Newborns and Running

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Josh_1
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Newborns and Running

Post by Josh_1 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:12 pm

Folks,

My wife and I are preparing for the birth of our first child. We are both thrilled and experiencing the normal anxiety / jitters that I would think most new parents experience. Life is getting ready to change in a profound way and I'm excited about it!

First, my wife is not a runner (even though she could make a good one - she is leaner than me and has a much smaller frame - maybe our son will inherit my engine and her build!!) She is VERY, VERY supportive of my running and although we both know that my "relationship" with running will change, I don't see it disappearing.

To cut to the chase, I wanted some advice or perhaps examples or rules of thumb on how to adapt to running when having a newborn in the house and still managing to get out the door. No one knows my schedule like I do, so I'm not looking for too much advice in that regard (I know the time factor spent running will probably decrease a quite a bit) but I'm moreso asking about energy, sleep, how to expect to feel while running, spacing of the standard workouts like CV reps and Tinman Tempo running while exhausted, whether to take a break from running and/or racing, etc.

I'm a big planner and I'm starting to realize that this is something that I just might not be able to plan.

Thanks for the time!

dilluh
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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by dilluh » Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:31 pm

Ditto.

My wife and I are expecting our first (girl) in mid-February. I imagine being drag-dead tired as the largest impediment to running well with a newborn but I already feel like I need to expect the unexpected.

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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by BearWhite » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:55 am

My wife and I had our first child 4 months ago so I know what you guys are going through at the moment. I wondered whether I`d still be able to run after our little girl came along but I`ve managed to carry on running at least 40 mpw and have actually set PBs for the 10k and HM since she arrived.

I think the keys are being motivated, flexible, and having a supportive partner. I try and run 6 days a week but sometimes this just cant happen due to family commitments so this is something you just have to get over. I also have to do a fair bit of running pretty early in the morning as its the only time which is fair on my wife and kid (they`re generally both asleep at 530am!). I`m also used to feeling fairly tired now when I run but maybe this is a good thing as it really does keep my easy runs easy. The planning of CV and tempo sessions hasnt been too bad after the first month or so, I just have to juggle them round depending on the family. I did consider taking a break from running for a while but I feel its more important than ever now, as having a new born in the house adds a fair bit of stress to domestic life which you will need a release for. Just be flexible and you should still be able to get a run in most days.

Having a supportive partner is critical - probably the most important thing. Make sure you repay their support by changing your fair share of nappies, feeding, bathing, putting your baby to bed, etc. If you dont I`d imagine there`s a fair chance they may start to resent your running pretty quickly!

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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by dkggpeters » Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:36 pm

One thing you need to consider is that you may need to lower your expectations on performance for a bit until they sleep through the night. If you assist in feeding (bottle of course) then you will be lacking in sleep and this can be detrimental to performance. Be conscience of this and don't be afraid to take days off from running if you are overly tired. Better to be under trained and healthy than over trained and not running at all.

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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by dilluh » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:48 pm

Thanks for the advice. While my wife is very supportive of my running, she also expects (and deserves) plenty of help with the kiddo, including feeding, so I know I'll be lowering my expectations about performance/racing due to loss of sleep.

Josh_1
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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by Josh_1 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:31 am

Thanks guys! I am already in the mindset of waking up at 5am on workout days and at 5:30am on easy run days. I have a 40 minute commute to and from work and we work at least 50 hours per week. My life is already not t hat conducive to running and I'm a bit worried about being able to fit it in. I don't mind running at night and I don't mind waking up early (not both - I don't double), but I already only sleep 7 hours per night. I might need a lifestyle change more than trying to become more efficient in getting it all done. I've also considered a treadmill, but that isn't my first choice.

Like I said, I can figure out the scheduling with time. During that time I am very aware that it might be very, very rough on my body to be doing so much on very little sleep. Hopefully we get a "sleeper" but I guess there are a lot of unknowns. I don't mind running very slow on easy days.

How do you guys plan a week of training (like CV, tinman tempos, etc.) when a baby is something that makes planning impossible - impossible - but a BLESSING!!! :-)

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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by dkggpeters » Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:15 am

The nice thing about big workouts is that you only have 2 quality sessions a week and your MLR and LR on included in these days as well. This offers a lot of flexibility in moving workouts around so if your schedule does not allow it one day you have options to push out or pull in.

As an example, a couple of years ago I planned on my big workouts on Tuesday and Saturday. If the weather was really bad, I didn't feel well, or schedule conflicts came up I knew I could push them to Wednesday or Thursday. On the weekend I knew I could push it to Sunday if needed. I very rarely had to reschedule workouts but it eased any stress about worrying about getting workouts in. More importantly, I didn't miss any quality sessions either which is huge in my opinion.

