Oh my goodness, there’s less than a month until race day! I went to NYCM’s website for the first time since choosing my baggage and transportation options months ago, and I closed it immediately because I felt so overwhelmed!
I’m obviously most anxious about the pumping situation, but then I also have no idea how I’ll find my mom and dad at the finish. The website has great instructions, but they warned us that we won’t be able to see family members until 30-90 minutes after we cross the finish line. I’m always a mess after races so I just hope I can make it to the family reunion area without getting lost. Hopefully I can just follow the crowds like a lost puppy!
I have a lot of research and planning to do for the actual day of the race. It is definitely going to be a full day’s event. I’m really excited, though!
Backing up, this was a weird week training-wise. I had a half marathon on Sunday and wanted to run it on not tapered, but not too tired legs if that makes sense. So, I kept my mileage a little lower than where I’ve been – and it paid off:
|OFF||8mi progression run – 9:55/ 8:52/ 8:37/ 8:20/ 8:14/ 7:50/ 7:40/ 7:32||Spin + TRX||8.5 mi at 9:29 pace||5mi at 8:38 pace||OFF||Half marathon in 1:39:55|
- I am loving progression runs – I think I may like them more than tempo runs. I planned on doing all of my runs this week at an easy pace, but I couldn’t help myself on Tuesday. I just felt good, and since it was early enough in the week, I went with it.
- Spinning and TRX is killing me lately. I’m only going to do one spin class per week until NYCM. The spin classes I take are tough workouts and not gentle on the legs at all – and there is nothing easy about TRX. I love it, but I think I just need to chill until after the marathon. This is why Thursday’s run was slower than normal, my hips and hamstrings were super angry with me.
- Ummm I PR’d in the half which was incredibly unexpected! It’s been my goal to go sub 1:40 for awhile, and I can’t believe I finally did it! I ran the entire race blind and had no idea what my time was until my friend shouted it to me with about a 1/2 mile to go. It was a crazy race experience for sure – I’ll share my race recap later this week!
I only have one more real week of training and then it’s taper time. I cannot wait!
Oh wow – this post. I have mixed feelings blogging about this subject. I’ve received several emails and comments asking how I’ve maintained my supply while training for NYCM.
I always bite my tongue, hold my breath, and cringe a little when answering because it’s such a complicated question. I hesitate to share my thoughts because:
- They’re exactly that – my thoughts. I have no idea what really helps increase supply, just theories. I am not a lactation consultant; I just have my experience to go by. If you want real breastfeeding advice, please see a lactation consultant or check out kellymom. Sadly, there’s no breastfeeding + marathon training content, so non-expert bloggers (me) write about their limited experience.
- Everyone is different. You could do the same exact “supply boosting tricks” that I do and not respond at all. Some people have a low supply for no reason. Breastfeeding is extremely unfair that way.
- Breastfeeding is a very passion-evoking, touchy subject. I can tell you what I do and it may come across as gloating to someone who cannot breastfeed. I almost stopped nursing Hadley in the beginning, and had that happened, a post title like this would upset me.
- I am not an expert on anything, especially topics with the word “marathon” in them. I’ve never run a successful marathon, and I’m a low mileage marathon runner. I’ve never run more than 40mpw and don’t plan on going about 42-43mpw in this training session. So, I have no idea how you’d maintain supply if you were running 60 or 80 miles in a week.
Now that the longest disclaimer ever is over, I’ll share my experience. I’ve already shared about breastfeeding and running when I was nursing my son – and gave an update after nursing him for over a year.
But with Hadley, it was a different ballgame. I knew I was going to start marathon training as soon as I was cleared to run after childbirth. Actually, I had NYCM in the back of my mind all pregnancy since I deferred last year – I always knew I was going to run a marathon at 6 months postpartum. I trained for a marathon when I was nursing Wyatt, too, but he was 11 months old when I started training so my supply was well established. Marathon training this time would also predominantly be in the heat of the summer (so I’d be more dehydrated), so supply issues were on my mind well before Hadley was born. The marathon is important to me, but making enough milk to feed Hadley is my top priority.
Here’s how I’ve tried to keep my supply up:
- I kept Hadley on my boobs all the time, starting in the hospital. I also did this because I was paranoid about jaundice in the beginning, so the “nurse every 2-3 hours” advice didn’t sit well with me. I wanted my milk to come in as soon as possible. Once it did, I continued breastfeeding on demand… and I still do. Her feedings are usually much more predictable now that she’s 5 months old. But for the first 2 months, I was literally nursing her every 1-2 hours during the day. Which sounds like a lot more than it really was – she was sleeping through the night at 5 weeks so I was more than OK with her nursing non-stop during the day.
