It’s almost six months since I’ve been back pounding the pavements following the birth of Little B, so I thought now is a good time for an update for anyone getting back into post-baby running, or thinking about it.
While I’m back up to my old distance I’m almost – but not quite – up to my old speed. It’s definitely taken me longer to regain my pre-pregnancy fitness than it did the first time round, but that said I am four years older than I was when BB was born.
But the most annoying thing has been two calf injuries, one in each leg, on separate occasions. Both were grade one calf strain, when you suddenly experience a sharp pain which then takes between two and five days to calm down.
Apparently calf strain is a common – and recurring – injury for those who have been running for a long time, and I’ve been donning my trainers on a regular basis for almost 15 years now.
But while my age and the length of time I’ve been running may have something to do with it, it can’t be a coincidence that I’ve got the same injury in different legs within six months of giving birth.
They say you’re more at risk of injury post-pregnancy than you are during pregnancy because your ligaments have been stretched and your balance and coordination will have altered to accommodate your changing centre of gravity.
In one study I came across researchers discovered that more than a year after her second baby was born one runner’s pelvis was still tilted abnormally far forward, and as a result her right leg struck the ground harder than the left, absorbing about 30% more force with each stride. Interesting.
So as well as a heavy duty calf support I’ve invested in a pair of gel heel shock absorbers, which you fit in your trainers and are meant to reduce the strain on your joints.
I’ve been on four runs in a row since and haven’t had a single niggle. I’m just hoping things stay that way.
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