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Running while pregnant
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Hi everyone,

My wife is expecting our first this summer. She usually runs 4-5 times a week, and goes to the gym around 3 times a week. She has done this religiously for as long as I have known her.

Obviously there are going to be some changes to her lifestyle coming up, and I'm looking for some advice, or even just to hear others experiences, on exercising while pregnant in terms of how far along in your pregnancy do you stop, things to watch out for, how on earth you are supposed to consume enough food to feed your active lifestyle in addition to growing a freaking human, alternatives to running that might be easier on the body, etc. Exercising is her meditation, it keeps her sane and grounded, and I worry that as she gets further along, more tired, etc it will be very hard for her, mentally and emotionally, to put the running and everything on hold.

Please share with me your stories of how you managed your physical fitness during your pregnancy!
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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats to you and your wife! :) I've always known people to do what they're used to, until they couldn't or until they had the baby -- whichever came first. She should discuss with her doc though, not sure what kind of pregnancy she's having and whether there's any additional risk factors. I know I personally had insane fatigue for the first trimester -- no way would I have been able to do anything remotely active after about 6 pm. Then again, I didn't take up triathlon till both my kids were in elementary school.

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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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First of all congratulations!!!

I am sure you will get myriad responses here as everyone's pregnancies are so different.My kids are now 16 and 10, so my advice is not super current,but I was told I continue what I had been doing as long as my heart rate did not get extremely high.(I had normal "textbook" pregnancies and I have a fairly physically demanding job).
With my first I ran till about half way through and then was uncomfortable but kept up at the gym and swam a little.With my second I never got really uncomfortable and ran up until delivery,albeit slowly and shorter distances.It also really helped with first-trimester nausea because I'd always be hungry after!
There is a book by Dr.James Clapp(I think?) that should give her all the info she needs,and of course just let the OB/gyn know...it's great to be active throughout for so many reasons!Just he sure so stay super on top of hydration,nutrition,and of course listen to your body and take it slow!Just my 2c but being in shape made for a much quicker bounce-back!!
Cheers
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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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Like everyone else - talk to your doc and do what you can until you can't. My doctor was very supportive of exercise - if I was doing it before I got pregnant the was no reason to stop once I was pregnant.

Besides listening to your body, there really is no hard and fast rule. Everyone is different and every pregnancy is different.

I wish her a happy, healthy pregnancy!
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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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I'm nearing the end of my first trimester. It's been tough due to severe fatigue but I have managed to stick with my usual routine (run 20-25 miles per week and swim 12,000 yards per week with masters). I quit the two-a-days though. I still push it pretty hard when I feel good and lay off when I don't. I always worry I'm going too hard but my OB said it's fine as long as I'm not gasping for breath.

I hope to continue for as long as I can! My sister ran daily until the day before she gave birth and her kid flew out of her after a 6 hour labor. :)
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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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I am 22 weeks preg and have run the whole way through, stopped doing long runs straight away since there didn't seem much point and am now doing about 3 half hour runs per week as well as a bit of biking and swimming and a whole heap of puppy walking. I didn't have any real issues with morning sickness or tiredness but found that it was best to head out in the morning because by the end of the day I usually couldn't really be bothered.
The only thing I have really noticed (other than my tummy getting bigger) is getting quite puffed going uphill, I'm good on the flat but go at snail's pace up hills so I try and plan my runs to avoid hills or else have a sneaky little walk up a hill.
My goal is to keep running until 30 weeks and then see how we go.
I do find I get dehydrated quite quickly (it is summer here in NZ) so make sure she stays on top of the hydration with exercise.
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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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Definitely do what feels good but don't worry about keeping up.

I am 26 weeks this week with my second and stopped running a while ago. I did try to get out a bunch at the beginning but i found i was getting down on myself for not getting it in when i was too tired and, to be honest, it didn't feel great. It is also winter here so my options for daylight running are quite limited and i had no desire to be out in the dark, slippery conditions. I am swimming and did with my other pregnancy which does feel pretty good. But I modify as much as i need and I walk a ton. I also really enjoy some prenatal yoga either on youtube or on video. I do miss activity so i got some Zumba videos which seem like they will be fun. Even my bike on the trainer is not all that comfortable.