- I never let my supply completely even out. I started pumping at one week. I pump every morning after Hadley’s first feeding – between 4- 5:30 a.m. My lactation consultant said your supply is greatest in the morning so it’s best to pump in the early a.m. hours. I pump at this time every day to create a freezer stash and to give myself a buffer. If I experienced a dip in supply, at least I’d have this “extra” to give to Hadley so I wouldn’t have to worry as much. I pump for 10 minutes after she eats. I used to get 10oz. in the beginning, now I get 7-8oz.
- I run right after I feed her and pump. This way, I won’t miss a feeding session while I’m out. Hadley doesn’t take a bottle so I’ve been very strict about this. A bonus is that you’ll be more comfortable running with “empty” boobs.
- I always pump if I miss a feeding. If my daughter did take a bottle, I wouldn’t mind missing feeding sessions while I was running. I’d just pump out the same amount she ate as soon as I got home. I took this approach for Wyatt and it worked fine.
- I drink a lot of fluids. I’ve mentioned this before but I’m always thirsty. Add marathon training, nursing, and the summer heat and humidity into the mix and, yeah… it’s bad. I drink about 300oz. of water and Gatorade each day. I chug 24oz. right before bed and drink about 24oz. when I get up at night to nurse. Apparently it’s a myth that dehydration affects breastmilk supply, but I’m not so sure.
- I eat a lot. Once again, the not eating enough calories/ being too thin and low milk supply correlation is most likely a myth, but I’ve heard anecdotes that make me not want to chance it. I eat when I’m hungry until I’m full. This basically means I eat all of the time since I’m marathon training and nursing. A sacrifice I can live with!
So far, things seem to be going well. I’m 4.5 weeks out from my marathon and Hadley has continued to thrive. In fact, she’s been in the 95% for weight since turning one month old, so I have zero concerns about my supply. However, I know this is really just luck and has nothing to do with any actions I’ve taken.
Some other notes: I dream feed her every day when I wake up (between 4-5:30 am). Yes, I feel a bit guilty waking her just so I can run, but she always goes right back to sleep. In an ideal world, she’d take a bottle so I wouldn’t have to feed her before heading out in the morning.
I also feed her immediately after runs sometimes, too. Lactic acid increases in breastmilk for up to 90 minutes after intense exercise (source) and while it’s not harmful to baby, some infants dislike the taste. Luckily, both my kiddos never seemed to mind.
Do any other breastfeeding mamas do any supply-boosting tricks during training? Please share!
Eleven weeks down, five to go!
I can’t believe NYCM is just a little over a month away, but at the same time I feel like I’ve been marathon training forever. I feel like my legs are always tired and a little bit sore, but my runs are still going pretty well. I’m hoping that’s a sign of good training, but it’s likely just good luck. Regardless, I’m happy with the way things are going and hope I can hang on for another five weeks.
Here’s how this week went:
|6.25mi at 8:39 pace||10x 800m at 6:56 pace – 9mi total||30min spin + 30min TRX||OFF||8.75mi at 8:45 pace||16mi at 8:50 pace||1 hour spin|
- I thought I was doing Yasso 800s on Tuesday. Yasso 800s are 10x 800m at a consistent, “fast” pace. My Yasso pace varied from 6:48-7:00 with an average of 6:56. So, the average length of time for each repeat was 3:28. According to Yasso 800 theory, that time should equal your marathon finish time. More conservative estimates say that Yasso 800 time + 5 minutes is more accurate. So, this would mean I can run a 3:28- 3:33 marathon. HAHAHA. I know this is way too fast for me – and my goal stands at sub- 4:00. Also, I didn’t learn until afterwards that I was doing my Yasso 800s wrong. I thought it was 800m speed, 400m easy run to recover, repeat, but it’s actually 800m speed, 800m jog to recover – oops! So, my run should have been 2.5 miles longer which may have slowed my 800m repeat pace.
- I didn’t mean to run the day before my long run, but my legs were dead on Thursday so Thursday’s run got moved to Friday. I thought this would mean disaster for my 16 mile progression run but…
- My 16-miler went great! I kept the first 10 “easy” and ran the last 6 at a comfortably faster pace. Each mile was between 8:15- 8:34. It felt so nice to “just” run 16 miles this week. My goodness, I never thought I’d say that!
I have a half marathon this weekend – my first one since having Hadley. To say I’m nervous would be a huge understatement!