Pregnancy and Running - advice — The Bump
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Pregnancy and Running - advice

Have been a pretty regular runner before pregnancy. 9 weeks today. When I talked to dr at 7 weeks, she said she was not concerned, don't get overheated, talk comfortably, 140 bpm, blah blah...

So, for you runners - what do you think is good? E/O day for 3 miles? I've been doing that (and slowing my pace down to about 10 mins rather than my normal 8) and can I still do these 6-8 miles on weekends? I'm a total Type A and I am nervous about getting overheated...I've never calculated my bpm when running b/c well, I just knew where I was at by how I felt. Now you read all these things about overheating/bpm and birth defects. Help calm me down!

Re: Pregnancy and Running - advice

  • I went by the "how I felt" rule my entire pregnancy.  I didn't run much during the first trimester because I had TTTC and was paranoid, but after that I slowly picked it up again and was still running 4 miles up until DS was born.  I would cut out intervals and sprints, but I don't see anything wrong with the long runs if you can do it comfortably.
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  • My doctor told me the same thing -- if I was a runner, to continue running, but just be careful about getting overheated. and you should also be able to talk comfortably without being totally out of breath. Which, if you're already a runner, you should be able to do. Like you, I used to run 8 to 8.5 minute miles and I've slowed that down to 9 to 9.5 minute miles. I always make sure to run in the morning while it's still cool, or later in the evening. I drink plenty of water and always try to warm up and cool down slowly. And I agree -- listen to your body. It will tell you when you're overdoing it.

     Just a quick side story -- I recently went to a baby shower where a mom there had three daughters -- ages 4, 2 and 5 months. The last girl was a surprise pregnancy. The mom had made a new year's resolution before she knew she was pregnant that she was going to run every day that year. So, she ran 4 miles for 355 days of that year, and she only missed the last 10 days because she gave birth! She ran 4 miles the day she went into labor. I thought that was incredible!!

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  • Ditto what pp said about the breath test going your own pace. Once  found out about the baby, I cut my running from 40 miles a week to about 20 miles a week.However, I still continued to race every few weeks. I actually ran the most my 1st tri because my body hadn't changed all that much.   As the weeks progressed, I had to change my pace. The last tri, I speed walked. 

    Just stay hydrated, relax, and enjoy the process.



  • If you've been running and your dr oks it, continue! I've been running since 2000 and my dr okayed my continuing during pregnancy. I'm now 35 weeks and 5 days - still running! Listen to your body - take walk breaks when your body tells you to. I ran two 10Ks during my first trimester. During my 2nd trimester, I started taking more walk breaks and have continued increasing the walk breaks during my 3rd trimester....I live in TX so even in the morning, the coolest temps we have are 70s or 80. I continued longish runs at the beginning. I don't pay attention to my heart rate - I use the talk test.

    Ways to keep cool on summer runs - take water with you, run through people's sprinklers, run in the morning.

    Running throughout pregnancy has paid off in BIG ways - I feel great! I haven't gained too much weight. I feel/look fit and toned. Plus - I hear it is good for the baby too:) And, I hear that labor, delivery and recovery are easier if you are in shape...we'll see - I'll get to test that in the next 2-4 weeks!

    Good Luck and Keep Running!

  • One more tip - maxi pads have a new purpos when running pregnant....lifesavers for those leaks!
  • I am still running 3-4 miles about 4x/week.  I have slowed from my 6.5 min/mile pace to a little over 8s.  I don't really pay attention to my heartrate, but more on how I'm breathing and feeling.  So far, LO is doing fine and I still feel fine running, so I plan to continue until I give birth or things change.  I have had to run on the dreadmill a little more than usual because it's been 90 degrees here in the afternoons and I go to work so early that running in the morning is a no-go.

    Also, so far my bladder has remained competentWink  I do kegels religiously.


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  • Most docs consider the 140 bpm old advice; it's more important just to not overdo it, whatever that means for you.

    My doc was only concerned with making sure I took in enough calories while running.

    So, I say it's fine--but also know that you might have to stop. I've had bladder problems since puberty and pregnancy made them worse (I've had surgery, etc.). I had to stop running at 25 weeks because I literally was having to stop and pee every half mile or more.

    I just think it's important to know that it's mostly safe to run if you listen to your body, but also don't try to prove anything. I'm back to running even though I didn't get to run at all with second pregnancy. It's a small part of life. It's great if you can do it, but if you can't, remember, it's not that big of a deal.

  • Consider reading the book "Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" by Dr Clapp. I ran my first marathon while TTC and the second 3 days after I got a +. The 140HR rule is complete BS.... my HR at 140 could be totally normal while exercising and for you it might be too much.... numbers vary from person to person. Yes, you should take it easier than you used to... but you don't have to only run 3 miles. If you feel good during a run you are likely fine. I am only 6 weeks, but my shortest run has been 6 miles and I am still going to aim for 30+ miles per week. If you are a runner, you can still run :)

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