I might have continued to run if i had my treadmill (or a gym membership, but who am I kidding, by the time evening rolls around I am way too tired!). We do have a treadmill but we had to put it away because life has been a bit crazy - in my first trimester when i felt particularly poorly we moved into a temporary rental while our house is being gutted and rebuilt so there's no room for it. But i am not worried at all about getting it back - muscle memory is an amazing thing and I got the fitness back so much more quickly than i thought was possible. I even set some PR's - not just post-partum but all time PR's after I had the baby.

Pregnancy is short in the grand scheme of things so go with what feels good and don't get bogged down with the social media things where women are doing all kinds of crazy things - let your wife do her thing and what feels good - whether that's keeping up the running or not!

Best of luck - wishing you and your wife a happy, healthy pregnancy.
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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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Congrats!!

What everyone else has said... plus slow down, modify, or stop when things get uncomfortable or painful or just too darn exhausting to do. And when summer comes along - pay loads of attention to not overheating if she's running outside and staying hydrated. Baby can't sweat in there...

I'm currently 36 weeks with #4 and I'm more active with this baby than the previous 3. 100% treadmill walking though. But I'm walking 3 miles at least 5 days a week and I feel pretty good (aside from being old and a month from baby #4). I love the treadmill because, well, I have to pee 3 times during the hour it takes me to walk 3 miles. This is also the first pregnancy I've had a treadmill in my house which is mostly why I'm active. The other 3 were all winter pregnancies too and there's too much snow on the ground to safely be out daily trying to get in my walks. Best purchase ever! With my first and second I rode my bike on my trainer until the belly got in the way mid second trimester...

And if/when running becomes too much, there are many other low impact exercises she can switch too. Prenatal yoga, low impact aerobics, spin classes (or trainer at home), swimming. It all comes down to her really paying attention to what her body is telling her. If she's running and is in pain, she probably needs to stop and start walking instead, or switch to something less impact oriented.

Now, I said I'm feeling pretty good up to this point - but I'm also having to slow down even more and shorten my walking sessions (just started yesterday) due to pretty severe pain in my hip joints. The pressure is great, and I'm getting to the point where a shorter walk does me loads of good to loosen things up a bit, but if I walk too long or fast (because 20 minute miles is so speedy), I have a really hard time walking and standing the rest of the day without pain. My mind says walk - my body is saying sit on the couch you idiot! If I'm still treadmill walking in 2 weeks at all, I'll be surprised. I'm stoked that I've gone this long being active at all.

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Re: Running while pregnant [RockyMtnChic] [ In reply to ]
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Wow, 36 weeks! You are coming to the end - great stuff!! :D Good luck with it all
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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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She'll have to do what she feels she can & wants to do - and not beat herself up (mentally) if she's tired and needs to dial it back from prior levels. I ran up to week 30, rode til week 35 (did a 200k rando ride at 5.5mo) and swam until a few days before. The running got slower and shorter particularly in the first trimester, due to fatigue primarily, but picked up again in 2nd trimester, only to slow down again to the point of switching to walking. For riding, I invested in a short (60mm) super angled stem (like 120deg or so), so I could angle my bars upwards and ride more upright (to give the belly & ribs & lungs room). I did do a set of prenatal yoga classes in my last trimester to kind of keep me mentally occupied and I quite enjoyed it (I'm not the yoga personality either).

Good luck!
AP

------------------------
"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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BCtriguy1 wrote:
Hi everyone,

My wife is expecting our first this summer. She usually runs 4-5 times a week, and goes to the gym around 3 times a week. She has done this religiously for as long as I have known her.

