5 Helpful Tips for Pregnant Runners...from a seasoned pregnant runner!
I’m that pregnant girl you see slowly hauling herself around the track at the gym. “Why is she doing that? Can’t she just relax: she’s pregnant!” you probably think. I mean, I might be a little crazy, but running is love for me. While running is very different now than it was pre-pregnancy, it’s still my favorite thing to do. When I got pregnant, I had just started training for my next half marathon- one I wanted to race, not just run. That goal quickly went out the window, but my doctor told me to keep running since I was already running and active. I did some reading around the internet to see what other women had written about their experiences with running while pregnant...but these five things still surprised me:
You will be amazingly slow. The week before I had a positive pregnancy test, I couldn’t figure out why all my runs were thirty seconds per mile slower and felt like death. Turns out, my body was starting to grow a tiny human. I’ve pretty much settled into an average run pace that’s about one minute slower per mile than I was pre-pregnancy. I’ve done a few races since becoming pregnant and it’s actually turned into a fun joke that each race I do is my slowest 5k or 10k ever.
Your sports bras will be the first thing not to fit. My boobs swelled up pretty much as soon as I got pregnant and they were so painful and sore. My old faithful sports bras didn’t fit. The new fancy Victoria’s Secret sports bra that was both cute and supportive basically felt like a straight jacket. I legitimately got stuck inside it when I tried to wear it. Luckily, there was an activewear sale at Old Navy right around the time I found out I was pregnant and I was able to get a sports bra that fit. Now at 30 weeks, my boobs have settled down a bit and a few of those sports bras that didn’t fit at the start, do again….for now.
People will give you the stink-eye. First off, I have my doctor’s “okay” to run. I am healthy, I have no placenta placement issues, I’ve been running for eight years, and I am at my lowest mileage since I started running. Me running is a good thing. Sorry, park-walkers and gym-goers: my doctor is 100% on board with me and baby doing our regular runs!
Your baby might LOVE when you’re active. The first time I really felt the baby move was at 20 weeks when I was at mile 2 of a 5k. And she proceeded to flip and flip and flip for the rest of the race. Turns out, my baby really enjoys when I’m active and uses that time as her active time. Now that she’s bigger and there’s less room in there, she moves around less and I don’t have that flipping, sloshing feeling in my uterus...but for a good 6 weeks or so, there was a lot of baby movement going on in there! Some babies sleep when their moms are active...mine starts her dance party.
You will still be cat-called. I thought street harassment would be a thing of the past once my belly was visible. Nope! If I’m running solo, I’m still averaging one cat call, whistle, or honk per mile. Let’s just say that my middle fingers are getting a workout while my lungs and legs do. I could go on a rant now about men and respect and street harassment...but we’ve all been there and done that and I’m too darn pregnant-tired to go there right now.
Your mileage may vary with the experiences above, but these were totally what has surprised me so far running while pregnant. Every day I can still get out and log some miles without pain is one that I’m thankful for. I’m still trucking along at 30 weeks pregnant and hoping to keep going right till the end. Good luck to you other running moms-to-be: I’m sure you’ll find your own “five things” if you continue running while pregnant!