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3 Tips to Decrease Urinary Leakage with Running

Do you struggle with urinary leakage with running? Are you pregnant or postpartum starting your running program? Have to wear a panty liner or pad when you run?

running urinary leakage
Ran the LA Marathon in 2019

Urinary leakage with running is quite common during pregnancy and postpartum. This is because your alignment, posture, and center of mass changes during this time period.

What is the typical pregnant and postpartum posture?

The typical posture is butt tucked, chest raised, thorax shifted posteriorly (back) compared to pelvis. How you stand, reflects how you walk and run! Running loads the body 6-8x your body it is important to run and move efficiently to decrease the stress and load on your pelvic floor muscles.

Here are FOUR tips to decrease your leakage with running

Lean forward!

  • Lean forward from your ankles (NOT HIPS) when you run. This enables you to use your gluteus, lower abdominals, and pelvic floor more effectively. This also allows for more structural support for your anterior pelvic floor muscles, the muscles that support urethral closure near the bladder!

  • Leaning forward also reduces demand on your system, decreasing the load to 2-4x your body weight, instead of 6-8x.

  • Most women run with an upright posture, keeping their chest up. This actually changes the alignment of your rib cage and your pelvis.

Land on your midfoot!

  • When you land, land on your midfoot, not your heels.

  • Landing on your heels stops/halts your momentum, resulting more load and forces transferred into your system

Do not suck in your abdominals and pelvic floor

  • When you are running, you should not be tightening your pelvic floor or abdominals. Imagine trying to catch a 30 lb ball with your arms that are completely stiff and not moveable. It would be really hard on you arm muscles and shoulders to catch this heavy ball. This is exactly the same as running. So, if you are running with all your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles stiff and tight, how are those muscles supposed to absorb load and forces? IT WON'T!

  • Therefore...relax your belly! Relax your pelvic floor!

See a pelvic floor physical therapist

  • Last but not least...see a pelvic floor PT

  • A pelvic floor PT, including myself, would be able to properly assess WHY you are leaking with running.

  • SO...what do I assess during the evaluation? I assess your mobility, strength, running form, and posture! I also look at your feet, knees, hips, and pelvis, and understand if surrounding or neighboring areas, other than the pelvic floor, are not functioning optimally. It is important to understand that the reason to your leakage is likely not just a problem with your pelvic floor. Physical therapists treat the body as a SYSTEM! Not as an isolated muscle working by itself!

Check out my video to learn more about running tips!


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