Obviously there are going to be some changes to her lifestyle coming up, and I'm looking for some advice, or even just to hear others experiences, on exercising while pregnant in terms of how far along in your pregnancy do you stop, things to watch out for, how on earth you are supposed to consume enough food to feed your active lifestyle in addition to growing a freaking human, alternatives to running that might be easier on the body, etc. Exercising is her meditation, it keeps her sane and grounded, and I worry that as she gets further along, more tired, etc it will be very hard for her, mentally and emotionally, to put the running and everything on hold.

Please share with me your stories of how you managed your physical fitness during your pregnancy!


My wife ran all through her pregnancy. Her Dr's advice was more or less "Do what feels comfortable", and didn't put any limitations on what and when. I wasn't a fan of cycling outdoors, mainly due to the risk of crashing or a hard impact from falling over for whatever reason.

Either way, my wife did a 50K and about five half marathons, a 15K road race, lots and lots of swimming, strength training classes (sometimes altered due to restricted movement) and lots of trainer rides. We changed the stem out to make it more of an upright fit, since leaning way down wasn't comfortable for her. There came a point when we had to accept the fact that the paces would slow, it might not feel as good/fun, and recovery may take longer.. but she killed it. Pregnancy was definitely NOT a reason to sit on the couch and give in.

After our son arrived, she took 4-6 weeks of doing nothing, or walking. After that it wasn't long until she was training much harder than ever before and within six months, set new PRs at the olympic, half and ironman distances by a big margin. I think maintaining as much fitness as possible during the pregnancy, really helped her during birth and getting back into peak form after our son arrived.

I think it's safe to say that your wife will know when to stop, or when to slow down. If it doesn't feel right, then back off.. just do what you can and be smart, but there's no reason to give in and stop working.. assuming she wants to keep at it.

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Also worth nothing, more competitive white people prefer triathlons because Kenyans can't afford $10,000 specialty bicycles.
Last edited by: phoenixR34: Jan 24, 17 9:37
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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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great news!

she's an athlete, which is great for her and the baby, but it does have a couple small downsides

-- if she's accustomed to ignoring pain, she's got to tune back in and listen hard. Her heart rate will let her know when she's at the edge, and should kick it down a bit. The pool is the safest place to push herself.

-- besides her belly, her feet may go up by a half size -- make sure shoes fit :>

-- eating won't be a problem, appetite will guide her needs. Depending on her personality she'll either be very disciplined or go nuts (like i did in my first pregnancy, 2 huge cookies a day because 'i could'). The sad fact is, the more sensible she is, the better she'll feel about herself for the baby's first year, when all kinds of responsibilities will get in the way of steady exercise. this is a super delicate subject though and maybe safer if you don't raise it

-- something i wish somebody had told me -- being an athlete does not automatically translate into an easy or fast birth. This is more a matter of genetics, baby's position, and a bunch of other factors. But she will feel better before and after with exercise.
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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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congrats to you and your wife! obviously after consulting with her doc, i think the best thing is to go by how she feels (as others have said).

i have a 2 and 4 yo and with my first i was able to run up to 34 weeks but i started wearing a support belt for my belly around 30 weeks. i swam up to the day my first was born (did masters swim in the AM and he came - 2 weeks early that evening). when the bike saddle became too uncomfortable i did that recumbent bike at the gym just to get the legs spinning and no real resistance. with my 2nd i had to stop running much sooner (30 weeks i think) b/c it was just too uncomfortable and i had some sciatic issues.

i do think keeping active within reason really helped me post partum. i was answering the door for guests at the hospital - i didn't know i was supposed to be in pain and not able to walk. probably also got lucky too. when i came back to running at 4 weeks i did not use a watch nor track pace - just tried to go and move around!!! best of luck to your wife and congrats again.

-Chris
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Re: Running while pregnant [BCtriguy1] [ In reply to ]
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Hello BCtriguy1, first of all congratulations. Activities like swimming, brisk walking, indoor cycling with a stationary bike, low-impact aerobics are some of the safe exercise which can be done during pregnancy. Also jogging can be done in moderation if one is doing it before pregnancy. Your wife can also join some pregnancy fitness class which are especially held for pregnant womens or you can seek advice from your doctor.
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