Tag Archives: mountain bike

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? 

Active recovery plans

Before I completed Ironman Canada Whistler, I told Kelly I planned to take two months off running to really let my body heal.

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Well, I don’t think that’s going to happen! I got the itch to run a couple days after the Ironman. I tried to soothe the itch with some long trail walks. Of course they didn’t quite cut it!

I’m in New Orleans this week and my favourite way to explore a new city is on foot and running. So I packed my gear and by time this post goes out, I’ll hopefully have gone on a great run in a new place!

That doesn’t mean I plan to run a lot yet.

Active recovery

Active recovery is basically taking time off from usual exercise routines, focussing on lighter impact, less intensity and decreased volume. It should let my body recover from the stress of training and racing while still allowing me to maintain my sanity and a little bit of fitness.

In the first week after the Ironman I went downhill biking, kayaking, and on long walks through the trails. All low intensity and supremely fun!!

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The second week I mountain biked a couple times, took my cruiser out, tried a Barre class, went on one spin on my road bike and started back with some core work. I really meant to incorporate yoga but just didn’t find the time.

In my third week, I’ve hopefully gone on a run. Other than a shorter run once or twice a week, I want to try some other things including more barre classes, some new yoga classes, and more mountain or cyclocross biking.

Active recovery is important to me for a few reasons. I eat a lot better when I’m active. If I’m sitting around not doing anything, I tend to eat more junk. I also crave activity. Lastly, I don’t want to completely lose my fitness.

I don’t have race plans for quite a while, so I’m content to sit back and enjoy a variety of activities!

What’s your favourite way to actively recover?

Change the Pace – Mountain biking

Fall has arrived, the weather is crisp, and the leaves are changing colour and dropping to the ground. Maybe your knees are a little sore. Maybe you just want to liven up your training and have fun with fitness.

Whatever the reason, mountain biking is an excellent option for cross training and getting outside to enjoy the season.

I haven’t been mountain biking in almost a year due to injury and Ironman training. I finally got out yesterday.

It was freezing cold (9C) and pouring rain. My clothes were soaked through, it felt like I was wearing a wet diaper, and my lips were blue. But I had an absolute blast.

I love to mountain bike, but I’m not very good at it. I’m kind of a chicken and am incredibly cautious. That’s why yesterday was perfect.

I took easy trails. I went on my own, took my time down the hills and around sharp turns, and pedaled my heart out to reach the top of hills.

My husband loves to mountain bike and is really good at it. He’s taught me a few things over the years that I think will help anyone who’s a little cautious.

  1. Get comfortable before you hit the trails. Ride around on the roads and get to know your bike and your brakes.
  2. Learn your gears. You need to know how to change your gears efficiently if you want to crest the hills or change gears when the terrain quickly changes.
  3. Pay attention to where your pedals are when you ride. If you’re not pedalling, try to keep your pedals centred/equal with both knees bent instead of one up top with one leg bent and one down below with the other leg almost straight. I’ve hit a lot of large rocks by riding with one of my pedals down.
  4. Shift your bodyweight forward when climbing. If you don’t, your front wheel can lift. If you shift too far forward though, you can lose traction. Find the sweet spot!
  5. Shift your bodyweight backward when descending steep hills.

Most importantly, go your own pace and have fun!

Jasper, Alberta

Vernon, British Columbia

My favourite place to mountain bike: Jasper National Park, Alberta
Bucket list place to mountain bike: Moab, Utah

Do you mountain bike? Any tips? Where’s your favourite place to ride?