Can you run while pregnant?
As I sit here, writing this post, I am 28 weeks pregnant with my first child! (Thanks, my husband and I are pretty excited.)
Naturally, this has already brought about a lot of change in our life, and we know there is so much more coming. After I got over the initial news that I was, actually pregnant, one of my first questions was, “can you run while pregnant?”. I felt pretty clueless about what might be alright and what might not, so I thought I’d share my own personal experiences along with some guidelines for you. Do make sure that if you have any concerns at all about the level of exercise you do while pregnant, check in with your lead maternity carer first.
So, can you?
You want the two word answer? Annoyingly, it is: IT DEPENDS.
What does it depend on? The main factor is if you were a runner before you got pregnant or not.
If you were a runner before you got pregnant, then yes, you can continue to run while pregnant. But like I already said, check with your midwife or doctor first, as there may be individual circumstances that will make your situation different.
If you were not a runner, then now is not the time to start.
You’re gonna run. Here are some things to be careful of:
- It is very important you do not let yourself overheat, as this can impact on your baby’s development particularly in the first trimester (read more about keeping cool on the run here).
- We all know running can be hard on your knees and you need to know that pregnancy loosens up the joints of your body in preparation for labor and birth. This means you could be more prone to running injuries than usual (read how to cross train to stay injury free here).
- As your pregnancy progresses, you’re going to get a big round belly (obviously)! This can throw off your center of gravity, making you more prone to falling over. As you get bigger and start feeling ungainly (it’s gonna happen), leave the hill runs out and stay on the flat.
- Listen to your body. If you’re feeling tired, take a rest day instead of pushing through. Expect your usual pace to slow: now is not the time for that PB.
My personal experience
So what did I decide to do? Well, I was in a bit of a tough spot. I love running, but to be honest, I had not been doing much in the months before I fell pregnant. I was not sure if I was fit enough to run or not!
I decided to do a few short runs to see how I felt. And honestly, I did not enjoy them one little bit… I felt like I was running in cotton wool, and a 20 minute jog around the block was more than enough. I admit I canned the running pretty early on, and I swapped to walking and pregnancy yoga, which I am really enjoying.
I’ve already invested in a great running stroller though, and am looking forward to introducing my baby to running once it is old enough 🙂