Recent studies have shown that over half of women who run regularly stop when they become pregnant ….. and a third of them don’t get back into running in the first year of becoming a mum.
We’d love to reverse this trend and encourage every pregnant woman that it’s perfectly safe to continue running just as long as you feel comfortable doing so. Why would you want to give up doing something that is good for your body, helps you sleep, improves your stamina and fitness as you prepare for labour and helps keep you sane and happy? Your fit and healthy pregnancy will benefit your baby too, it’s win win all round!
If you’re still not convinced and think you should be hanging up your trainers for the next year or so, check out these motivating stories from some of the many women that DO carrying on running during pregnancy.
Melanie’s son was born eight days late, just ten hours after she completed her final pregnant run.
Melanie said, ‘Whilst running in pregnancy I was initially disappointed that my pace was slowing down and wasn’t able to run as far. My friends had to remind me that I was running with 2 precious babies (One in a buggy and one in my tummy), after that I ran for the joy of it. Running was a stress reliever. Aside from baby being late we had a lot of other stresses including a house move and house renovations going on, so I was really struggling emotionally.
She added, ‘Thank you, for keeping me sane, active and able to have “me time” during my pregnancy. I couldn’t have ran as long as I did without FittaMamma!’
Pregnant Not Powerless ambassador, Tiffany Wysocki, shared a quote from Krysten Llerma that she really loved during pregnancy:
“Pregnancy is not an illness. It is not a weakness. My body is able to do something that takes a considerable amount of fortitude. My body was made to carry this child, and my body was made to run.” – Krysten Lerma
Marathon runner Jo Johnston was a keen ‘pregnant runner’, keeping us updated regularly after purchasing a pair of FittaMamma Capris, including sharing pictures from the 10km race she did at 8 months.
In the last few days of her pregnancy she wrote: ‘I’m still feeling good and even managed 4 miles Monday and today! However, I am booked to be induced tomorrow so no running then! My waters broke yesterday and whilst I feel fine, labour hasn’t started and so they need to get things going due to the infection risk. I’m pretty sure all my exercise will stand me in good stead for the hours ahead!’
Her midwife was astonished by her heart rate during labour, saying it was the lowest heart rate she’d seen in 20 years delivering babies.
Beatie Deutsch already had four children and took up marathon running to get back into shape. She enjoyed running and saw no reason to give up when she found she was pregnant. She entered the Tel Aviv marathon which she ran in 4.08 minutes when she was six and a half months pregnant. She said: ‘Committing to run a marathon whilst pregnant really motivated me to keep training. And I enjoy running so it wasn’t hard. I didn’t do any shorter races but with marathon training you really can’t miss any runs if you want to be properly prepared.’
Do’s and don’ts about running during pregnancy (most of them are common sense!)
- Don’t expect to beat or even achieve the same speeds or distances you were reaching before you became pregnant – just be glad you’re still running and enjoying it.
- Remember the talk test – or, more formally, follow the Borg scale of the perceived exertion. Basically, this scale measures your levels of exertion in relation to how hard you feel you are working, from’ very, very light’ (tying the laces on your trainers for example) to ‘very, very hard’ (an unsustainable burst of activity, such as finishing a race). So, if you aim for somewhere in the middle, ie ‘somewhat hard veering towards hard’, or the level at which you can still hold a conversation, you’re doing ok.
If you can’t talk it’s time to ease up or take a rest.
- All the usual recommendations, such as ‘stay hydrated’, ‘warm up and cool down’, ‘stay fuelled’ and ‘make sure your trainers fit properly’ are even more important when you run during pregnancy.
We would also recommend you support your baby bump when you run during pregnancy.
Let’s face it, would you run without a bra? We all know there’s a massive increase in comfort if you stop your girls from bouncing around ….and the same principal applies to your baby bump. Lift, hold and support your bump and you’ll find it eases the pressure on your pelvic floor too.