Tuesday, 19 February 2013

How to return to running after having a baby...

I am not even going to try and tell you that I know much about this just yet. Thus the reason for researching what to expect and some guidelines for getting back into it.

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This will be my greatest motivation post baby - it's already happening!
Here is an excellent article from Runners World about how to return to running after pregnancy. It has great advice and takes you week by week through the guidelines for post partum exercise. It gives you guidelines for Pelvic Floor exercises, Cardio and Strength training right up to 8+ weeks post delivery.

*Please remember that these are just guidelines and will depend on each individual and their birth, as well as how active they were before and during pregnancy.

Following the birth of our wee bubba I will be trying to follow these guidelines and figuring out what works and what doesn't for my 'Great Return'. You will be able to follow my journey on here (the blog) and I hope that you will be encouraged, inspired and motivated by my journey. I also love to hear any advice from anyone who has been there, done that so feel free to drop me a comment if you have some tips or advice, or even just want to share your story of post-partum running.

Now here's some inspiration and motivation for us all - I will be coming back to all of this once I have begun the Great Return - I will need all the help and encouragement I can get, I am sure!!

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Please remind me of this when I want to die or give up - it's so true!
That's all for now folks, check out the article and watch this space for baby news... 8 days til due date... YEOW!! 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Keeping active with two weeks to go...

So I am almost there... 2 weeks to go today! Yikes! I feel like I could pop now, this heat is not fun, but I am trying to make the most of everyday that I have without the baby. We are both very excited for when it all does happen though, and we have that wee little bubba in the world with us!

Woah Belly! And yes, I pretty much only have two sets of workout clothes I can fit now... Sorry for the boring wardrobe.
As you may recall from earlier this year (if you regularly read my blog) one of my goals was to stay as active as possible up to as close as possible to the birth. I think this has been going well so far and I am confident I will be able to keep going for the next couple of weeks (or however long til baby is with us). I feel good and enjoy the exercise and it helps to keep me sane - just ask Tim what I am like on a day I don't exercise...

Although it is extremely hot right now I have been able to keep up my walking, as long as I go during the cooler hours or stick to shaded paths. So yesterday I contemplated death by heat, or a nice walk in the shade... You guess which one I chose.

We have some beautiful tracks where I live and this is one of them...

Beautiful shaded paths

The track runs along a river - always makes for nice scenery

Evidence that I was actually there :)
It was about a 5km track with a slight bit of undulation. Would you believe that I even jogged a little bit during this walk?? Ok, so only about 50 metres, then I had to stop before my insides fell out (well it felt that way), but it just felt so good to jog!
I have also been using these bad boys to get in a bit of weight training so I don't end up all totally jelly once baby is out...

5kg hand weights - perfect for pregnancy workouts!
My other workouts consist of dreaming about post-baby running and getting back into it when I am able to. I will have a post up soon about different plans and options for post-baby running and race training. I have also been working my arms by holding up a book and a bit of thumb training thrown in there with turning pages. It's awesome, a workout I highly recommend!

How are your goals coming along? Have you been keeping active lately? 

If it's summer where you are, what are your tips for exercising during the hot months?

Friday, 8 February 2013

What to do, or not do, post workout...

I was just reading this article from the Womens Running Magazine website about post-workout errors and thought it was a good one as I am a classic for finishing a workout and that's it. However, a workout does not finish when the workout does - there are a whole lot of other components to the workout, not just the exercise itself.


 Here's my list of things to focus on after a workout...

1. Stretch stretch and stretch some more! I am preaching to myself when I say this, but it is sooo important! Especially if you have niggles or tension areas that you know will really benefit from a good stretch-a-thon! If you only have an hour to workout you need to include about 5-10 mins for stretching as you will regret it if you don't - speaking from experience! It will help you with your next workout and you won't feel like you need your zimmer frame for the rest of the day! If you are a foam roller, this is great too, get on that roller and roll!

2. Don't ignore nutrition... The article mentioned above says this:
"John L. Ivy, MD, believes most runners don’t eat enough after finishing a big race. To limit muscle damage and soreness, have a recovery drink or energy bar in the first few minutes after crossing the finish line and eat a high-protein meal two hours afterward."

