My six-week course to help you better understand the needs of your postpartum body and progress back to running confidently - it’s so much more than simply core and pelvic floor!
Intentionally progressed workouts that provide strengthening specific to the needs of the postpartum body and that are progressed intentionally building the strength and stability to run week after week.
It includes systematically mastering all 6 of the benchmark exercises in my Postpartum “Ready to Run” Checklist and all of the supporting core and pelvic floor work.
It's not just workouts to blindly follow but the knowledge and awareness needed to intentionally progress through them and beyond based on the needs of your body.
Ready to get back to running and working out after having your baby but frustrated by the generic, contradictory, and not-so-helpful advice?
"Just jump back into what you were doing before... but go slow...listen to your body."
"Wait until 3 to 6 months before you even start back to running”**
"The aches and pains and maybe a little peeing your pants while you run are just part of your new normal."
You need and deserve better!
You need more than just a list of "dos" and "don’ts”
You need EDUCATION and EMPOWERMENT to move with confidence in your bodies, intentionally progress back to full function and return to doing things you love!
THAT is what RUN Mom Strong is all about!
**The professional guidelines (1) do now suggest waiting until at least 12 weeks postpartum to begin running, but also provide a set of metrics to ensure the core and pelvic floor are ready and that you’ve built back at a strong and stable base to run on. This course systematically works to build the exact foundations your body needs to meet those metrics.
You’ve had a baby (6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years ago).
You want to run with strength and confidence (and without any postpartum symptoms).
You’ve just been cleared for exercise (or are about to be) and want to strategically make your comeback by systematically building strength and stability the way your postpartum body needs.
You’ve started back to running a bit but it just doesn’t feel right and you want to feel more confident in your run by systematically building strength and stability the way your postpartum body needs.
You’ve been back at it for a while, are frustrated with your progress, and want to feel more confident in your run by systematically building strength and stability the way your postpartum body needs.
Systematically working through the exercises and making simple adjustments in how you are moving your body and using your muscles can make a HUGE impact on your running wherever you are in the process!
My name is Alison Marie, Ph.D. I’m a Pre/Postnatal Certified Personal Trainer, Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist, running enthusiast turned strength training advocate, and mother of 2 boys.
I've been right there with you and I've got you!
After having my first, I was so anxious to get back to running. My identity was so wrapped up in “being a runner.” It was my stress relief, my me time, my main mode of physical fitness…
… and in my mind, my ticket back to the “old me.”
I started about 7 weeks postpartum and went out for a slow couple of miles. To be honest, I peed my pants A LOT. I accepted it as my new postpartum normal and just kept running.
Side note: many women can get back into running without this particular issue. I was not one of those women. I also believe that if I followed the steps in the RUN Mom Strong: Postpartum Foundations Course first, my chances of having this particular issue would be a lot smaller.
I kept running, added in some strength training, and by many accounts "bounced back" relatively quickly - on the outside. I was running local races and seriously competing in my age bracket, finishing Spartan races with successfully completing all obstacles and coaching other strong mamas to do the same.
I was still occasionally peeing with running, jumping, and sneezing - and just living with it.
I had terrible back pain if I wasn’t regularly seeing a chiropractor - the chiropractor helped the symptoms but didn't fix the problem (which was unbalanced musculature in my hips and relatively weak core stabilizers if you were wondering).
My shoulders and neck were constantly tense - massages barely helped.
It took me 6 years before I finally admitted I had a problem and sought to fix it! Through physical therapy and practicing what I learned through my Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist, it took mere months to come back stronger than ever before (and completely changed the way I coach moms)!
I can’t help but think where I could have been with my fitness level (because I’m competitive AF) if I had implemented this stuff from the beginning.
I was so caught up in getting back to the old me that I missed out on the OPPORTUNITY to become stronger than ever! Yes! I said opportunity!
I see both pregnancy and postpartum as a huge opportunity in our physical fitness. It took me a while to fully adopt this mindset, but it’s true. This is a time where we are forced to slow down (something that is extremely hard for many to do otherwise - I know it is for me).
It allows us to work on the foundations, perfect our movement mechanics, connect with our muscles - where we need more strength and what muscles may be overworking and build a better connection with our core and pelvic floor.
