Over the last 2 weeks we have looked at when is the right time to return to running and what tasks and exercises you should do before you commence.
This week, in the last of our series,we look at your sportswear and how this can support you in all the right places!
After having a baby our bodies change and you may have already noticed that your runners may feel tight on you or your bras are not as comfortable as they were before. For some of us, these changes are permanent and therefore you will need to get re-fitted for some new runner and/or bra.
Here is a list of a few things to think about before you head off on that first run.
1.Good, supportive shoes.
Your shoes are your first line of defence against the high impact of running. Each step sends pressure, 4 times your body weight, through your ankles, knees, pelvis and spine. Look at the soles- the sole should feel squishy not wrinkled and tough.
Try them on- with sports socks and make sure there is a gap of around half a centimetre between your longest toe and the end of the shoe, as your feet will expand as you exercise. Many women’s feet flatten and change shape and size during pregnancy and may remain changed after having your baby so you may need to be re-fitted for shoes.
If you have orthotics they may need to be reviewed due to changes to your feet during pregnancy.
2.Good Breast Support.
Protecting and caring for your breast tissue is important after the stretching through pregnancy and breast-feeding.
An ill-fitting bra will press on your trapezius muscles (running along the neck and back), which can cause pain and discomfort.
Put on your old sports bra, wear it for about five minutes to assess comfort and fit. Lift your arms up, bend down and jump to see if the bra and breasts stay in place. If you find spillage over, under or at the sides, reassess!
There are two types of sports bras:
For small to medium breasts- compression bras press the breast against the chest wall to minimise bounce and enhance support as you move but if you are bigger than a 36B you will find you need an encapsulation bra so that there is support for each breast in a proper cup.
3.Supportive pants- EVB.
EVB leggings, capris and shorts are engineer-designed sportswear made to give you core stability and pelvic floor support. In other words where you may be a little weak post partum in your back, tummy and pelvic floor area these pants can give your body a little help until you get stronger in these muscles.
They have special extra support stitching for the abdominals and pelvic floor areas and are designed specifically for postnatal moms.
Returning to running:
So once you are symptom free and have built your core (pelvic floor, abdominals, back muscles) and global muscle strength and endurance and some cardiovascular fitness you can start to think about running. Graded return is so important, remember don’t over do it on the first run. The couch to 5 km run is a great app to use for graded return to running.
Build up your strength and fitness slowly and steadily. Allow your body time to build the skill-sets of running in the right order to prevent long-term injury and most of all enjoy it!
As always if you are not sure whether you are ready to return to running you can contact me and book a consultation.
*Adapted from physiofit guidelines