Too true! It is so easy to think that after you have done a big run or workout that you can get on the donuts and fizzy drinks... NO!! Get a good mix of carbs and protein after a hard or long workout to give you enough energy to keep going through the day. If you don't feel like eating, drink the protein and carbs - there are tons of great energy and protein drinks out there, trial some out. I love my home made smoothies with a mix of carbs and protein to keep me going. 

3. Don't get too ambitious thinking you are a machine and go and do more, back to back hard and long workouts/runs. If you have a run or workout that goes really well and felt easy, it is an easy trap to fall into thinking that you can go out there and smash another one straight away. Even though you probably could, your body needs the rest and recovery. Thus the need for your next workout to be easier and lower intensity, before you can go and do another gut-wrenching one. You are a machine but you need to BE SENSIBLE! Another thing I have been guilty of and then regretting later on when injury or major fatigue strikes.

4. Make sure you stay well hydrated - with water and sports drinks if it has been a particularly long or intensive training session.

5. Recover actively: After a long run or race don't think that you get to sit on the couch for a week, your body will not like this. Walk it out or go for some laps at the pools or do some nice slow and short runs to keep your body moving. Enjoy the active recover stage, it's a goodie!

6. Get a massage or have an ice bath - whichever of these takes your fancy. I am not an ice bath person (but perhaps should become one), but love me a good, strong massage.

Remember these tips next time you have an intensive training session or long run.

What are your major running faux pas? How do you best like to recover? 

Any good recovery tips or rules I haven't mentioned here? Would love the hear them!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Superfoods for runners and anyone else plus a delish recipe...

There are lots of magazines, websites, articles, etc that talk about 'the best foods for runners' and 'superfoods' and so on. I read a lot of them and actually think that what a lot of them have to say is very on to it. However, a lot of the things they mention are things you might have to travel half way across the world to get, or pay ridiculous amounts for. So here are my super foods... Things that are easy to get, cheap when in season and deliciously fresh... The super foods I am talking about are veges that have come from our garden, in particular. Followed by a great recipe.

So... We have a garden! It is so cool growing your own veges and then actually being able to EAT them! We were a little late planting last year and because this summer has been slightly drier than last year's, things have been a bit slower to grow. But things have finally started to sprout and it is great. The only problem is that everything is all ready at the same time. So instead of getting a broccoli a week, we get three in one week.

Today we reaped this harvest...

Broccoli, broad beans and regular beans, potatoes, cherry tomatoes and a rock melon... YUM!
Since we have these two broccoli, plus 1 more in the fridge that we cut yesterday, I thought I would make some soup so they didn't just end up going off. The recipe for this broccoli soup came from this website, but here it is here also.

1 dessertspoon of oil - I use olive but you could use anything
1 onion, finely chopped
450g broccoli - this is about 2 small broccoli or 1.5 large ones, finely chopped
285g potatoes peeled and diced
1100mL chicken or vege stock (if your vegetarian use vege stock)
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste - I also throw in a few other seasonings, whatever is in the cupboard at the time.

1. sweat the onion over gently heat in oil until soft
2. Add all the other ingredients and simmer gently until soft:

Everything simmering and softening in the pan.
3. Liquidize the soup - I use my food processor but you could also use a stick blender or a normal blender, whatever you have.
4. Check seasoning, add anything if need be
5. Serve and garnish with chopped parsley, croutons or parmesan (what I used), or whatever you like.
It makes enough for 4 servings - unless you love it so much you want to eat it all!

The final product garnished with some parmesan - it tastes soooo much better than it looks, trust me!
I know it's not the nicest looking soup but it is sooo delicious, especially with some whole grain toast to dip in. It is also high in fibre with all the broccoli and it is super easy and quick to make. Tim and I both had it for lunch today and it kept us full all afternoon. Have a go at making it, and have a go at growing your own veges, it is the best feeling eating food you have grown yourself!

Do you have a vege garden, or have you ever tried growing fruit or veges before?

What do you have in your garden?

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