Guest Blogger Series : Meet Karien from "Running the Race"


Who runs the world? MOMS!

Good Morro lovely people, today I’m so excited to share this post. I had the lovely opportunity to be paired with another Mommy blogger this month.

This is my month to get in shape, be it in my work, life, health, studies.

So kicking it off I attended my first ABC Bootcamp session last night, which I will do a post on once I complete my month, so keep a lookout for this. All I can say is WOW, leaving the session last night I was both in pain (some of these muscles have not been used in YEARS) and so impressed with myself. I kept up, I sweated and even wanted to cry at one point. But it was all worth it. I felt great!

In line with getting in shape I got to do a Q & A with the lovely Karien from Running the Race, for those who have not checked out your blog YET enjoy the read,

So a BIG thank you to Karien from Running the Race for taking time from her busy schedule to answer some questions for my little blog.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your family

I’m the biggest nerd you’ll ever meet, haha!  I’m a smoothie-drinking, runnerd mom of two gorgeous kiddos, Miss K (3) and Baby J (1).  I believe that life is all about the small things and try to focus my time and energy on building good memories with the ones I love.  At this point in time our family life can basically be summarised as follows: “Love, peace and chaos for all!”, haha!  

When did you decide the time was right to become a Mom?

I don’t think one can ever be 100% ready or prepared to become a mom – I know I definitely wasn’t!  But it most definitely is the grandest adventure I’ve ever embarked on – loving every precious minute! 

What is your blog about, and when did you start blogging (and why)?

I discovered the joy of blogging back in May 2010.  At first it was a fun way in which I could combine two of my biggest passions: Writing and running.  I’ve since been blessed with a third passion, Miss K and Baby J, and these days the blog revolves around our family’s running, travelling and healthy-living adventures.

Keen to share a few tips for us Moms?

I received the following gem from my cousin when I was pregnant with Baby J: “Being adaptable is key”.  And she was so right.  When it comes to running and working out as a new mama, adaptability is what it’s all about.  New moms don’t have the luxury of saying “I’m a morning runner/exerciser”, or “I’m an evening runner/exerciser” – you run/exercise when you can.  Some days will be hard, and other will be impossible – just do what you can and be consistent over time.  You’ll never, ever be sorry.    

If I’ve never been much of a runner (well not counting running around after the kids), how would you suggest I get started?

By starting off really easy and being consistent.  After getting the green light from a physician, I’d recommend that you follow one of the “Couch to 5 km” programmes mentioned below.    

What “running plan” would you say would best suit a beginner? How long and far?

There are many really great “Couch to 5 km” plans and apps available on the Internet – all of them aimed at getting a complete beginner ready to safely run a 5 km race/run (see, for example HERE).  Most of these plans start off with a combination of running and walking, and are therefore very achievable for complete beginners.  I used similar programmes to get back into running shape after the birth of both my kids – they WORK! 

When would you suggest beginning a post partum exercise plan i.e. returning to running? Is this something that can be enjoyed and done with a baby / toddler / child?

This differs from mom to mom and I would suggest getting the green light from your doctor before starting/returning to exercise after giving birth.  I (very slowly!) returned to running, with my doctor’s blessing, when my kids were 6 weeks old.  

Running is most definitely something that can be done with your baby/toddler/child!  (Get the green light from your paediatrician first – most doctors recommend that babies only join you for runs in a stroller from 6 months old or once their necks are strong enough.)  We own both a single and double jogging stroller and I absolutely love both.  I run with the kids three times a week and, apart from it being a great (read: tough!) workout, it also gives us some fun family time together.  I’m really going to miss this phase of our lives once it’s over!      

How safe is running while breastfeeding?

There are some great online resources available on this topic (see, for example, HERE).  I would also recommend discussing this with your caregiver for extra peace of mind.  I personally really enjoy fellow running mama Jen’s blog, This Runner’s Trials. Jen has run numerous marathons as a breastfeeding mama and shares valuable tips in this regard.

Where can one participate in free runs, across South Africa?

Parkrun offers free, timed 5 km runs/walks at venues all across South Africa every Saturday of the year at specified times.  It is free and open to all and aims to encourage people to get physically active in a fun and safe environment.  Check out PARKRUN EVENTS for a complete list of parkrun events across the country to find one near you – they’re highly recommended (and addictive)!

I hope you’re left as INSPIRED AND MOTIVATED as I am.

I have already registered my family on the Park Run site and cannot wait to do my first run / walk with the kids.  Will report back soon on how this went.

Till Later



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