Fitness after baby (five months post-partum)

I’ve written a little bit about my fitness journey since having Jasper, but I thought I’d do a full post on just that topic.

I’m working out 5-6 days each week. It’s usually a combo of running, HIIT, and biking (mountain if I’m in the mountains and trainer if I’m in the city).

I took seven weeks almost completely off and am so happy I did take that time away. It was a good break for my body and gave me a chance to recover well post-partum.

So how is it going? Great…for me!

Running
I’ve been upping my mileage at a glacial pace. My longest run has been 1 hour, 20 minutes. Most of my runs are in the five-mile range.

I’m running a combination of trails, stroller runs on the pavement, and a few treadmill runs when Jasper is napping.

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I don’t wear a Garmin, so on the trails I have no idea how far I go. However, I do go slow. I tried going faster one day and bit the dust hard! Over four weeks later I can finally kneel lightly on my left knee.

The good news is I’m running lots of hills and feeling strong. I’m pretty sure I could run forever but I know I couldn’t go fast!

I’ve done a few hills with the stroller and let me tell you, that builds endurance! One hill took me 12 minutes to climb and I hope to incorporate that into my usual running.

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I’d like to continue slowly increasing my run times but don’t want to increase too much when I’m not training for anything since I easily get injured.

Biking
I’m trying to mountain bike once in a while and I’m still gaining confidence. It gets my heart pumping like crazy when I have to climb, and it’s so great to be on the trails for ‘me’ time.

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I’ve started riding the trainer again when Jasper is napping. The good news is I make each trainer ride count and get off dripping sweat. The bad news is I don’t ride for longer than 30 minutes since he’s not a great napper and I never know how long I have before he wakes! (And I prefer to shower before that happens 🙂 )

HIIT
I love making up my own HIIT workouts and kicking my butt. These workouts are the easiest to do since they give me the most bang for my buck! I breathe heavy, my legs and arms are shaky, and I’m toast at the end of a 20-30 minute workout. I always incorporate strength and core into them.

Hiking
I never really used to count hiking as a workout although it can be HARD. Now that I sometimes carry Jasper, I certainly do count it! We don’t go often and we don’t go for long (that darn hot sun!), but it’s so fun and he’s turning into a little mountain lover!

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SUP
I’ve SUPed a few more times and still love it. If I lived closer to a body of water, I’d make it a regular part of my routine.

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Race plans?
I’ve always loved to train, but…I’ve never loved to race whether it’s strictly running or triathlon. (I took almost five years away from racing before with only a couple races on a whim thrown in!) So, I don’t feel a need to get back into it right away.

I hope to run one trail race in September and am tossing around some ideas for next year. For now, I love running to run, biking to bike, etc.

The mental challenge
The only tough thing about this is the comparison trap—comparing to my former self and to others, mostly through social media! (I love baby_fitgym on Instagram, but darn she makes me want to work out all the time and chisel my abs!)

None of my old pants fit. My thighs are a lot bigger. And I’d be lying if I said I was happy with my hips/stomach area.

However, I constantly remind myself that I had a baby five months ago. It’s worth a little extra skin and fat! I’m still exclusively nursing (he’s up to 18 pounds, 14 ounces now!!), and I’ve heard your body hangs on to fat a bit more. I’m not sure if that’s true, so I’m not banking on it!

Basically I’m not satisfied with how I look but am trying to practice grace and treat myself kindly. I love being active and fit and so long as I’m healthy and getting in some sweat sessions, I should be happy!

I’m still working with Jasper to nap more consistently and for longer. Hopefully when (if?) that happens I can start to get in longer workouts. Until then I’m really happy with how everything is coming along and love to incorporate Jasper into some training, whether it’s on a run, a hike, or strength training.

Oh, and Jasper’s learning to love exercise, too!

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The best rattle!!

What’s your next big race? 

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12 responses to “Fitness after baby (five months post-partum)

  1. Your workouts sound great! You’ll be back to your happy spot soon enough, just keep doing what you’re doing! I’m sure you look great, most of the time it’s in our own heads. I get that too.

  2. You are doing stellar! And you look great as well from what I’ve seen on instagram – I’m just hoping I can be like you 🙂 The outdoors in your area look amazing, and wow, props to you for taking Jasper hiking, that is so cool! How do you make up your own HIIT training sessions? I imagine I will also need shorter more intense workouts very soon! I’ve never done HIIT.

    • I love HIIT- it’s such a great workout in a short period of time! I also feel like all the compound movements help prevent running injury.
      Have you ever visited Fitness Blender. I’d start with some of their HIIT workouts to get the hang of it and then start making your own with moves that challenge you!
      I hope you’re doing well! I’m thinking about you!

  3. Yay for a great variety in exercise!! You are an inspiration lady!! My next big race is Ironman Boulder in T-12 days 😉

  4. You are doing fantastic! I love that you are working out just for the love of it and not to train.

  5. Congrats to you for keeping up your fitness and being a mom, the job is not easy when we have little ones.. but you are proving that fitness does not have to stop after birth, you rock mom! and your little guy is so freaking cute!

  6. Your little guy is adorable! You are doing great, and taking such good care of yourself 🙂

  7. So glad to get an update and hear how things are going. I’m so happy that you’re getting out there and loving exercise without any big goals! I’m sure I’ll also have a hard time with comparison myself to my old self , especially since I still have some big goals postpartum.

    Your legs look strong and really good in that photo!

  8. Yay! Glad you’re doing well and getting back into it. Remember, it’s a process, so don’t expect immediate results. I LOVE the rattle!!!

  9. Sounds like you are doing amazing!!! I can’t believe Jasper is 5 months already!! This year is flying by!
    I love your way of working out!! What ever you can fit it you do! Whatever feels good. Not worrying about a race or paces or splits!!! It is funny cause i am totally opposite of you in the sense that I love to have a race to look forward to. To see how all my hard work paid off!! 🙂
    I think I did my last tri of the season yesterday. It was super fun and now I am going to focus on running. I have Hood to Coast and Vancouver BC 1/2 marathon to look forward to!!!
    Keep up the good work mama!!! Jasper is super cute!!

  10. It is so inspiring to see you doing so well post-partum. I keep wondering how I will bounce back, how long it will take, and how to play it smart. You only get one chance to really come back, so I definitely do not want to rush into things. I think taking 7 weeks completely off was very smart. I plan on doing something very similar. Did you go for walks or get any type of exercise/activity during those 7 weeks?

    Before being pregnant, I never considered hiking to be a workout. Now that I am doing it almost every weekend, it has become one of my favorite ways of working out. And I agree, it IS hard!

    I have a feeling I might struggle and fall into the comparison trap – mostly comparing my current self to my former self. I hope I can step back and look at the bigger picture like you have. It’s great to know there are others out there who can relate.

    You are doing awesome, Abby! Thanks for sharing your stories and experiences!

  11. It sounds like you are doing great, Abby! I love Jasper’s little rattle – so cute! Both of my boys had similar ones that I called their dumbbells.

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