Weekly Workouts: Strength Phase, Week 3

Last week’s workouts featured an exciting variety of runs – trails, fartleks, and my longest run since my first trimester. I also recommitted myself to strength training at least twice a week, focusing on core strength.

I have repeated this multiple times over the past four months, but it amazes me how much strength I lost with a C-section. I completed weekly strength training and prenatal Pilates up until 39 weeks pregnant. I made a decent recovery from the C-section – I was walking around the hospital corridor, abdominals supported with a mesh binder, when my daughter was only 24 hours old. But there’s a difference between regaining functional strength and regaining strength to support running. 

I did the postpartum ReCore program starting at six weeks postpartum. It helped significantly, but then I slacked off on strength a bit. My go-to exercises felt a bit too challenging over the past couple weeks, and that sensation was discouraging. Then, this week, I ran outside in the snow, and I felt the weaknesses still present in my core and pelvis. Not significant, but certainly not the strength I want to feel for returning to racing this year.

Weekly Workouts: Strength Phase, Week 3

Monday: 3.5 mile trail run

Since Ryan was home for the holiday, I waited until daylight and then bundled up both Ollie and myself. We ran down to the nearby park for what turned out to be both an enjoyable and eventful cross-country run. First, we encountered construction to promote better water drainage – which meant the entry into the park was a wet and muddy mess. Once we passed that, I had to run with a shuffle-like gait (an 11:00/mile!) to avoid wiping out on patches of ice beneath the snow. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun; I let Ollie off-leash, and we both soaked in the freedom of running through the snowy grass. 

Weekly Workouts: Strength Phase, Week 3

Tuesday: 6 mile easy run & ReCore

I laced up my Saucony Peregrine Ices for a run on snowy roads. I originally contemplated the treadmill, but the appeal of sunshine and fresh air outweighed snowy sidewalks and an 11-degree windchill. After a slow mile over a slippery stretch of sidewalk, I settled into a comfortable stride. I enjoyed this run so much, although I was also sore afterward! 

Later in the day, I restarted the sixth week of the first ReCore program for strength training. I did add a kettlebell to the lunges, but other than that, all of the exercises (push-ups, single leg lowers, single leg glute bridges, ab holds, side planks) were bodyweight. 

Weekly Workouts: Strength Phase, Week 3

Wednesday: Rest day

We had Isla’s four-month appointment on Tuesday and found out her weight gain was not on track. Despite leaving our pediatrician with a plan, I was stressed and anxious to the point of insomnia. I struggled to sleep throughout most of the night and ended up sleeping in (when I finally did fall asleep). I rested and took the entire day as a mental health day. 

Thursday: 55 minute fartlek run

After a good night’s sleep, I felt physically and mentally refreshed. My workout of the week was 5 x 3 minutes hard with 2-minute recovery intervals. It’s one I often prescribe my athletes because it is simple yet challenging. I set the treadmill for 8.2 mph for the first few intervals and then bumped it up to 8.3 mph for the final ones. 

Weekly Workouts: Strength Phase, Week 3

Two years ago, I ran a half marathon at that pace. It feels like another life ago, in many ways. And now, that pace feels equivalent to around 5K pace. I’m not where I was, but I am happy with where I am at four months post-C-section – and eager to keep working. 

We also visited the pediatrician and found that Isla had already gained a good amount of weight! I felt a huge wave of relief. 

Friday: 4 mile run & ReCore/strength training

I perused the iFit on NordicTrack for something short and novel and was delighted when I found a Deschutes River Trail simulation. When Ryan and I visited Bend for skiing, we used to run on that exact trail! 

After the run, I completed Recore plus some upper body strength training.

Weekly Workouts: Strength Phase, Week 3

Saturday: 8 mile run

It looked slick and gross outside and I simply didn’t want to deal with thag, so I stuck to the treadmill. A longer run on the treadmill is better than cutting it short outside! I included some inclines and increased the pace every 10 minutes, which made 70 minutes on the treadmill more tolerable.

Sunday: Rest

After a tiring week, I needed an extra day to rest and recover. 

Linking up with Weekly Rundown

How was your week in running?
Do you prefer snowy runs or the treadmill?


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8 Responses

  1. Pregnancy is a lot harder on the body than we realise. Step by step, you’ll gain more and more of your core strength. Worry and stress is such a big part of motherhood and so glad you took a mental health day to get back to feeling refreshed.

  2. Pregnancy can do some wacky things to your body. And then add in caring for a little baby, it’s tough. It’s hard not to compare but remember that your body went through something pretty traumatic. Give it time and you’ll be crushing it soon enough.

    FYI – my Avery was the same way with weight. Visiting the pediatrician always brought anxiety since she was always (and still is) below average. The doctor soon realized that’s who she is.

  3. Well, I will gladly choose a shortened outdoor run over a treadmill run LOL I’m not currently in a training cycle, though, so I have all the flexibility I want. My core strength seems to vary from time to time…probably need to change out my routine a bit with that.

  4. Aw, I’m sorry you experienced that stress with your daughter. Momming is hard, but it will be ok.Hugs to you.

    You’re doing great to focus on your core. Any kind of huge medical procedure can truly set you back. You’re doing exactly what you need to do to get back on track. It will take time, but you are doing all the right things.

  5. It will always be something with kids 🙂 And just when one bridge was crossed and a problem was solved, another replaced it. I know how you feel about your daughter. My son was also low weight and at one appointment the Dr actually marked him as “failure to thrive”. You can imagine how stressful that was!! But today, he’s 14 yrs old and taller than me. I’m glad you have a plan and the weight is up already!

  6. I do like snowy runs but know that I have to run slower so as not to slip on the snow or ice. But I also don’t mind the treadmill. I’d rather run on the treadmill than not run at all.

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