For those who don’t know, 2018 was mainly about having my first child, a beautiful baby girl, born in April. As a result, I’ve spent much of the year on maternity leave, and not on my business. I’ve also done very little running.
It has been a massive learning curve but more than ever it’s taught me the importance of the basics. This applies to motherhood as much as it applies to fitness, and 2019 will for sure be about returning my body to the strength it once had so that I can run marathons again.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a huge advocate of strength training to improve your running. Now I’ve lost such a lot of strength through pregnancy, and can feel what it’s like to run without that strength, I’m even more sure of my views that strength training is crucial for good running.
But ultimately running is what I love, and my return to fitness needs to come with that in mind. Below are some of the basics I’m getting back to for success in my running.
In setting my own new year goals, I’ve looked back over the last few months for what I have actually managed fitness-wise. My average weekly mileage in the last 6 months varied between 2 and 3 miles. Now, in some weeks I did a lot more than that, but in many weeks, I did none, so the first basic to get back to is consistency.
Step 1 of that is looking at my schedule and figuring out when I can realistically fit workouts in.
The second basic is remembering that ‘I don’t have time’ is not the issue, but using the time I do have properly is. As a result, I need to focus on getting the biggest bang for my buck in terms of workouts. That means that running needs to be alongside strength and conditioning work that’s going to have quick results. And that is kettlebells. A decent workout including warm up and cool down can be completed in 25-40 minutes, and that is really attractive.
Not only do I get a great workout that’s going to help my body get back running fit, but it’s also a great calorie burner and will help to tone up my post natal body. Whilst I’m easily back to pre-baby weight, I am not back to pre baby shape, and that is where the kettlebells are going to get me there nice and quickly. I’ve been following my own programme Kettlebell Training for Runners, and can already feel that the strength is returning in my core, and toning is taking place in my ‘mid-section’ too.
Of course I’m running too, and the realities of juggling childcare means that I’m going to become somewhat of a weekend warrior. This is no different to the past except that I will be doing one of my strength workouts at the weekend, whereas I used to always do these midweek.
As a welcome back to the world of running, I’ll be hosting a free webinar next week in the importance of strength work for runners. What are the two things every runner wants? To get faster, and to remain injury free. Make sure you sign up to my webinar next week to learn how to do this.
Sign up to access the webinar on Tuesday.
Angela Isherwood is the founder of I Run Success
She is a REPs Level 3 Personal Trainer, a Run England Running coach, and a multiple marathon runner. She is a London Marathon Good for Age runner, a Boston Marathon Qualifier, a parkrun Run Director and Trainer for Goodgym Colchester.