running Preview. Everyone knows what failing to plan leads to - that’s why I’ve set some manageable goals for my postpartum return to running! my thoughts on training, signing up for races and the humble experience of returning to running after giving birth.So this time around, now I know what to expect (depending on what this second birth experience is like, of course), I have a more defined plan to return to running.

The way I prefer to approach goals is to set the biggest, most ambitious goal first, then work slowly backwards from there.

So… the big goal?

A Spring 2016 Marathon. I know, it’s way in the future. But that’s my end goal: It will be a year postpartum and I’m hoping to either meet or better my 3:59 marathon PR. I’m leaning towards the Vermont City Marathon, held in Burlington VT in May. It’s a small race – 3,600 entrants – and what seems like a good course map: A significant hill at mile 15, but the last 4.5 miles are downhill or flat.

The medium goal?

I’m all signed up for Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon, on October 10 this year!

The Run Report - Postpartum Preview. Everyone knows what failing to plan leads to - that’s why I’ve set some manageable goals for my postpartum return to running! my thoughts on training, signing up for races and the humble experience of returning to running after giving birth.

I already know Melissa from The Valentine RD and Michele from NYC Running Mama are running it and Nellie from Brooklyn Active Mama will be there cheering (she’s running the Staten Island Half Marathon the following day) – is anyone else going to be there? Let’s organize a big blogger brunch afterwards! Or something fun! Where I can have an alcoholic beverage!! 🙂 This will be my first ever Rock ‘n’ Roll race, too, so I’m excited for that experience – I’ve heard nothing but super-positive things about the series.

The small goal?

No other races planned, but here’s my basic timeline for getting into half marathon shape by October (6 months postpartum), then continuing on to my big marathon goal.

First 6 weeks: Snuggling, walking, possibly some at-home yoga practice – totally dependent on recovery.

6 – 12 weeks postpartum: Starting running again, using the walk break method. Back to yoga (postpartum classes), restart strength training with light weights, for endurance.

12 weeks to mid-July: Focus on building strength with heavier weights in strength training, switch to regular yoga, increase long run distance/time incrementally.

Mid-July: Begin a 12 week half marathon training program, continuing with strength training and yoga.

October 2015 – January 2016: Gradually increase weekly long run distance up to about 15 miles, staying in half marathon shape.

Mid-January 2016: Start a 16 week marathon training plan. Woo Hoo!! 🙂

You’ll notice my timeline is pretty loosey-goosey, with the exception of the specific training plans for the half and the full. That’s definitely on purpose – if there’s something I learned from the first time around postpartum running, it’s that you just don’t know how you’ll feel, you can’t anticipate the demands on your time that being a mama entails (and of course, I have NO idea what it’s like to be a mama of two – woah!), so it’s better to be flexible from the beginning.

Mamas, did you have a plan for getting back to your workout routine after giving birth?

MotherRunners – any advice for me for the second time of getting back to running?


  1. You will rock it! Having your second is much like your first, you have no idea what to expect yet you find a new routine and go with it 🙂
    Susan recently posted…Simply Kid Chefs: Black Bean EmpanadasMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I figured it was going to be like that – it’s the unknown all over again!!

  2. Love that you are giving yourself time to feel ready to run again!! I trained too hard too soon after having Hunter and ended up with a stress fracture in my hip that almost ended running for me.
    Kim recently posted…Mixing It Up Again (3/22 – 3/28)My Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Yup, I am totally okay with giving myself a break for a while. I’m sure I will be itching to get out, but I know that running will always be there and these babies grow up WAY too quickly.

  3. I love that you’re focusing your energy on post baby goals!! Mine definitely helped in those crazy, tired days and weeks after giving birth. I love your plan and can so relate to wanting to carry a sign that reads “I just had a baby” and I seriously think they would be BIG sellers!!
    I wish I could run the Brooklyn half but coming to the city for the marathon a few weeks later has to take precedence. Maybe next year??
    Lastly, I ran the Vermont City Marathon and it was one of my favorites!! Burlington is such a great little city and the hill at mile 15 is horrible but also has a HUGE screaming crowd!
    Allie recently posted…The Rundown – Stay the CourseMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I am thinking a line of t-shirts and tanks, “I just had a baby”. Let’s go in on it 50/50 and make our fortune!!! 😉


  1. […] In terms of workouts, I’ve been pretty consistent about working out, but the intensity has definitely dropped off as I’ve gotten bigger and more uncomfortable! March began with quite a bit of running, but now I’m content to stick to strength training, yoga, spinning and I recently added in swimming as well. You can check out more of my workouts over in my last pregnancy update. And if you want to find out more about how I’m planning to return to running after having this little one, my latest Run Report gives you a postpartum preview! […]

  2. […] maternity leave with a guest post that made me shake my head in disbelief. Remember when I shared my postpartum fitness goals? Well, Allie’s postpartum plan (after having twins!) was just a tad more ambitious, […]