Return to the race after the childbirth
by Helga Borza • Feb 18th, 2024

Road to my first race - back on track after giving birth

January 2024 - I'm back on the track, three months after the birth of my little girl, with a red headband, a huge smile on my face, although with big eyes, but I'm waiting for the race to start with great enthusiasm!

How did I get here? That's what this post will be about, my journey back to the start line and tips on how to get back. I would like to emphasize that this is not a general recipe, the length of the journey and the time spent at each "obstacles" vary from person to person, however, the steps to be taken are generally valid in all situations.

The most important basics - it's no use trying to move up quickly if the ladder is not stable

In general, reinforcement is basic. In all cases, it is especially necessary to strengthen the trunk and pelvic floor muscles, which includes special training. This is the first step, if you are okay with this - besides, of course, walking with the little one can and should be done - then you can start returning to heavier weights and start running again. In general, this period is at least six weeks, but it is worth continuing the strengthening even after that.

For me, this happened in such a way that as soon as I was able to push the stroller all the way down the street (it's not easy, we live in the mountains and that's why the stroller is also very sturdy), I decided to start training. At first, this meant 10, then 15, then 20-minute exercises, when I had a break, I did exercises. Many times I felt very weak, but I knew that it would be better if I did the training, and of course with time, and this is not an option, but a must to have a stable foundation. For this, I did a special post-natal regenerating exercise and also started doing yoga again.

In the 12th week, I already went to a kettlebell training, and although with smaller weights and modifying a few exercises, it was nice to finally train with weights as well. Since then, I have taken out my kettlebell again at home, and in addition to core training, I incorporate this super tool into my strengthening exercises, which allows you to do a full-body workout at home, even with your little one.

What is very important in the first period:

- Be sure to check with your doctor! - Reinforce as often as you can, but don't stress if you miss a few days, it's a difficult period, it happens, and it's not the main priority right now. -Patience! Don't compete with yourself or others, give yourself time to come back.

Schedule - be spontaneous, be creative

Yes, it can be very difficult to allocate time at this time, you are waiting for the perfect opportunity to train. I assure you, there is no such thing. You train when you can. There is always a chance to exercise a little if you want. The only question is the form of movement and sufficient creativity, and no one should feel bad about that, you will not be a bad mother because you dedicate 1 hour a day - sometimes more, sometimes less, and sometimes it is made up of several details - to yourself, in fact, it is often shared can also be a program. And yes, 10-15-20 minutes of training is worth something. It's just as much as if you didn't move at all, a lot of little goes a long way.

Enjoy the time spent together

I think this is the best part of it all, the many walks together. As I got used to walking over time during pregnancy, as I was able to enjoy the beauties of nature with less strain but still in motion, it is absolutely essential that we started walking together, not at the same time. This has been the case ever since, even though the running is already going, we always go for a walk. Good air is good for the baby, and you need it too.

When I was already taking longer walks with the stroller, we started getting to know the baby carrier. This is also why strengthening is important, so that your core muscles can handle the extra load, even a few kg is heavy at the beginning. And of course, gradation is important here as well, and if you go off-road, in addition to being comfortable, the shoes must always have the right grip for the weather and terrain.

Back to running

Running was definitely what I missed the most during this period, so I was looking forward to picking it up, if not exactly where it left off. I think the most important thing is to let go of the ego and enjoy every running step, because your body had a much more important and difficult task than running a race.

I was able to run for a long time during my pregnancy, which meant a combination of jogging and walking from the middle to the last two months, then just walking and hiking, getting easier. Since I was able to stay in motion and run for quite a long time, and then there was a lot of walking left, I had a head start in the restart as well. By the time the days settled in somewhat and I began to regain my strength, I gradually burdened myself with joint walks, with a stroller and with a kangaroo in the field, the 6-week control period finally came. By that time, I had already been pushing the strengthening regeneration program for 5 weeks, and walks and hikes for 4 weeks continuously. I got the green light and could start jogging… that is, running into the walk a bit. I was already very happy with that, I really missed running. When that started, about 1.5-2 weeks, I switched to continuous running and did 3 km very leisurely. Yes, starting at 7 minute pace. Fortunately, my body remembers the amount of work I put into this sport and I quickly became under 6 paces on these short distances of 3-5 km. It's already December here, I set a goal for Christmas to run 10km at a comfortable pace, this was my sports goal for the end of the year. And it worked! I am happy again with every postpartum PB time and distance, and I enjoy every minute, even if it is sometimes difficult.

What you should never lose sight of is that this is YOUR path!

If I can give you one piece of advice, it's about gradualism. Don't overdo it! You don't have to rush anywhere, but you can spoil yourself in the long run if you don't pay attention to the signs and immediately want to run like you did before. The following aspects have a great influence on -a popular question- when YOU can start running: - your fitness and previous sports habits, your condition before pregnancy, -how much you were/were able to stay in motion during pregnancy, -mode of delivery, freedom from intervention, - after how long do you start regenerating exercises and walks, because it won't work without them - you don't push it too far.

If the answer to all of these is positive, then take my advice, in addition to taking time for yourself and your health, come back gradually and have a specialized doctor - pelvic floor specialist - confirm that you can exercise, because it doesn't matter if it's two weeks or two months to reach 1-1 rungs, but that the ladder you are climbing is stable.

What was it like back on the field?

Real happiness! I chose the domestic winter sprint in Salgótarján to start, and I made a very good decision. Everything I like to compete for, the atmosphere, the challenge, the experience, the struggle with myself and reaching the finish line, completing the obstacles and the happiness after a super run, I had everything, even my cutest little fan accompanied me! The race went much better than expected, I didn't even think that I would be a hair's breadth away from the podium with my three-month-old baby. It was a wonderful day and now I can safely say that we will see you on the track!

To everyone who is in a similar situation, I wish you perseverance and patience, and that you enjoy it, because it's really a big thing and it's amazing what our bodies can do, and you know the saying about Spartan women... so the kids race is waiting for you in a few years!

Borza Helga - Spartan Brand Ambassador Hungary

Recent posts

Are you a task-oriented or an ego-oriented athlete?
read more
Miloš Liška and his 50th gold in the Age Group!
read more
A special starting wave with Spartan ambassadors
read more