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Can You Run Faster After Having A Baby?

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 10, 2011

According to some researchers, the answer is, “Yes.”

Some great news for you pregnant runners out there: It may be possible to run faster after giving birth. That’s the gist of an article written by Ben Kaplan of the National Post. He points to Kenya’s Mary Keitany as an example. Just 15 months after giving birth to her son, Keitany, 29, broke the half-marathon world record. ”To run you need big motivation — the motivation to change your life — and since I became a mother I have more responsibility,” she said after her record. “Kenya is a poor country, and when I compete I am ready to run fast.”

The first thought that may come to mind about why performance can improve after childbirth is the increase in blood volume that results from having a baby. However, according to Dr. James Pivarnik, director of Michigan State University’s center for physical activity and health, that’s not necessarily the case. “The amount of blood that’s pumped seems to elevate longer, but that’s not during a half-marathon, that’s just sitting around,” he says.

Instead, the reason for better postpartum running performance may be psychological.

For More: The National Post

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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