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Old Mar 2nd, 2017, 11:02 AM   1
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Marathon 3 months postpartum?

I have gotten into the NYC Marathon in November. I am due the end of July with my first baby!

How realistic is it to train for a marathon within 3 months after giving birth, given no complications?

Before baby I was very active, training 5x a week on the bike and running. I have remained active throughout my pregnancy but cut down on running and switching to spinning 3x a week and walk the other two.

Is this even possible? Should I just defer a year or should I go for it?

Also should add, this would be my fifth time doing the NYC Marathon.

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Old Mar 2nd, 2017, 11:08 AM   2
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My sister had her baby in Nov, and participated in the Disney marathon in January

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Old Mar 2nd, 2017, 11:13 AM   3
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Honestly, as long as you have no complications I think you should go for it

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Old Mar 2nd, 2017, 12:16 PM   4
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It depends really on how much free time and childcare help you think you might have. I know for me when I was running and training for a race, I was running 3-4 days a week. In the first 3 months after my daughter was born, I probably wouldn't have had anyone who could stay with her that often at times when I could have run. Sleep was very interrupted so I couldn't have gotten up any earlier (already up at 6-6:30am every day on about 4-5 hours of sleep) and then by the time my husband got home from work, we got through bath and bedtime, I was going to bed at 7-8pm because I knew I had to be up again in two hours. It would be easier during the day but just depends on what sort of help you have or if you plan to do it with a jogging stroller. Also how in shape you are. Ideally you should wait til you stop bleeding which can be 4-6 weeks. Could you train yourself up in 6-8 weeks? I think I might defer and pick something else with less time pressure to train for so you know you won't overdue it, but only you know your body.

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Old Mar 2nd, 2017, 16:42 PM   5
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I think it's really hard to say until you have the baby and you see how your body recovers. I was planning on doing Ironman Canada at 7 months postpartum. I started my training plan when my DD was 6 weeks old but I found my running ability to come back VERY slowly, even though I was very active throughout my pregnancy. Your ligaments will remain quite loose for months after baby is born which puts you at risk of injury if you do too much too quickly. I injured my back very badly as a result of this laxity and was basically incapacitated for nearly two months. I ended up racing just a half ironman as a result, and had to take a lot of ibuprofen just to get through the race, and it was a very slow (and honestly embarrassing) result. The loose ligaments also made my knees and pelvic bone very painful when I would run. It was so frustrating because the run has always been my strongest event, I've been a runner since I was 10 years old, but it wasn't until about a year post partum when I could run without pain in my knees (and by then I was pregnant again, ha!). I'm not sure how true this is, but I've heard that if you breastfeed the hormone relaxin (which causes your ligaments to loosen) stays in your system for longer postpartum. I breastfed until my daughter was 13 months old so I'm not sure if that's why I had such trouble with joint pain.

But that all being said, a friend of mine who was always fairly active but never did anything very seriously, raced in her first half marathon at 12 weeks postpartum and she was perfectly fine. It just all depends on how your body handles the recovery process.

I did find that the short timeline to train for my race added unnecessary stress to an already stressful time in my life. While I was recovering from my back injury I was always counting down how many weeks I would have left to train and stressing out that it wouldn't be enough, etc etc. Then when I decided to convert my registration to the half ironman only I just felt very defeated and didn't really want to do this distance since I had done so many of them before. I really wanted to do something new and a big accomplishment to feel like I was getting my old fit self back after having baby, but instead I felt like I was just breaking and battering my body. My back is still not 100%, I have some discomfort every day and have to make sure I am doing my exercises regularly or else it gets worse.

I don't want to scare you away from doing this, I'm just telling you my story! With this next baby I am going to wait and see how my body recovers, then set a goal race of some sort after baby is born so I'll have some sort of idea of how my body feels.

Does the race give you the option to defer your registration to the following year if necessary? The other stress I had was that my race entry fee was $700 and non-refundable, so if I didn't do the race I would have just thrown all that money down the toilet. So my recommendation would be to only register if you can either get a refund or defer if you are for some reason unable to do the race. Also keep in mind that most of the time your doctor won't clear you for exercise until 6 weeks postpartum (for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery), which would only give you about 6 weeks to train for the marathon. I tried running at 3 weeks postpartum because I was getting antsy to start training and I felt like my insides were going to fall out of me! It's really important for the health and recovery of your pelvic floor muscles not to do too much high impact activities (like running) too soon after delivery.

Good luck and I hope you are able to do it!

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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 21:16 PM   6
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I envy anyone who can come out of birth and jump right back into an exercise routine so I say if you can do it, then all the power to you! If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy and vaginal birth, I'd say you could probably attempt it. I used to train dressage horses and was very active before pregnancy. Throughout pregnancy I continued to ride until the second trimester, then I took to jogging up until about 7 months and the rest of my pregnancy I kept walking daily anywhere from 1-4 miles to keep fit. It helped me greatly through labor when the time came because my abs were so strong. I can't speak if you were to need a c-section since all my children were vaginal births so I don't know how quickly recovery time is for that. The first 6 weeks postpartum are rough because I was so tired from going through pregnancy, then birth, then breastfeeding and taking care of a newborn during many sleepless nights. However, usually after that time they were sleeping through a good chunk of the night and I was able to rest up. About 3 months postpartum I'd say that I was pretty much back to being myself.

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Old Mar 12th, 2017, 03:52 AM   7
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Depends on so much, if baby has colic, if you have an easy birth, if you can be bothered, if you have pnd... List goes on

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