Running while pregnant by Jennifer Desmoulins
Pregnancy really sucks when it comes to running.
However, I am determined to stay as fit and healthy as possible and I hope to run as long as possible during my pregnancy. I found out I was pregnant a few weeks after running a very slow marathon. I thought I was very unfit and hadn’t put in enough training, which resulted in my slowest marathon to date. However, now I can at least say I ran a marathon while pregnant!
Running during the first trimester of pregnancy is a huge challenge; between feeling sick, tired, and having no energy, the body is changing rapidly to accommodate a growing foetus. I found the biggest impact on my running was to my breathing. After some research, I discovered that a woman’s blood volume doubles in early pregnancy. This makes it more difficult for oxygen carrying red blood cells to move freely, hence making it difficult to breath with exercise. I definitely experienced this.
Now in my second trimester, or 5 months along, I am finding running easier than those first months. However, as my body changes and I get heavier, I have slowed down considerably and take walking breaks when I need to. My body simply won’t let me over-do it at this point! My midwives and GP are fully supportive of me continuing to run and my running club have been fantastic at encouraging me and making sure I have people to run with. I know I will continue to slow down and decrease mileage; however I am determined to run as long as I can.