Tag Archives: pregnancy fitness

Getting fit after pregnancy – no more excuses

16 May

Final running race at six months pregnant

When I fell pregnant with Toby, I was super-keen on triathlon and in training for a Half Ironman. My weeks consisted of working, eating, sleeping, cycling, running and swimming and that was all there was to my life for a bit. I’d eat like a pig that had been starved for a year and it didn’t make a blind bit of difference to my weight.

Now, it must be said, this routine was at my most extreme and was in preparation for a half ironman. On the final few weekends before I found out I was pregnant, I completed the Tour of Wessex cycle, had a rather traumatic King of the Downs cycle experience and took part in the Duncton cycle ride. After throwing up on my handle bars, I realised that either I was overdoing it, or something wasn’t quite right. I was pregnant.

I started my pregnancy with the attitude that I could still exercise to the extreme, that I wouldn’t put on weight and that I could maintain my fitness. As the weeks and months passed, I realised my view was hugely unrealistic. I was in bed by 7.30pm some nights, could barely move by the end and as for getting up early for a spinning class – FORGET IT. Needless to say, the weight closed in on me and my fitness left.

All my crazy exercising ended just under two years ago and since then I find myself making excuses for not getting back into it. The problem is, I’m starting from scratch. During my pregnancy my stomach muscles split, which left me with a stark warning from the physio to let things heal before I start running again. I tried to get back into it after a while, but (and I can’t believe I am going to say this) I ended up wetting myself – I’m certainly not the first and I won’t be the last, but that just puts a girl off. The breastfeeding, especially at night, left me exhausted and finding the motivation to get up and get back into a fitness routine was beyond impossible.

Last summer, when Toby was around 4 months, I got on my bike each week and did a few rides. We spent the summer in our VW Campervan driving around France and I got the chance to do some amazing cycling. I climbed 2/3 of Mont Ventoux, but had to turn around to get back for Toby’s breastfeed… well, that was my excuse. This is the first time I am admitting to this; the real reason I turned around was because it was just too painful. I was a lot heavier than before and I simply couldn’t get to the top. I was weak! I did, however, make it at a snail’s pace up Alp D’Huez. At the top, I remembered why I loved cycling. BUT ON EACH OCCASION I FELT HORRID. I just didn’t have the fitness to enjoy it and with a baby you can make excuses.

Last week the excuses ended. Toby is now 15 months, my body has recovered from labour and he’s sleeping okay (ish). I’m now working from home and there is time. No more crap excuses. I have a buggy I can both run and cycle with and I live next door to Richmond Park.

I’ve thrown myself in at the deep end with the cycling. Yesterday – with a little help from my friends – I cycled 60 miles in the Duncton sportive. I was slow and it hurt, but it’s meant to hurt and I’ll get faster. Next week I’m signed up to the King of the Downs bike ride, which should be interesting. It’ll be slow and it’ll hurt and there will be times I will doubt my post-pregnancy self. The week after we’re heading to the Tour of Wessex for a 76 mile ride. I have legitimate doubts about finishing this one, but nothing ventured, nothing gained and I can’t keep hiding behind a wall of nappies. Wish me luck.