Working the foundations will make all your movements better, stronger, more efficient, and effective.
Building balance around your joints by strengthening where YOU need it and focusing on your mechanics will make all your movements better, stronger, more efficient, and effective.
Building a better connection with your core and pelvic floor...you guessed it… will make all your movements better, stronger, more efficient, and effective.
THAT is what RUN Mom Strong is all about!
You'll notice in my Postpartum "Ready to Run" Checklist there are a few points related to the core and pelvic floor and then 6 "benchmark" exercises that will help you determine if you are strong and stable enough to run.
...but it’s not just the “what” it’s the “how!”
Which muscles are you using? Are your low back and hip flexors taking over for your core and your glutes? How are you managing pressure in the core and pelvic floor while you do it?
Pregnancy creates many compensations in your movement mechanics.
We need to make sure you are feeling every exercise in the right place and working what you want to work first!
Then we build on that foundation so that you can run with strength and confidence (and without postpartum symptoms)!
1 - (Re)establish breathing to connect with your core and pelvic floor. (We build on this throughout, but lay the foundation in Module 1)
2 - (Re)align your pelvis and thorax for efficient core activation and transfer force AND focus on strengthening the muscles to maintain this posture. (Module 2)
3 - Integrate the pelvic floor with your movements - starting with isolating the muscles is great, but where you need it to work while running is WITH the other muscles… and this way is way more fun! (Module 3)
4 - (Re)balance the muscles around your hips and get stronger overall in your core, hips, glutes, legs - systematically integrating the core and pelvic floor with all of the functional exercises - while intentionally building in higher impact movements. (Modules 4 & 5)
5 - Strategically build back running volume on this solid foundation. We are purposefully and systematically progressive so that the runner mindset doesn’t take over and you push past where your body is ready. (Module 6)
[I put "Re" in quotes above there because it's something that many people never master - having babies or not. That's what makes this time an OPPORTUNITY to slow down and build a better foundation to run on!]
How soon after birth can I start?
Please wait until you are cleared for exercise by your provider (usually around 6 weeks postpartum) before beginning the workouts in this program.
Even if you are not yet cleared for exercise, it's never too early to start educating yourself. You may begin with the lessons and wait until you are cleared for exercise for the workouts (you have lifetime access) or click here for some simple breathing exercises and stretches that you can begin as early as 2 weeks postpartum.
Does this work for after c-sections?
While the program works for women who have had both vaginal and c-section births, you may need to progress a bit more slowly through the workouts after a c-section. The lessons include the information you need to decide what your unique postpartum body is ready for when it comes to core exercises.
What equipment is needed?
The equipment needed for this program is mostly things you can find around your house (towels, chairs, counter tops/door frames). To get the most out of the exercises the following equipment is recommended (in order of importance): small playground ball, resistance band with something to anchor it to, dumbbells, mini band, foam roller and stability ball. I recommend anyone who is committed to exercising at home eventually purchase it all. However, suggestions for substitutes using items from around your house will be provided for the above, where applicable.
How long will I have to complete the course?
While it is designed as a 6-week course, you will have access to the lessons and resources forever. Work at your own pace (we'll talk more about what this means in Module 0). You can even return following future pregnancies if you want to.
I had my baby years ago but I'm still struggling, will this help?
Absolutely! If you read my story above, I first implemented these strategies nearly 6 years postpartum with my first and saw significant and quick results. The exercises and education provided are foundational to effective movement. I believe it's best to put the foundations in place early on, but if you have not yet, it's not too late.
If you are experiencing ongoing symptoms of prolapse, diastasis, incontinence, or pain, I do recommend working with a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist
(1) Goom, Tom & Donnelly, Grainne & Brockwell, Emma. (2019). Returning to running postnatal – guidelines for medical, health and fitness professionals managing this population. 10.13140/RG.2.2.35256.90880/2.
The research in this area of women's health is still new and ongoing. I am continuing to learn more each day and will provide you with the most updated and useful information as it becomes available inside this course.
Understanding the needs of your postpartum body and the opportunity to come back stronger than ever.