Get­ting Your Groove Back

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Training Feature -

“As ath­letes, we are ac­cus­tomed to be­ing able to con­trol how our bod­ies per­form and how our bod­ies look; preg­nancy is the one time where we need to let go of this con­trol.”

Sharon Don­nelly

Danelle Kabush never doubted that she would re­turn to some level of train­ing af­ter her preg­nancy, but was not sure if, and when, she would be mo­ti­vated to re­sume com­pet­ing. This changed when she was of­fered a con­tract with the Luna Pro Team a month af­ter giv­ing birth and was soon back in rac­ing shape.

“I viewed the spon­sor­ship with Luna as an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity to re­sume train­ing and com­pet­ing as quickly as I could but within rea­son. I fol­low the phi­los­o­phy that if I stop be­ing mo­ti­vated, if I’m not hav­ing fun com­pet­ing, and if it is not work­ing for my fam­ily, then it is time to stop,” she ex­plains. Although Kabush’s story may not ap­ply to most women, it speaks to the no­tion that get­ting back into train­ing and rac­ing post­par­tum is not just a mat­ter of phys­i­cal readi­ness, it is also about mo­ti­va­tion and find­ing out what works for her and her fam­ily.

For Tara Norton, mak­ing it work means sit­ting down with her hus­band ev­ery week and plan­ning her work­outs around her child’s ac­tiv­i­ties and her hus­band’s work com­mit­ments. For Belinda Bain, who man­ages to train at least 10 hours a week on top of work­ing full-time as a lawyer and rais­ing two kids, it means fo­cus­ing on the things that mat­ter most ( like spend­ing time to­gether as a fam­ily af­ter her morn­ing work­outs), and let­ting go of some of the more mun­dane ac­tiv­i­ties. “When peo­ple ask how we man­age to

ac­com­plish household chores on top of my train­ing, we say that one third gets done by my hus­band, one third gets done by me and the last third just does not get done,” Bain jokes. Chisholm, who needs to be creative when try­ing to log a high vol­ume of train­ing ( both she and her hus­band are fire­fight­ers and work shifts), finds ways to in­volve her fam­ily in her train­ing.

Kabush also ac­knowl­edges the value of an un­der­stand­ing coach and an amaz­ing sup­port net­work (com­prised of her hus­band, par­ents, in- laws and babysit­ters) that en­ables her to per­form her work­outs dur­ing the day while al­low­ing for fam­ily time in the evenings.

Un­der­ly­ing a woman’s abil­ity to re­sume train­ing, how­ever, is the as­sump­tion that she has pa­tiently waited un­til her body is ready to with­stand the stresses of train­ing on a regular ba­sis again. The body con­tin­ues to ex­pe­ri­ence phys­i­cal and hor­monal changes in the weeks and months af­ter giv­ing birth, in­clud­ing a weak pelvic f loor, ab­dom­i­nal mus­cles or pelvic in­sta­bil­ity, which of­ten get over­looked and over time can lead to greater prob­lems down the road. These can of­ten be pre­vented by hav­ing a thor­ough head- to- toe as­sess­ment by a qual­i­fied sports ther­a­pist. Sim­i­larly, an os­teopath can help to re­lease phys­i­cal strain, re­store nor­mal body me­chan­ics and re- es­tab­lish bal­ance among the body’s sys­tems.

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