Running is a high impact sport and your body needs to be ready for it. But how do you know if that's the case? The best way would be to see a pelvic floor therapist like Emily Pace, director of The Nest (Spine and Sport) in Knoxville, TN. For a lot of moms that is not an option (unfortunately!!!). So, here is another great test plus a lot of info that will help you figure out if you are ready to go out for your first run after your pregnancy:
RETURN TO RUNNING CHECKLIST
This awesome test is based on a study* and guides you through four different stages:
STAGE 1: Prerequisites for Return to Running
STAGE 2: Pelvic Floor Endurance
STAGE 3: Functional Loading Testing
STAGE 4: Strength Testing
STAGE 5: Diastasis Recti Test
I would suggest adding a "STAGE 5: Diastasis Recti Test" to test yourself for the gap between the abs (also called diastasis recti). I'll post a test and more info about having a gap, and if you can run with it next week.
Do this test now to know if you are ready to go for your first run!
YOU PASSED ALL THE STAGES
(including the diastasis recti one)??? Great, you are ready and now, what comes next? I'm glad you asked! I'll share my favorite running programs with you over the next few weeks. Those will help you return in a healthy and progressive way!
BUT EVA, WHAT IF I DO NOT PASS???
First of all, don’t get discouraged! Not passing stages 1-3 plus stage 5 doesn’t mean you are broken and you can never run again. It just means that your body is not quite ready YET. Give it a bit more time to heal, find the right support (if you don’t know where to find help for the challenges you encounter: feel free to reach out to me! I’ll help you find the folks you need) and concentrate, for now, on recovery work. It is ok to wait with your first run because this will help you be even stronger when you are ready to go!!!
Disclaimer: Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any type of exercise program!
*Reference: Return to Running Postnatal Guidelines for Medical, Health and Fitness Population. Groom, Donnelly, and Brockwell, March 2019