Running for Two: One Avid Runner Slows Down (a little) for Pregnancy


by For Two Fitness

Today, we are honored to introduce Jen, an ultra-fit mom-to-be (who also happens to be a health writer). Jen shares how her pregnancy has impacted her previously very vigorous routine, and plans to check in with us for the rest of her pregnancy so we can hear more. We are looking forward to those updates, Jen!

~~~

A few short months ago, I was the girl who couldn’t get enough exercise. Long, hard workouts and two-a-days for triathlon and marathon training were how I rolled. I always thought if I was lucky enough to conceive, I’d keep up my current fitness level.

Then I got pregnant, and realized I could not be more wrong…

Before I saw the second pink line on the pregnancy test, my runs felt off. Then, my doctor asked me to stop running for three weeks until my first ultrasound.

THREE weeks?! I haven’t had that long of a running hiatus since an injury sidelined me five years ago. But I happily obliged because nothing meant more to me than the health of my baby.

Finally, I was given the green light to lace up my running shoes. But running felt completely different:

  • My pace is much slower. I run about 1:30- 2:00 minutes slower per mile than I was running pre-baby.
  • Walk breaks are a must. Your heart rate jumps a lot higher in pregnancy. Walk breaks literally allow me to catch my breath so I can enjoy my workout.
  • Water is always needed. I used to only carry water or a sports drink with me on mid- to- long runs. Now, I need to chug the H2O every few minutes.
  • Thirty minutes is enough. My shortest runs used to last 45 minutes to an hour. But the first trimester has knocked me on my booty. A 3.5 miler now feels like a 12 miler. After a half hour, I’m ready to call it quits.
  • Runs must happen at 6:00 a.m. or not at all. It’s been in the upper 90’s in the Carolinas for the past month. My doctor is very wary of me exercising outside since overheating is risky during pregnancy. I’m only allowed to run first thing in the morning, so there’s no hitting the snooze button.
  • Rest days are required. I used to follow my training plan to a T and not take any unscheduled rest days (unless I was sick or really sore). But pregnancy has taught me that you can’t plan anything, and you must respect your body. Some days I wake up and don’t feel well, so running gets pushed to the curb.

Though my weekly mileage is only a quarter of what it used to be, and my pace is slower than my former “easy” runs, I could not be happier with my running during pregnancy experience. I even ran a race at 11 weeks pregnant!

Pregnancy does crazy things to your body and mind. But pounding the pavement reminds me that I’m still me. I also know so many women aren’t able to keep up their fitness routines during pregnancy and would love to be in my (running) shoes. So I will savor every mile, no matter how many walk breaks I need :)


Jen has run more than 30 races. She’s due with her first child on December 14, 2011. Jen blogs about running, triathlon training, infertility, pregnancy, her Ironman husband, and adorable dog at www.runnerstrials.com. Follow her on Twitter, too!

 




For Two Fitness
For Two Fitness

Author



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in The Motherhood

Did you know? : 5 Fabulous Reasons to Give Maternity Yoga a Go
Did you know? : 5 Fabulous Reasons to Give Maternity Yoga a Go

by For Two Fitness

Maternity yoga, or yoga done during the course of your pregnancy, is a safe way to exercise and can actually help prepare the body for childbirth. If you’re looking for a way to stay fit or to increase your fitness level safely during pregnancy, read on for some great reasons to give maternity yoga a try...

Read More

How To: Select Foods to Eat During Pregnancy
How To: Select Foods to Eat During Pregnancy

by For Two Fitness

Wondering what to eat when pregnant?  Many expecting moms are concerned about nutrition for themselves and their babies, and wonder about what is safe, what is best, and what is simply unfounded advice.    There are many recommendations about what to eat during pregnancy, and it can be hard to tell whether there are good reasons for avoiding or eating certain foods during pregnancy...

Read More

Behind the Scenes with For Two Fitness: The Fabrics Behind Our Clothing
Behind the Scenes with For Two Fitness: The Fabrics Behind Our Clothing

by For Two Fitness

What’s so special about performance fabrics?   Investing in top quality fabrics makes all the difference for fit, comfort, and performance. We know the For Two Fitness mom is a discerning consumer and only wants the best for herself and her baby. Read on to find out more about the technical features of our fabrics and our commitment to free you from oversized cotton tees and give you your cute gym style back!..

Read More