Tips on Running during Pregnancy
Before I start this post, I want to mention that you ALWAYS need to clear any exercise with your doctor. I had a conversation with my doctor about exercise and running during pregnancy which she approved and supports me doing. I am not a doctor and I base this all on my own personal experience.
Now that we have that little disclaimer out of the way, I thought I would share some tips on running during pregnancy. Running is my choice of exercise but I also do some weights and strength training. A lot of people think that running during pregnancy is really hard on your body and it can be. But if you do it correctly and safely without expectations it is actually really enjoyable and great for you and the baby.
When I’m not pregnant, I usually run about 3 – 5 miles on weekdays and 7 – 10 miles on weekend days (not every day though). Or I am usually training for a race of some sort so I’m running even more. I also try to keep my runs between an 8:00 – 8:30 minute pace.
Things change during pregnancy though. So here are my tips and tricks on running during pregnancy to keep it safe, enjoyable, and beneficial for you and the baby:
Run by feel not a specific pace. I purposely do not bring my GPS watch on my runs so I don’t feel pressured to run a certain pace. I don’t want to look at my watch and see a 9:00 minute pace and feel like I’m not doing well. I just run based on how I feel. I make sure I feel comfortable during the run and could talk briefly with someone while running. If I feel like I can’t talk at all, I think that’s too much.
Run on flat surfaces. I usually run outside on the pavement or on a treadmill. I don’t do any sort of running on trails or rough terrain because I could slip and fall which would not be good for me or the baby.
Change your expectations. I know that I’m going to slow down as time goes on and the weight is going to make things a little more difficult. So I don’t give myself any sort of expectations. I don’t go for a certain pace or even certain mileage. I don’t run races because I’m too competitive with my times and will want to run much faster. I just change what I expect of myself during this time.
Take more time during recovery. My body definitely starts to ache more during pregnancy just from all the extra pressure on it. So after running or doing any workout, I try to take more time during recovery. This means adding in more time for stretching, foam rolling, and decreasing my heart rate right after exercise.
Wear comfortable clothes. Don’t worry about what the clothes look like (not that it’s easy to find good looking maternity clothes anyway)! Wear what is comfortable and appropriate for the weather. Things that are too tight on your belly are going to be really uncomfortable too. Make sure you are dressed appropriately.
Be nice to yourself. Understand that your body is changing and you are doing a big thing right now. This means that sometimes sleep takes a priority or you just need to rest. Listen to your body. Overall, I don’t push myself too hard when running during pregnancy.
I really enjoy running even during pregnancy. I feel great afterward and usually have much more energy. I also believe (and studies support this) that it leads to an easier labor and recovery. If you want to run during pregnancy but are nervous about it, just start slowly. You are not in a competition with anyone. Do what feels comfortable and enjoy it!
I want to encourage you to follow along in my health journey through what I learn and experience. I hope there is something you can take away from Fit Busy Female that inspires you to start taking control of your health and feeling better every day.