Friday Five – 5 Tips for Running While Pregnant

This week’s Friday Five theme with the DC Trifecta is “Running Tips” so I thought this would be the perfect time to share some of the changes that I’ve made to my running since becoming pregnant.  Hopefully these tips will work for you if you’re currently pregnant, or hoping to become pregnant down the soon.

pregnant running tips

1.  Don’t try to push your pace.

While you’re pregnant is not the time to try and push yourself too hard and try to speed up your pace.  While its been a bit frustrating to see my pace slowing down, I also keep reminding myself that I’m still moving and that matters more than how fast I’m running.  During pregnancy is not the time to focus on speed workouts.  You should instead focus on your endurance.

2.  Know that your endurance will not be what it was before you got pregnant.

Not only will you not be able to run as fast as you could prior to having an extra passenger on board, but you may not be able to run as far either.  To help with my endurance, I’ve been taking extra walk breaks during all of my runs.  I used to be able to run a 5k without a single walk break, but haven’t been able to do that for a couple of months now.  And if you aren’t familiar with the Galloway run-walk method yet, you should definitely introduce yourself to it.  Using the run-walk method is the only way that I’ve been able to keep up with my half marathon training while pregnant.

3.  Keep lots of water on hand.

During pregnancy its more important than ever before to stay hydrated, whether you’re active or resting.  I’ve read on several sites, including on Livestrong, that for every hour of activity pregnant women should drink an additional 8 ounces of water.  I never go to the gym or head out for a run without water in hand.

4.  When running outside, plan a route that keeps you close to a bathroom.

With the extra water that you’ll be drinking and the extra weight from your growing baby belly, you’ll find yourself needing to use the bathroom more and more frequently as you progress through your pregnancy.  The last thing you want to have happen is that you find yourself needing a bathroom and you’re far away from one.

5.  Listen to your body, and take unplanned rest days if needed.

Depending on how much morning sickness you experience, and how exhausting your days are, you may find it difficult to pull yourself off of the couch.  Your body is learning how to adjust to a new life, and will experience unknown aches and pains.  Its critical that you listen to your body and not feel guilty about taking unplanned rest days if you find doing so necessary in order to manage your pregnancy.  While there were some days that I felt guilty about taking unplanned rest days, particularly during the first trimester, I certainly don’t feel guilty about doing so anymore.

QOTD: What running tips do you have for those who are pregnant?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!

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47 Responses to Friday Five – 5 Tips for Running While Pregnant

  1. Sigh. I’m 36 weeks pregnant and had to stop running around 24. I ran three marathons in the year prior to conceiving so it’s been a hard adjustment. Can’t wait to get back to training!

  2. Tiff says:

    Great tips! I quit running in the first trimester, but at that time I also tried to avoid too many hills. Or I just walked up the unavoidable ones. It’s not that I stick to the 140 bpm rule, but I don’t go too far over it either.

  3. Yes, I agree with run close to a bathroom. This might be TMI, but when I was pregnant there are no bathrooms close on my route that is close to my home. However there is a very secluded trail so I knew about where I would have to go to the restroom and go in the “woods”… haha. I have run with two kids now and I think for my third I will get one of those support belts. Do you use one?

  4. Rachel says:

    Love these tips! #4 is my favorite. I wasn’t able to run during my pregnancy because of some complications but it held true even with walking!! Especially as I got closer to the end!

  5. Great tips! And as far as I know the 140 bpm guideline is arbitrary. I think if you have a good pre-pregnancy fitness level, you can push it a little more. But yes, listen to your body!!

  6. oh yes the bathrooms! LOl quickly learned where they all were. Not pushing yourself or expecting yourself to be able to keep up your usual pace is key. Good tips mama!

  7. Ooh, I forgot about #4…it has been awhile since I’ve been pregnant, but I swear I became very familiar with every bathroom, everywhere I went! My bpm shoots up when I run though, keeping it at 140ish would basically be walking. 😛

  8. Great tips! Wish I would have run while I was pregnant!

  9. I think it’s great that you continue to run while being pregnant. Keep up the good work!

  10. Lesley says:

    I’d put in make sure those bathrooms are open. I’ve never been pregnant, but nothing is as frustrating as knowing where a public bathroom is, only to find out the town locked it.

  11. Sharita says:

    I applaud the mommies to be who are still running. I pray that I can do the same when I have a little one on the way!!

  12. Great tips. Not going to happen to me (ha!), but it’s still good information. I remember that they say it’s not the time to START running either. That if you’re already a runner, that’s great, just follow guidelines and listen to what your doctor says, but if you haven’t been running, don’t start while you’re pregnant. Not sure if that is still the advice that is given though.

  13. I appreciate you sharing these things more than you know. I’m preparing my boards/resources for when the time comes! 🙂

  14. Drinking water is my #1 tip for running pregnant and you already covered it! I became dehydrated near the end of my first pregnancy and it caused me to go into preterm labor at 33 weeks – very scary but they were able to stop it. With my second pregnancy, I drank and drank and drank that water and all went well!

    Exercising during pregnancy means you need extra water and calories! Keep that baby growing 🙂 And always make sure there’s a bathroom nearby… Great post, Kathryn!
    Amy @ http://www.livinglifetruth.com/

  15. Elle says:

    I am sure these are great tips!

  16. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    All great tips!! Definitely listen to your body. I tried to run several times but literally felt like the kid was going to fall out with the bouncing. It didn’t feel right so I started walking instead!

  17. I haven’t been pregnant, but I’ll have to keep these tips in mind whenever I am. I hope to keep running like you are! You’re a rock star mama!

  18. eliz frank says:

    I stayed active when I was pregnant with my twins but didn’t run. Staying hydrated and listening to my body and its special needs were/are imperative. You covered all the key points.

  19. These are great tips! And even applicable to your everyday runner. 🙂

  20. natrunsfar says:

    Great tips! I was able to run for the first trimester with my my first baby, but zero running with the other two babies. I think it is so important to listen to your body! So awesome that you are running and walking – congrats on your pregnancy!!!

  21. Congrats on the pregnancy! Wishing you much joy and happiness for this season of your life.

  22. Becki S says:

    Thanks for sharing! Don’t have any little ones yet but hope to have a healthy and happy pregnancy where I can still work out.

  23. I’ve never been pregnant, but oddly my sister and I were just talking about pregnant runners the other day. She has a friend who’s doctor told her to use KT take in certain ways on her stomach and back, to use instead of those pregnant tight bra’s that extend over the belly to hold the belly from getting bumped around too much.
    Anyhow, she swears by the taping thing now, I would have never imagined something like that would help on a large baby bump to keep running…
    So ya, if you ever get to that point, I guess the KT taping methods work better, crazy as it sounds:)

  24. Awesome that you are able to keep it up, so smart to listen to your body and do what you can.

  25. jillconyers says:

    You’re inspiring so many! Keep it up!

  26. Great tips! I’m almost 29 weeks now an starting to slow waayy down.

  27. Pingback: Lessons I’ve Learned from Training While Pregnant | From Dancing to Running

  28. Pingback: Tips for a Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy | From Dancing to Running

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