Running for 2! How to run while pregnant & Giveaway

Written by: Melissa Stone

Like anything with pregnancy, it depends who you are talking to when looking (or not looking!) for answers. Naturally, running while pregnant, there are many opinions out there as well.  Me, I love to run.  I get upset when I miss a run.  It’s my own time and I enjoy being out on the road.  I was training last summer for the Chicago Marathon and had only a few weeks left to the race when we found out we were pregnant.  I was worried about having to stop but I was told that my body was already doing the hard training work, so could handle it.  I knew it wasn’t going to be my fastest and would stop if I needed to.  I never pushed it, felt very comfortable, and completed it 9 weeks pregnant.  I also continued to run throughout my entire pregnancy, stopping at 32 weeks.  It just didn’t feel good anymore.  So, as a trainer and a marathon runner, when people ask me, “Should I run while pregnant?”  YES - and here's how. Here I am at F3 Half Marathon (6 ½ mos. pregnant) and at the Shamrock Shuffle 5 Miler (32 weeks along).

Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) & NPN are teaming up to bring expectant, new and seasoned parents together for the 1st ever Strollers in the Front 5K Run & Walk.  Get the training and support you need with an NPN Parent Perk for CARA membership and the new CARA Strollers in the Front 5K Training Program.  

To get YOU ready to run - we have a very special GIVEAWAY PACKAGE!  (1) winner will be selected at random to win Monday 9/10: CARA 1-year membership, Stroller 5K Running program, NPN 1-year Membership, Stroller 5K Adult Runner or Walker Bib, 30 min private consultation with Melissa to kick off training right, AND a $100 Whole Foods Market Gift Card, coutesy of the Wellness Club! (TOTAL $400 value!).  Get entered by leaving a comment below about your pregnancy or mommy running plan.

Tips to help you tackle running for 2:

  1. Rock the belly!  Many people think it is unsafe to run with your baby, but truth is, it’s not.  Keeping up your same fitness regime is super important for not only you, but for your baby.
  2. Listen to your body.  If you were running before becoming pregnant, you don't need to stop just because you're expecting, just know to stop when it doesn’t feel good. I continued to run throughout my pregnancy, getting a lot slower each month.   I was noticing the changes and kept telling myself that I would stop when it didn’t feel good.
  3. Do something. If you were never a runner, pregnancy is not the time to start a new exercise regimen.   It doesn’t have to be running.  I started talking yoga classes pretty regularly right before I got pregnant and stayed with it the entire time.  I also swam, did spinning and lots of walking.
  4. Keep it slow.  Your body is in fact running for two, which keeps your heart beating faster. You've got more weight to carry, less ability to breathe deeply. I got slower each month and really appreciated all of things I don’t see while running my normal pace.
  5. Stay hydrated, cool and fed.  This holds especially true for runners.  Drink for two.  Also, have a snack with you just in case you feel fatigue or dizzy.  I drank over a gallon of water a day, especially when I was running.
  6. Run with a buddy.  One, they hold you accountable, but are also there for you if you don’t feel well.  
  7. Stay close to home.  Your center of gravity changes and you're at a greater risk for falls.
  8. Talk to your doctor.  Not all pregnancies are the same.  Some are more at risk and can halt even seasoned runners from running during pregnancy. Always consult your physician before embarking on an exercise program.
  9. Have fun!  Smile. You are doing a great thing for you and baby!
  10. Treat yourself afterwards.  My favorite this winter was Dunkin Donuts,  1/3 coffee, 1/3 decaf, 1/3 hot chocolate. Yum!

Running is a great way to maintain your fitness levels during pregnancy.  You are running for two and more than yourself to think about.   So have fun, stay hydrated, and listen to your body. Now get running!

See you at the Strollers in the Front 5K!!!  Read all about the fantastic NPN Parent Perks from CARA & the 5K Event.

Posted on September 02, 2012 at 4:43 PM