Health & Exercise

Returning to running at 9 wks pregnant?

I have been an avid runner for 12 years now (with some time off here and there along the way). I'm now 25 years old & 9 wks pregnant with my 1st baby. I injured my foot on May 8 and have not run since then. I found out that I was pregnant on May 24. My orthopedic doctor cleared me to start with some slow, easy running on soft surfaces beginning and to just play it by ear to see if my foot can handle it. At my 1st OB appt on June 7 I asked about running and my doctor said it was OK as long as I kept my HR <140. That discouraged me some b/c I often find my HR in the 150s & up when running and am not sure if I will be able to do more than a slow jog without going over 140. So far I have been doing brisk (13-15 min/mile) walking but am really missing the running. I've heard that running through pregnancy is fine, as long as you were already doing it before you were pregnant. That's the part that puzzles me! I was doing it right up until I conceived, but haven't ran at all since then. Anyone have a similar situation? Thoughts? I said this to my doctor but she didn't seem to be concerned.

Re: Returning to running at 9 wks pregnant?

  • You're not a complete newbie to running, so I'd give it a try.  Just go slowly - that's just unavoidable during pregnancy - bring water, and be prepared to stop if it's too much.  Wear a HRM or try talking while running, to make sure you're not over-doing it.  Best of luck!

  • My doc gave me the same HR to go by at the beginning of my pregnancy.  It was VERY frustrating at first.  My heart rate monitor stopped working around 13-15 weeks and I never replaced it.  I just started listening to my body and going by the "talk test".  As long as I could EASILY hold a conversation while running, I was okay.  My doc said that was alright to go by.  

    For a while I ran without a watch because my times were getting me down.  It was hard enough to never feel like I was really working without seeing how slow I was running.  I also stopped doing sprint/speed workouts.  Eventually, I started wearing my watch again.  I pretty much just had to mentally prepare myself to possibly see a slower pace every day.  

     Sticking with running through my pregnancy has been well worth it for me.  Although I get slower daily (or so I feel), it has brought about new challenges and accomplishments for me.  I enjoy the mental challenge of continuing my run even when I'm tired, or my times are REALLY slow.  I enjoy the physical challenge of running with a bump.  

    Happy Running :) 

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  • KateVAKateVA
    Long-Lasting Membership 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Combo Breaker
    I think you are fine, just take it slow at first. I'm much slower than I used to be but I feel good. I only wear a watch so I can monitor the duration of my runs - I try to stay under 45 minutes and sometimes I'm so slow that I have to cut my route short to stay under that. Longer runs tend to make me too tired/hungry later - I don't feel good. I don't wear a heart rate monitor, I just keep my intensity low/moderate
  • care99care99
    Ninth Anniversary 250 Answers 2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    I tore some ligaments in my ankle last September and was just able to start running again when I got pregnant in March.  Even with all the time off, I was able to get back pretty easily.  I have increased my mileage since becoming pregnant with no issues, but only to the mileage that was normal for me pre-injury (if that makes sense).  I run 6 miles 2x/week and 1 8 miler. The first tri I was much slower and felt worse, but I've felt ok and my times have been pretty consistent for the last few weeks (I'm just at 17 weeks).  I also don't wear a HR monitor.  Just use the talk/sing test and go slow when I need to.  Just listen to your body and stay hydrated.  
  • My OB is pretty particular about a lot of things in pregnancy (e.g. O'Doul's is out), which made me feel really good about the advice she was giving with regard to safe practices during pregnancy. I asked her about the HR thing because I was nervous I couldn't keep it that low during even a slow run, and she said there isn't one set number for everyone. That makes sense, right? It is all individually based on where you are physically. 

    I wore my HR monitor up until about 22 weeks and my HR stayed under 160 the whole time, hills and all. I was doing a lot of HIIT workouts with sprints and duration runs prior to getting pregnant, so doing the steady-state runs was pretty easy on my body. I'm 30 weeks now and getting ready to head out for a 5 or 6 mile run. The tough part during my first trimester was running with a tender abdomen and my breathing was more labored. The second trimester was GREAT other than the stress fracture I had for about 5 weeks that hurt my mileage, but didn't stop me from getting cardio workouts in during the week. In the third tri now, and I have to say the belly does pose a challenge, but it certainly isn't something that will stop me yet!

    Make sure you have a comfortable pace and avoid spiking your HR as you might if you were doing speed work. If it hurts or you're really having trouble breathing, you know your body best; just make the adjustments you need. Other than that, drink plenty of water and enjoy the run!

    Stay well! 

  • I'd say you would be okay. The 140 thing is a myth theses days. Just listen to your body and if it hurts or your effort is too high, slow down or stop. I had to take time off when I was 16 weeks pregnant until 20 weeks because of placenta previa. I had no issue starting again.

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  • I was told that the HR guideline was outdated and to just go by perceived effort and breathing. I ran through my whole pregnancy, including two half marathons, one at 37 weeks.
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  • I agree with most of the comments here--listen to your body. My doctor said about the the same things as others; as long as you are doing it before you can keep doing it. Just make sure you can still talk while performing exercises. 

    I'm just personally not doing any HIIT during my first trimester. But that's totally just me, and because that's what I feel most comfortable doing. 

    I'm only about 5 1/2 weeks, but have continued to run. If I get really out of breath, I stop and walk for a bit. 


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