I’ve been getting some questions regarding running during pregnancy and thought it was time I address them! This is a new-to-me topic since I didn’t run during my first pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Emmalyne I started off in decent shape and had just run my first half marathon two months prior. That being said, I wasn’t as comfortable pushing my body mainly out of fear. I still worked out but stuck with incline walking, the elliptical, yoga, and weights. This time around is a different story.
I started this pregnancy in much better shape than my last. I had just run my fastest half-marathon in Augusta a few weeks prior to getting preggo and was regularly doing CrossFit and yoga. My mileage base was 20-25 miles a week and I was feeling awesome! Additionally, I am much more laid-back this pregnancy … less paranoid and more willing to just listen to my body. So, I am still running, doing CrossFit, and practicing yoga … all with some modifications … at 24 weeks pregnant.
Here are some of the things that help me when it comes to running while pregnant.
1. Don’t Worry About Pace
It can be really really hard to slow down but pregnancy kind of makes you. Your blood volume increases dramatically and your diaphragm starts to get compressed by your growing belly. So, while I try to keep a decent overall pace during my runs, I don’t stress about it. Instead, I slow down to catch my breath whenever I need to. My heart rate definitely goes over 140 bmp but I aim on keeping my breathing even and be able to talk. If I ever get dizzy (hasn’t happened yet) I would just stop and rest or walk.
2. Don’t Over-Heat
In the Deep South we deep with oppressively hot and humid summers so running outdoors doesn’t happen very much. There were a few weeks where I was logging most my miles on the pavement while pushing Emmie but the heat has been tough lately. Even at the gym I am cognizant of not overheating by having the fan on full blast. After running outside I turn the fan on full blast and put an ice pack in my sports bra.
Pregnant women already need an increased water intake due to their increased blood volume etc. Add in exercise and you need even more. I drink a big glass of water before working out, have ice water on hand during my workout, and drink tons of water post-workout. At home, I still use my 1-L water bottle from the hospital as my go-to water source during the day.
4. Set Realistic Goals
My goal right now is to run as long as it feels comfortable and shoot for 10-15 miles a week. This is a significant cut back on the amount of miles I was logging pre-pregnancy but it’s a number I feel comfortable with. I am not trying to win any races … just keep my legs moving
5. Listen to Your Body
Some days I just don’t feel like running is a great idea so I don’t. Right now I am not using a maternity support belt but it is on the horizon to help keep my running longer. No one knows your body better than you so listening to its cues are incredibly important ALL the time but especially while pregnant. It’s not just about you … it’s about the baby too!
Like I said, so far running has been going great but that could all change tomorrow. I am taking it day by day and just going with what feels good. I’ll switch over to incline walking and the elliptical if it gets to be too much.
**I am not a doctor so be sure to check with yours before starting any new workout routine. Especially while pregnant it is important to make sure you are cleared for exercise by your provider. Mine is totally supportive of a Fit Pregnancy and is comfortable with what I am doing for the time being.