I’m writing this as my pregnant running days are already long over. Its been 9 weeks since I’ve run. It makes me sad because I really miss it but I also know slowing down has absolutely been the right thing to do. Running was such a huge part of my life for the past year that it feels a little odd not to be doing it anymore. I ran up until 28 weeks when the numbness in my feet told me it was time to stop. Running might not be the best word for what I was doing at that point but at least I was still moving slightly faster than (some) people walk.
The hardest time running for me was definitely in the first trimester. I wasn’t feeling well at all and getting up the energy for any physical activity at all was difficult. I was also worried about pushing myself too hard and was likely a little too cautious.
Obviously all fitness decisions while pregnant should be made under the guidance of your doctor or midwife, but if you’re cleared to run, here are some things that helped me:
Immediately buy a larger size/more supportive sports bra– pain/growth is one of the first symptoms many pregnant women get, so investing in a few new sports bras will make running much more comfortable. This made a huge difference for me even at only 4 weeks. Trust me.
Carry water– I never carried water with me for my runs since they weren’t longer than 4 miles, but early pregnancy made me really thirsty, plus it gave me a sense of security in case I started to feel nauseous while out away from the house (I never did thankfully)
Plan quick loop routes that pass by the house or a bathroom– Even though baby wasn’t pushing on my bladder yet, I found I had to go more often in the first trimester than the second.
Give yourself some grace– Its easy to think you don’t need to slow down yet… after all, you aren’t even showing yet! But your body is going through a lot and you may not be feeling so hot. I had to remind myself that just getting out there and moving, no matter how slow I went, was the important thing to having a healthy baby and keeping me sane.
I found the middle of the second trimester to be my running sweet spot. My morning sickness had improved, I felt better in general and I wasn’t so heavy yet that I lost the feeling in my feet and hands. It was definitely a slow jog, but I liked that I could still get some good cardio in.
When do you know when to stop running? Obviously this is different for every woman and may be under the direction of her doctor, but for me I just reached a point where it didn’t feel feasible for me to jog anymore. My body didn’t want to anymore. I just knew I was at a point where walking was better.
Any other past or current pregnant runners out there? Past or current pregnant mamas, what were your favorite workouts?