Mom runners are inspirational in so many ways. Committed, dedicated runners are something to be admired – let alone maintaining that commitment while raising kids. Running takes dedication, and requires making choices each day that will pay off in the future.
Being a running mother means that you are prioritizing your own health in addition to your children’s. Making the choice to continue running as a mom is difficult, as time is limited and the well-being of your kids nearly always comes first. However, it is a choice that will benefit not only yourself, but your entire family as well.
What does it mean to be a runner mom?
A runner mom is exactly what it sounds like – a runner who is also a mom. These women are so inspirational that they have earned themselves their own nicknames.
Often referred to as runner moms, mother runners, mom runners and moms who run, these women defy all odds and continue the sport even after having children.
How do you keep running as a mom?
Following a training plan or committing to a regular running habit is hard enough in regular circumstances. But as a mom, you’ll need to plan around the needs of your little ones, in addition to planning for childcare or bringing them along whenever you want to run.
If you are hoping to continue running once you become a mom, or wanting to get started again after having children, the best way to do so is to plan ahead to set yourself up for success. Be realistic about when you’ll be able to get away or how you are going to take the kids with you.
Invest in a high quality jogging stroller and accept help when it is offered. Remind yourself that running as a mom will help you be the best, healthiest version of yourself for your children.
Where do you find support as a runner mom?
The first place to look for support as a running mom is within your family. If you have a spouse or partner, accept help whenever they offer. Plan your runs around the times they are home and available to care for the children.
Once you begin your journey as a mother runner, it can be helpful to find support with other moms. Finding a community, whether online or in-person, can be incredibly beneficial for morale. Running clubs, groups and races often have events designated specifically for runners.
7 Runner Mom Lessons for Every Running Journey
Runner moms are powerful, strong and dedicated. They inspire others, both runners and non-runners alike, and set a wonderful example for their families. Here are some lessons for runner moms in all walks of life.
Give yourself some grace
Running isn’t easy – especially when recovering from giving birth. Whether you are one or twenty-one months postpartum, it’s important to give yourself some grace. Growing and birthing a human is a traumatic event for the body (in the best way possible).
However, it requires months and months of time to recover, and will never be completely the same again. If you’re noticing that things feel different, there’s a new pain or you’re getting tired earlier than you used to – give yourself some grace. Be patient and progress slowly. Honor your body and the life it has created, treat it with respect, and take your time during training.
Self-care is good for all
Most runner moms find themselves feeling a little guilty taking time away from their children on a regular basis. However, self-care is important – necessary, even – for all moms.
Taking this time away to run not only improves your physical health and mental well-being, but it helps you become the best version of yourself. Regular self-care and exercise allows you to be the very best mother you can be. Running helps foster patience, presence and happiness, all of which will help you parent to the best of your ability.
As a runner mom, it can be tempting to limit yourself for fear of taking too much time, needing too much help or simply thinking you can’t do it. As a mother who runs, you are the example for your kids, and you’ll want to show them that you never settle.
Dream big. Set goals that scare you. Chase those goals and learn from your failures. Adjust, grow and continue pursuing running goals that challenge you and change you. Don’t settle for fear of being an inconvenience.
Running will likely feel different after having children. Your body has been through an enormous event by growing and delivering a human. However, just because it feels different doesn’t mean it will always feel worse.
In those tough moments, when you’re noticing a new pain or feeling defeated that running seems hard, ground yourself in gratitude. Our bodies are incredible, and runner moms know firsthand what an amazing feat their body has accomplished. Practice gratitude for all your body has been able to do, and thank it for still allowing you to run.
It is so important for all moms to accept help, and runner moms are no exception. They say it takes a village, and this certainly rings true when it comes to running and being a mom. Regardless of your running goals, maintaining a training schedule of any kind is difficult when you’re a parent.
Do not feel guilty about accepting help, especially when it is offered willingly. Help should always be welcomed, whether you have one child or six, are newly postpartum or four years in.
Enjoy the run
All of the extra planning, preparation and support it requires to head out for a short, easy run can sometimes leave runner moms feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Regardless of how difficult it may have been to get out the door, take a moment to regroup, ground yourself and appreciate the opportunity to run.
Make a point to really embrace everything that comes from running. The solitude, fresh air, time when you are not needed by another human, and opportunity to move your body. Spending the run stressing or feeling guilty is a surefire way to waste this opportunity.
Be an example
Being a runner mom means that you are setting a powerful example for your children. As your children see you prepare for each run, stay committed to training, and prioritize exercise, they see that exercise, movement and health are things that should be valued and enjoyed.
Watching a parent head out for a run on a regular basis shows kids that exercise can be fun. It sets a positive example for how to care for ourselves and prioritize self-care as well as overall health. Remind yourself with each run that you are the example your children will see, day in and day out, and that running is teaching them so many positive things.
Runner moms are very special. Taking the time to appreciate this season of life, no matter how chaotic or difficult, is crucial for cultivating gratitude and joy. Embrace the label by sharing your passion with your kids by simply talking about the sport, setting an example by doing, or allowing them to join in the fun. You and your kids will certainly be better for it!