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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by dilluh » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:18 pm

dkggpeters wrote:The nice thing about big workouts is that you only have 2 quality sessions a week and your MLR and LR on included in these days as well. This offers a lot of flexibility in moving workouts around so if your schedule does not allow it one day you have options to push out or pull in.

As an example, a couple of years ago I planned on my big workouts on Tuesday and Saturday. If the weather was really bad, I didn't feel well, or schedule conflicts came up I knew I could push them to Wednesday or Thursday. On the weekend I knew I could push it to Sunday if needed. I very rarely had to reschedule workouts but it eased any stress about worrying about getting workouts in. More importantly, I didn't miss any quality sessions either which is huge in my opinion.
I think this will be key for me. I could probably do almost as well for 5k/10k training using "big two workouts" as opposed to 2 workouts plus easy long run (I've pondered this before but now it looks like I'll be thrown into it out of necessity, hahaha). Like you said, the flexibility provided by only having two main days per week could be really helpful.

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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by dkggpeters » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:09 am

I do feel that if you have or anticipate scheduling conflicts then you can't beat the 2 big workouts method. This way you have a much better chance of being consistent with your training and not missing key sessions. Consistency is key in distance running. It is great even if you don't have scheduling problems.

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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by Tinman » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:42 pm

I suggest using lots of striders in your schedule to make up for lowered mileage. And, using shorter CV reps, so that you can handle the extra fatigue brought on by having a newborn in the house. When my son was born, I used 1 minute CV reps with 30 seconds of easy running between reps in order to keep my speed about the same as it was before, though I was more tired. For tempo running, I did 1 mile reps at my old tempo pace with 1-2 minute jog recoveries. You may find that shorter reps helps a lot, rather than longer more continuous reps or tempos that put more pressure on your to not only hold pace but concentrate longer.

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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by Gabe1 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:54 pm

The most important thing is for you to get a HIGH QUALITY running baby stroller!

Don't buy a cheap one. Buy a stroller that is smooth and fast.

To run distance with your child in a stroller is so good in so many ways: Your wife gets some time for herself, your child gets fresh air and you will get your excercise.

And when your child has fallen asleep, why not run to a track and do a couple of laps? You'll be able to have full sight of the stroller while running around the track.

Good luck and congrats to your first born!

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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by dilluh » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:05 pm

Thank you!

All excellent suggestions I will take into considerations. Speaking of running strollers... any suggestions on brand/model?


Josh_1
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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by Josh_1 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:29 am

Thanks for the replies - they really help! I'm already a subscriber to the 2-big workouts regimen and I believe it works for me.

Tom - if 5-6 x 1000m CV reps and 30 minute Tinman Tempos are the norm today and I break them apart because of expected fatigue as you have suggested, will my fitness be retained? To take it another step, can performance improment still occur with the modified workouts? I'm reading your example to indicate I should do 20 - 24 x 1 min CV reps an 4 - 5 x 1 mile at Tinman Tempo as a substitute- right?

I have one more question about sleep but I will leave that for the next post after you have the chance to respond to the first question.

Regarding strollers, from what I hear it is hard to beat a Bob. In our situation I think two or three folks/families are going to "go-in" and get us one as a shower present since the Bob is not cheap. If we don't get one as a gift, I will buy one myself. You can find them on Amazon for right under $400. I know that is expensive; however, if the next best alternative is a $200 - $250 stroller that has a greater potential to break, not have a warranty, or be of lesser quality / efficiency, the incremental $100 - $150 required to get a solid product doesn't seem to matter nearly as much.

Josh_1
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Re: Newborns and Running

Post by Josh_1 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:58 pm

I'm going to bump this thread back to the top for Tinman to answer my last question.

Another thing I've considered is implementing a 3-day Tinman rotation and bringing my mileage down a little bit. I'm mostly concerned about how to fit-in running with a long commute, long work hours, and a new baby. I guess it would probably be most helpful to have sort of a guide to follow after a restless night.

For example, if I plan to wake up at 5am to run (because that is the only time I'd have to do it) and I was supposed to run a workout; however, I woke up every two hours and only got three hours of sleep that night, is there any rule of thumb I should use so as not to dig myself into a hole?

This is just an example, but:

0-2 hours of sleep = no more than 30 min easy running
2-5 hours of sleep = reduced workout
> 5 hours of sleep = standard workout as planned

It is just hard to know how to adjust a planned workout when you wake up from a sleepless night at 5am to run - the only time you have. I can always quit running, but I would like to keep it if I can!!

Thanks!

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