When sitting down to write my first running blog post, there are so many topics that I am excited to write about. Since I am 36 weeks pregnant, pregnancy running seemed like a natural place to begin.
Disclaimer: Every body is different and its always important to consult your doctor before running during pregnancy. There are some conditions that could make running contraindicated and its really important that your doctor evaluate what is safe for your body.
- It is absolutely ok to continue to run during pregnancy as long as you already had a consistent running practice before becoming pregnant. In fact, physical exercise is important during pregnancy so if you decide not to run, choose another form of exercise to engage in throughout your pregnancy. Low impact activities such as yoga, cycling on a stationary bike, and swimming are highly recommended.
- Pregnancy running is not a time to work towards PRs. Training should not include a significant increase in mileage or speed. It is important to keep an easy pace during your runs and to listen to your body.
- I’ll say this again because it is so important: Listen to your body! As runners, sometimes we are more comfortable pushing our bodies without realizing that we are pushing our bodies. It is really important to continue to monitor how your body is feeling running throughout your pregnancy.
- Maintain a comfortable temperature. Slow down or stop if you find yourself getting too hot.
- Stay hydrated. It is easy to fall behind when it comes to hydration. Drink lots of fluids throughout the day and carry a water bottle with you on your runs. Early on in my pregnancy, I had a really hard time staying hydrated due to nausea. If this is the case for you, try to take small sips throughout the day, include an electrolyte drink, and/or make juice popsicles to enjoy when you just can’t stomach drinking your fluids. Also, sometimes herbal tea or juice was easier for me to get down and I encourage you to experiment to see what drinks work best for you.
- Be aware of the warning signs: breathlessness, vaginal bleeding, cramping, muscle weakness, pain, chronic fatigue, and decreased fetal movement. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercise and contact your doctor immediately.
- Balance shifts during pregnancy. Be sure to run routes that are flat and do not have obstacles that could increase fall risk. If you feel dizzy, stop. I felt most comfortable running on the treadmill farther into my pregnancy because I knew the route would be free from obstacles and I could stop the run at anytime if I started to feel fatigued.