By now, I assume you’ve read all about the signs and symptoms to STOP running should it start to affect your health – but honestly, keeping up exercise is doctor recommended, and running is about as natural as it gets.
But perhaps you’re struggling to know where to start, or how to keep running throughout each trimester. Maybe you want to know if there’s anything extra you can do to make running that little bit easier or more comfortable? Well then, expecting mama, stay tuned!
First things first get approval from a medical professional. Each pregnancy is different. You may have some complications or feel so much different than other mom-to-be-runners (or even from your first pregnancy). So talk to your doctor – discuss that you want to run (perhaps the distance if you have a race booked) so they can understand and monitor Baby’s health along the way. You could also ask for some guidelines on what is happening to your body, and your baby as time progresses, with advice, should the morning sickness get a bit too much.
To be honest, you could have all the advice in the world, from the world’s smartest doctors, but no one will know your body as you do – so listen to it! If something feels strange, or uncomfortable then stop doing it! And then revisit the doctor and discuss what’s been going on… simple as that.
While you can run long distances while pregnant, and even race a marathon, it is still not wise to push too hard. Forcing a PB while expecting can increase burnout, injuries and fatigue (and like you’re not tired enough already, right?!) For women carrying a tiny human, the comfort zone is the best place, it makes running more enjoyable, and a perfect way to maintain fitness levels – don’t worry, you’ll get it back.
Yeah, get used to this. Your bladder patterns have probably changed already, peeing more frequently than you care to admit. So get used to having to detour behind a tree every so often. I suppose you could alter your route to bypass public toilets though, especially if you’re a road runner in a city.
From moms-to-be I know, understanding how to correctly apply k-tape to support a pregnant belly is second to none. Some prefer the maternity support belt, but it doesn’t have the adaptability to your needs as your pregnancy develops (plus it’s cost-effective, comes in crazy fun colors and can be applied on other body parts for support- win-win?)
I applaud anyone who battles morning sickness and still tries to run, seriously! Other mothers have suggested sipping Powerade or Gatorade whilst running to help settle a queasy stomach. Whereas Dr Cole Hosenfeld recommends decreasing pure mileage by 10% and seeing if your symptoms ease.
That doesn’t give you permission to eat anything and everything in sight (I’ve heard some weird and wonderful cravings: mattress, coal and pickle smoothies). As you are eating for two, make sure it’s quality – you actually only need about 450 more calories per day in your second and third trimesters, according to EatRight. How to fit that in? An extra mid-morning and late afternoon snack-a-roony.
As for hydration, you’re likely to be thirsty a lot more throughout the day now you’re expecting. Have you noticed you’re sweating heavier when you’re running? Your body needs water to produce amniotic fluid, the extra blood volume for you and baby, for new tissue and to help the transportation of nutrients and digestion – so keep a water bottle handy whether you’re running today, or not.
Since you found out you’re having a baby I bet it has been all celebrations and spending. Yes buying things you never thought you would ever need (what is baby-proofing anyway?) You might have a cute small bump and can fit in your clothes, or maybe you have a gorgeous big bump but nothing fits anymore?! To curb your spending on yet more maternity wear, raid your partner’s cupboards. I’m sure there are some joggers, T-shirts or jumpers you can lend for a while. If that isn’t an option, remember you can thrift on every corner of town these days. Buying a size up never hurt either. Also thinking about running after giving birth start looking at strollers that can double up – everyday use and jogging (two birds one stone as they say.
Just by growing a baby, your body is working overtime. Chances are your sleep is interrupted by discomfort and through-the-night trips to the loo, so if you are tired, it is more than OKAY to rest up! Trading your run for a nap is equally beneficial to you and your health – remember listen to your body, it will tell you what you need to do.
So what if your mile splits are slow? Don’t be hard on yourself If you need to nap more than you run at the moment. Your body is building a human from scratch and that is freaking amazing! It is going through so many changes and adaptations, so please do not stress about putting on weight or missing your run sessions.
I hope these helped you feel better about running throughout your pregnancy. Congratulations expecting-mama and don’t be shy to let us know what helped you keep your running mojo throughout this magical time!