Tri babies are taking over WTC! So how do new mums return to the sport they love? Mum-to-be Sarah Howitt offers some advice and checks in with WTC Member Kate Kiley on what worked for her.
BY SARAH HOWITT
There is definitely something in the water amongst the WTC ladies. In case you have been living under a rock lately and hadn’t realised it, WTC has had a large influx of pregnancies recently. One definite advantage of this is that I am pretty sure the future of WTC is well taken care of. Our juniors in a couple of years are going to kick some serious butt!
Most recently WTC has welcomed Bonnie Wiggins (Trav and Rachel’s Daughter) and Lila De Paula Assis (Rog and Ang’s Daughter). Earlier last year Serena Washbrook (Dave and Emily’s Daughter) was born and we are still expecting 2 more babies to arrive by the end of this triathlon season with myself and Emma Lonsdale due to give birth in March. There seems to be a girl trend happening - I wonder if this will continue.
This then begs the question for our new mummies: when do you return to racing, how do you begin to start thinking of returning to training and are you stronger when you return. Our club has seen many seriously talented Mummies make a grand return to racing or even take up the sport after they have had their children. The list of these mummies is extensive!!
Recovery from pregnancy/ childbirth and return to impact exercise is not something that should be commenced too early. There is definitely a process that needs to occur and muscles that need rehabilitating before this return can take place. The best thing to do to start is to get advice from a specially trained Physio. They will be able to assess the strength of specific muscles and prescribe exercises for you to begin the recovery process.
Personally I have goals of returning to racing at the start of next season. I have winter to work on my recovery and build my strength again. Being a physio I know the importance of rehabilitating myself after pregnancy and childbirth. I definitely plan on attending Post Natal Pilates Classes as I feel this is going to be crucial in my recovery post baby. Once I have built up the strength of these muscles I will reintroduce impact exercise slowly.
Kate Kiley shares how she has managed to fit in being a working mum and returning to triathlon:
One of the factors that helped in getting back into racing post babies was staying fit during both pregnancies. I found a lot of the training could still be done with modifications - swimming was fantastic and I still did indoor cycle classes and ran until about 7/8 months pregnant (with the use of a heart rate monitor and at a lower intensity). I was super lucky to get back into triathlon racing when both girls were quite young. But the biggest challenge was to do it in very small stages. My first run was down the drive way, second run was around the block and third run was a 2.5km circuit. Having babies has a huge impact on your body so you need to try and be patient and allow recovery before you get right back into it (and sleep when your baby sleeps so you get enough rest). For me now, I am not fussed with what times I do or what place I come. I am just so happy to be a part of it. Funnily enough due to the new found mental strength and physical toughness post child birth and the need to make every session count, I am racing better than ever. The road back has certainly been tough at times having suffered bad dehydration while breastfeeding and just trying to find the work/triathlon/kids/life balance. But it has all been worth it to get back to the sport I love.
Kate certainly provides me with hope and motivation that I will be able to return to racing at the beginning of next season. I’m not so good on the sidelines!!!
Sarah is a Physiotherapist and the Director of Innovation Sports Therapy. Visit their website to find out more about what they can offer pregnant women and new mums, and check out their pages dedicated to Post Natal Exercise.