When Paula Radcliffe won the New York City Marathon 10 months after giving birth to her first child, Isla, I was left surprised.I didn’t expect her to do well let alone win the race just after giving birth.
But according to an article I have just read at Sports Illustrated I shouldn’t have been surprised because pregnancy can have an effect on a womans body that that can make her run faster
To Quote the article,
One of the many physical transformation that occur in a woman’s body to accommodate the new resident is an increase in blood volume, since there are suddenly two people in need of oxygenated blood. Once the baby is born, that extra blood hangs around. Extra red blood cells, as any athlete who has used EPO knows, means extra oxygen to the muscles. This super mom effect, however, is transient, lasting a few weeks or months. A 1991 study at the University of Vermont found that non-athlete women were still pumping slightly more blood than usual three months after giving birth.
They asked Paul Radcliffe how she felt after pregnancy and she said she felt stronger after her first pregnancy.
There are unconfirmed reports that this relationship between pregnancy and red blood cells may have been exploited by the former East German Athletes. According to grapevine, East German athletes had gotten pregnant, and then aborted, in order to take advantage of hormone changes during pregnancy.
For more, read the source of the article at sports illustrated