Olympian Molly Huddle completed her first “postpartum comeback” race at the NYC Half, a competition she won three times in a row from 2015-2017.
In April 2022, she and her husband, Kurt Benninger, welcomed their first child, Josephine, into the world. Although adjusting to life as a new mom has been filled with exciting twists and turns, it left her questioning what her next career move is. According to the track and field athlete herself, she’s spent the last 10 months slowly rebuilding her stamina.
“It’s been very slow. I feel like I’ve been really measured with it,” Huddle explained in an interview with PEOPLE Magazine. “There’s not a ton of information out there on postpartum training and recovery, but there is some, there’s more than there used to be, and so I’ve been trying to take advantage of all of it.”
She added that the first few months after giving birth were devoted to building up her strength — particularly in her core and pelvic area — before picking up running again.
“I probably would have [run more] if I was left to my own devices, but I avoided a few of the injuries that you hear are common postpartum,” she said of the whole ordeal. “I feel fresh — I feel a little undercooked but fresh, which is good.”
Molly Huddle opens up about her race back since having her daughter
With this being said, Huddle will return to New York City for the NYC Half, a competition in which she holds three championship titles. As her first race back since having little Josephine, she is intending to not strain herself and is keen on avoiding injury.
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“I don’t know that I’m in that spot this year [to win], just because I’m on the postpartum comeback, and I do feel like I’m having more normal work, typical workout splits that are close to my old previous best marks, but I just don’t know if I’m ready to put it all together in a race,” Huddle relayed. “But we’ll see.”
“This one, I hear, is a little hillier, so we’ll see how I handle that — I do struggle with the hills postpartum, I’ve noticed that’s my last piece to come back,” she continued, taking note of the terrain difference. “I don’t know if it’s just a muscular thing or a form thing, but we’ve been working on it, so hopefully, I can race well over the bridges and stuff.”
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