Back running again

Before I fell pregnant I was running a lot. Like “every morning” a lot. We lived near the beach, so every morning I would walk 2 mins down to the beach then set off for a 30min run. I would use it to de-stress and clear my mind. It was my “go to” for feeling relaxed. I ran in different events throughout the year, never competitively (I wasn’t that great) but for fun.

Once I fell pregnant I couldn’t run any more. First it was the nausea, then it was the discomfort. I ended up giving it up.

Well, bub is now 4 months old and it’s time to get back into it.

The training program

Previously I had used the MAF training method, which uses heart rate as a guide for determining the appropriate pace. I decided I would follow that again for the following reasons:

  • I’m unfit. I’ve been doing some gym classes and walking on the treadmill, but I’m nowhere near ready to just bust out a full 30min run.
  • The MAF training helps to make sure you’re not running too fast. Your heart rate shows how hard you’re working, so if you run too fast your heart rate spikes and boom – alert to slow down. And when you run too fast it’s not enjoyable and you can injure yourself.
  • I’m only going to be running three times a week to start with, and just easy runs. I’m not aiming for a specific time, or a PB, or anything competitive. I don’t need speed and tempo runs. I just need to get some time under my belt. Keeping at an easy pace for 30mins allows me to do that while simultaneously building my fitness level. Once I get fitter then I may start looking at a more structured program depending on my other commitments (read: husband, child, work, life etc)

My first run

Today was my first run, and boy was it tough. I forgot that when you start this “running” program, if you’re a rookie like me then you’re probably going to end up spending more time walking than running. At least until you start to build a base and your body adjusts to the effort.

Right now I’m running with an extra 25kg than when I was running previously. Those first few steps felt like a giant jolt of shock to my body. The weight still feels excessive for my legs, and I can feel it when walking, getting up etc, so it felt so foreign to me when I started running. By the time I had found my rhythm my heart rate spiked and I had to walk.

The second half of the run was nearly completely spent  walking. But hey, it’s a start right?! To be honest, I’m actually half impressed I cracked the 3km mark distance wise. The pace is definitely slow, and I look forward to when I get my fitness back and I’m cracking under the 6min/km again. It’s nice to have goals, but right now I just need to keep reminding myself it’s about the time, not distance or pace (still can’t hurt to look though). Both of those will improve over the coming weeks, and thanks to MAF training, my exertion level will still feel the same. Faster, longer but without feeling like I’m working harder.

For those interested in stats, here’s the break down (click to see the full size).

stats for pace and heart rate using garmin

Splits from a run on the 25th of Feb

Note: I was aiming for an average heart rate of 141 so I did alright to only be 2bpm off!

My equipment

I’ve reverted  back to my Garmin for my running training. It’s just so much better for training than the Apple watch.

The Apple watch is great for casual running, or where you want to run for a specific time or distance. But for what I’m doing I need alerts based on heart rate, and that’s not something that Apple does out of the box. I’ve tried the Runmeter app (and paid $15 twice for the experience) but I’ve given up. The alerts aren’t real time (I think it’s every minute or so) and the app is so buggy and inconsistent. I never got around to writing a review of the app, but put simply I wouldn’t tell anyone to bother.

My garmin 920xt is amazing for heart rate and MAF training. I have a heart rate monitor on a chest strap, and the heart rate updates on the watch are constant. You can customise your alerts, so I added one for my heart rate so that I could target my goal of an average 141bpm. I’ve got a high alert of 146, and a low alert of 136. This way I’ll know when I’m going too fast or too slow, and hopefully come in pretty close to my goal. Given I was only 2bpm off today I’m pretty happy with that!

I’ve also bought some new shoes for my running. I knew my old ones were a bit dead, I didn’t realise how dead until I put these babies on. Ohhhhhhh to have some shock absorption under my feet again! Bliss!

Nike zoom pegasus 34

They’re the Nike Zoom Pegasus 34. After my experiences with running shoes in the past I know that I’m a Nike Zoom Pegasus snob. I walked straight into the shop knowing exactly what I wanted, and was in and out within about 10mins! It was a great experience at the Nike shop in the Sunshine Plaza, the sales assistant was great and we joked a lot together. I highly recommend them for anyone on the Sunshine Coast!

What now…?

Well, as I mentioned I plan on running 3 times a week. This is between balancing time with my husband and baby. I think it’s a good mix of all of them. I’ll still be going for morning walks with the bub too like we do after his morning feed, but I’ll wear some other sneakers for those – these will be maintained and reserved for running. The other shoes I bought for running, another model’s of Nike on special at the factory outlet, but I didn’t love them.

I’m signed up for a 5km in August, so that will be my goal to run the full 5km – no walking. I’m also signed up for an obstacle course race in May, but that’s with inflatables and definitely not anything I’m taking seriously. It’s all about fun!

On the down low, I took photos of myself a couple of weeks after I gave birth. Now that I’m starting to train again and I’m taking baby steps to improve my diet, I should hopefully start to see some change. Given I’m breast feeding I’m very mindful of not making any dramatic changes so I don’t affect my milk supply.

Oh, and there’ll be yoga – LOTS of yoga. This body needs to stretch out! I expect to have some sore muscles coming up!

So, wish me luck!



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