I thought during this pregnancy, I would start a series called ‘Pregnant and Fit-ish’. This is my third pregnancy, and even though I am FAR from a super fit pregnant chick, I do try and stay active. I consider myself a middle of the road pregnant chick when it comes to working out. With my first babe, I did nothing but eat and maybe some walking. With my second, I kept up spin classes through most of the pregnancy and lots of arm workouts. With this one, well, read on and you will see!
Today, let’s chat about Running while Pregnant
Let me start by saying- I never ran during my other two pregnancies. With my first, I really didn’t do anything and with my second, I did some weights and spin classes. This time, however, I wanted to keep up running to help with the horrific anxiety I get during pregnancy. Running is a release for me- so I thought I would try it.
A little background: I had to stop running the month before getting pregnant because my body was basically revolting against me. I took the month off, found out the next month I was pregnant. My doctor advised me at this point to hold off on running until the end of the first trimester – due to various reasons – which really wasn’t a problem because I felt like CRAP… Plus I was having to organize our out of state move which sucked up any amount of energy I could possibly muster. So, at my 12 week appointment, I got the green light from my doctor to start easing back in to running. She suggested I start just like I was a new runner- which is what I did.
Fast forward to now: I try and run Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays. I do incline treadmill walking on Tuesdays and Thursdays. My weekday runs range from 3-4 miles and my Saturday run ranges from 4-6 miles. My incline treadmill walking goes about 2.5 miles. After I complete the run or incline walking is when I then do either my arm workout or my leg workout (more on these workouts to come!)
Now, this is what I am comfortable with. This is what makes me feel like I am getting in a good little workout without overdoing it. It is slow, steady, and with lots of bathroom breaks- but I am loving it. I keep my pace comfortable – and something that allows me to complete a full sentence if I were to try and talk. That way I know I am keeping my heart rate in check. This is not something I am doing to keep my weight down, or anything like that – because gosh knows I am weighing WAY more this pregnancy than I did in my other two at this point…(10lbs more to be exact).
Is it ok to start running if I wasn’t running before pregnancy?
My first response: talk with your doctor. Generally speaking, don’t start anything new during pregnancy, but this also depends on your fitness level before. Start walking and gradually increase how fast and far you are going and see how it goes!
Are there benefits to running during pregnancy?
Yes!! Increased energy, easier labor & delivery, quicker postpartum recovery- and for me a sense of calmness and decreased anxiety! Exercising during pregnancy has also been shown to positively affect baby!
Any special things I need to run while pregnant?
Yes, and no. If your pre-pregnancy running stuff still fits you- Great- but for me that’s just not the case. I’ve needed a bigger bra first and foremost (keep the girls nice and tight!) and now a couple maternity running tops- just because they are more comfy. I also highly recommend a support belt. These help take the pressure off of your back, belly, and bladder as you run! This is the one I use, and so far, I love it. I highly recommend not running without one during pregnancy. Bonus, you can wear it post baby as well while your core is healing! Also, make sure your shoes are not worn out. You want supportive, good shoes always- but especially when running. See my post about shoes, here. And lastly, a water bottle! You need to carry water with you on your run. Non-negotiable! See my favorite water bottle here. Here is my favorite sports bra– when I’m pregnant and before! Here are the tops I’ve ordered and am loving thus far.
| fitsplint |
What should I eat after a run?
While what you eat is important, the most important thing is your hydration. You HAVE to stay hydrated when pregnant- especially if you are working out. It is dangerous if you do not- for yourself and baby. Post workout nutrition food wise should consist of something healthy and nutritious. Think- green/fruit smoothie or some greek yogurt with some homemade granola. Or some of our favorite protein fudge!
How much should I run and how fast?
I personally don’t have any hard and fast rules I follow on this- I have a generally mileage I like to stay near but if I’m not feeling it that day- I stop. Or if I feel great, I keep going! This will primarily depend on your fitness level before and how comfortable you feel during your pregnancy. Fighting through pain is something we do when we are NOT pregnant- to push ourselves to get stronger. Pregnancy is not the time to do this. My doctor told me to use the ‘talk test’- This means if I am struggling getting out a sentence, then I am pushing it too hard. I should be able to get out a sentence. Or, if you have already gone pee two times in a 2.5 mile run- you might just call it quits for the day like I had to today! Just go with it.
When should I stop running during pregnancy?
The answer to this is: when it doesn’t feel good or beneficial anymore. If every time you go out, it sucks and you feel awful. Try switching to walking instead. Listen. To. Your. Body. It is the best gauge of whether or not you should be doing something. Again, pregnancy is not the time to push through something.
Enjoy this time with your babe! Get outside, get some fresh air! Get sweaty! All while knowing you are bonding with you babe and helping you both out.