I was in the best shape of my life and just completed my first half marathon when I found out I was pregnant with my firstborn. Now I’m in the 3rd trimester with baby boy #2. As an avid runner, I always try to maintain a training plan during my pregnancies. It changes to maintenance mode, instead of a focus on progression, and I definitely cut back on mileage. I admire the Moms who PR while pregnant, but that just isn’t me.
I’d love to say running while pregnant is just “peachy” and joyful. That would be HUGE LIE…
In the first trimester, you’ve got plenty of carbs to burn because you can only stomach saltines, but you’d rather sleep than pound pavement. In the second trimester, you suddenly feel like yourself and go out for a run, only to realize your bladder just isn’t the same. By the third trimester, you’re running on a prayer, just trying to gather up any remaining lung power. Yea- that sums it up.
Running while pregnant isn’t easy and it’s an uphill battle. I’ve got a few solutions to help you with the most challenging aspects of pregnancy running. We’ve been all been there, Mama!
Tips for Pregnancy Running Problems
1- You’re Nauseated and Exhausted…
Try switching your workout time. I was most nauseated in the morning and I was exhausted by the evening. Short workouts in the afternoon worked for me. It’s the beginning of planning your life around your kid.
2- Growing Breasts
Oh boy- this is can be a “big” problem. Invest in a new sports bra that fits properly. If you put off buying one, chafing will become your next issue or (worse) back pain. Think of it as a preventative measure and worth the money!
3- Bladder Leakage
Empty your bladder before you run and wear a panty liner. If you run outside, plan your route with a bathroom nearby. Last thing you want to do is run with a full bladder, but be sure to stay hydrated. Avoiding liquids won’t help.
4- Loss of Lung Power
As the baby grows, your lungs get squished. Taking walking breaks helps me catch my breath. If you use a running coach, ask for a modified plan. It’s ok to drop your pace or add intervals. Listening to your body is key.
5- Growing Feet
My feet grew a 1/2 size when I was pregnant with firstborn. I always wear running shoes that are one size bigger from my normal shoe size, but I need a wider shoe while pregnant. Just like the sports bra, this is a necessary expense. If you ignore the issue, you could cause long term foot injuries or blisters.
6- Joint Aches
I like to keep it “all natural” while pregnant. I use a foam roller to release muscle tension and sports tape, on my belly, for any round ligament pain. The sports tape provides support to my abdomen and the foam roller is a great way to release the muscle tension.
Moms are individual and each pregnancy is different, but we can all agree that running while pregnant has some challenging aspects. Just take it one step at a time and one trimester at a time!
Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor before any workout regimen while pregnant. I am not a healthcare professional, but these tips work for me during my pregnancies as a runner.