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Four running moms responded to our question of the month: What’s the best advice about being a runner-mom that you’ve ever received?
Embrace Your “Mother” And “Runner” Selves
“You will be a better runner once you become a mother and you will be a better mother once you become a runner. It is pretty metaphorical when you think about the word “become”—one might be a mother or a runner, but to fully encompass what it means to become is the key, and each will enhance the other. I know this from firsthand experience.
“My daughter made my runs more meaningful, purposeful, and gave me even more drive to execute with efficiency. When I let myself be a runner and didn’t starve that part of me, I would always be ON as a mother, ready to take on challenges, knowing that running has already taught me I can handle it, and vice versa. When I showed up to a workout that was challenging, I knew I could handle it because motherhood had already taught me how to adapt. Let the two worlds collide into this beautiful masterpiece that makes you the mother-runner to be reckoned with that you are!” –Alysia Montaño, elite runner and WR contributor from Berkeley, CA
Related: 5 Reasons Moms Should Totally Run
Enjoy Your Workouts
“The best advice I have ever received about being a runner-mom is to enjoy every moment of it and don’t feel guilty for taking that time. As a mom, you have so little time to yourself, so if you aren’t having fun with your running, what is the point? I used to dread tough workouts before I had children. Now I look forward to the challenge and seeing what my body can do. Getting those moments to yourself and that sense of accomplishment can make you a happier mom for the rest of the day.” –Kristan Deitz, WR contributor from Hoboken, NJ
Ask For Help
“The best mother-runner advice I ever received was to ask for help! It seems so simple, but when you’re used to managing everything on your own, it can be hard to admit you need help. When I was surprised with twins for my first pregnancy, I asked for a lot of help…and got it! Also, don’t be afraid to ask someone to come over and watch your kids while you go for a run. It’s not selfish; it’s amazing and people want to help, especially when your kids are still cute, tiny babies.” —Allie Burdick, WR contributor from Ellington, CT
Cut Yourself Some Slack
“The best advice I’ve ever received is to cut myself some slack and find a new normal after having kids. There have been so many times I’ve wanted to beat myself up—for having to stop running during pregnancy, to taking longer than I wanted to get back into shape, to only being able to find 10 minutes some days to work out, to being slower than I used to be—but I’ve learned that I’m not only a different person after having kids, I’m a different runner, too; now I forgive myself for the “bad” days and try to just enjoy every workout for what it is.” —Alison Barsalona, WR contributor from Hockessin, DE