Jen Segger, elite ultra runner and FEAT speaker talks about training as a new mom
Planning and organization are the key. The night before my workout (because I prefer morning workouts and because its the best way to step away when the baby is fairly content and leave him with Dad) I organize my training gear and set a plan with my partner. When I get up in the morning, there are things to do before I leave such as consume some calories, possibly pump a bottle of milk etc. I want to be as efficient as possible so that I am out the door on schedule and as planned. I find that I am always thinking ahead as to what day I need to get what training done, who is available for child care and when the best time to fit in post workout massage and chiro is. It's almost like trying to piece together a puzzle each week.
#2—Make Workouts Count
Training time is now extremely precious so when I head out to run or bike or strength train, I do so with a very clear purpose and idea of what I need to get out of that workout. I know more then ever know that I'm better off to be resting if I can't put in a quality workout. Junk training has no place in the schedule.
#3—Listen to Your Body
There are some days when the body just doesn't feel great or I am tired due to being up all night etc. On these training days, it's important to be mindful of where I am at and show respect to the body and what it has just been through. Take your time coming back. Build slowly.
#4—Get Your Nutrients Pregnancy, delivery and then breast feeding robs the body of KEY nutrients so eating foods that are full of nutrients continuously throughout the days. I've been very careful to keep on top of my nutrition, take my supplements and make sure that I'm getting enough of everything. I don't want to drop into a depleted state as training will come to a quick halt if that happens. Consuming lots of water is critical.
Running while pushing a chariot, hikes that have the baby in a front carrier or setting up my bike on the wind trainer has allowed me to get workouts in while keeping my little guy close. As long as he is dressed warm, I can take him virtually anywhere. Carrying the added weight just adds to the training. I have a new training partner and its actually pretty fun! For longer runs or rides, I choose routes that allow me to connect back to my partner who has the baby so that I can feed him mid way if needed. It's all about a good support system and functioning as a team with your partner.
Read more about Jen's successes as an elite runner and other athletes at FEAT Canada.