It doesn’t matter how many times the adverts try to tell you that their special leak containing Silhouettes are designed to look like sexy underwear, they’re still adult nappies. They might have pretty flowers on them, but essentially they’re still Pampers.
I am on a mission to put Tena out of business. It might be common, it might be something your mum, sister, aunty and friends all complain about BUT it’s not normal, it can be fixed and you can start doing just that RIGHT now.
Urinary incontinence is at best an inconvenience and at worst a problem that stops you doing the things you love, even exercising and running because it makes the symptoms worse.
Peeing when you run is often a result of pelvic floor muscles that aren’t working to support you as well as they should. Those muscles can be too weak or they can even be too tight and overused. It’s important to know which you have because the solution is very different for each.
We have all been brainwashed into thinking the Kegels are the answer to all our pelvic floor muscle woes, but sometimes they’re not the way to go, particularly if your PF muscles are too tight and actually need releasing. Further your PF muscles aren’t floating about in your undercarriage doing their thing along, they have lots of friend and neighbour muscles that are supposed to be helping and doing their thing as well. Problems with the pelvic floor muscle can be a sign that something else is out of alignment, too tight, too weak and so on, so it makes more sense to look at things more holistically rather than a muscle by muscle approach.
An example of this is breathing. One of the PF muscles’ closest friends is the diaphragm. When you breathe in your diaphragm lowers into the abdominal cavity, pushing the contents of your belly down. Your pelvic floor muscles should respond by absorbing that pressure and then ‘springing’ back up into place as you breathe out and the diaphragm lifts. Many women are chronic sucker inners, so they can get into their skinny jeans or just to hide a bit of belly. This constant sucking in puts continuous pressure onto the pelvic floor muscles and also stops you breathing efficiently. Releasing the abs can go a long way to alleviating some pressure off the pelvic floor.
So what tweaks can you make to your running style to stop the leaks so you can throw your adult nappies out for good?
Run tall with your head high and eyes on the horizon. Imagine your beltline/waistband gliding through space parallel with the ground. This neutral pelvis allows the PF muscles the best position to support you and prevent leakage. Make sure your ribs stay over your pelvis and you don’t lead with your chest or chin.
Work on your Running Technique
Efficient running is soft, light, bouncy running. The softer you land, the less impact and ground force, the less downward force your pelvic floor muscles have to deal with.
Your feet should land under your centre of gravity as much possible. Overstriding and landing with a heavy heel is not only a braking force, but again creates a lot of impact that your pelvic floor has to help to absorb.
Make sure your knees aren’t rubbing together and your heel flicks straight up towards your bum and not out to the side. If in doubt get someone to video you running from the front and side so you can check what’s going on.
Whilst there are some cues, tips and tricks to tweak your running technique, some of which are outline above, just like everything else you do in life the better you move in general, the better your running and walking gait will be. To move well, work with someone like myself who can help you recognise the movement patterns and strategies you’re currently using to do simple every day tasks and to suggest alternatives that will help you break those movement habits and start to get your body moving very differently.
Add in some strength work
Particularly for the glutes and the hips, but overall strength training has been shown to reduce injury risk, increase your body’s ability to heal and recover after training or injury and increases the resilience and strength of all your tissues and muscles. If you have a prolapse, it would be a very good idea to get some professional help from a pelvic health coach like myself to make sure you can lift without making your symptoms worse.
I very, very rarely if ever say to one of my running clients ‘stop running’. Mainly because I know exactly how that feels. Sometimes it is necessary (a stress fracture for instance), but for the most part, building up slowly, interspersing running with walking is a great way of keeping going but still allowing your body to do what it does best which is heal itself.
Any questions, want to pick my brain? Book a FREE Discovery Coaching call with me here. This is an opportunity to ask questions, get some clarity and start your journey to stronger, drier, injury free running. No obligation, no sales, just a video chinwag via Zoom wherever you are in the world.
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