So here’s another pregnancy post. I know, I’m sorry, I’m aware this is a running blog, and I’ve tried to keep it that way! But this huge thing has definitely impacted my running, and I thought perhaps that now we’re at the end of it all I could give you a run down of how I’ve found it….
Months 1-3: I could run as normal, and it took effort to slow down as I didn’t feel pregnant. In fact, because it was the tricky weeks 1-12, I made sure to implement the ‘run-walk’ to make extra sure that everything was fine before I ran properly.
Months 4-5: I could run almost as normal. My standard distance was 7-10kms, so not as far as I was used to, and my pace had slowed by approximately 30-40 seconds per km. I still implemented the ‘run-walk’ to make sure I wasn’t pushing it, and towards the end of this period I could feel the little bub bouncing around at the start, only to settle into the rhythm. It was lovely to feel it, but as a sensation on it’s own it wasn’t pleasant (I never ran too far away from a bathroom!) and it didn’t make for easy running.
Month 6: Last month of outdoor running. I reduced the distance to 6kms at the most, with fewer stops, but a slower overall pace (it had increased by 60-90 seconds per km). There was a definite bump, and by the end of month 6, the start of each run was so uncomfortable that I didn’t want to go. Even though it was the middle of the UK Summer, which is suuuuuch nice running weather. The weight of the bub was increasing, and I could feel it on my pelvic floor. I started doing kegels like a crazy person.
Month 7-8: Gym time! I started my love affair with the gym, and totally cheated on outdoor running. My specialty was leg and arm weights (very light as they hadn’t had a proper workout since November), and the cross trainer for 25 mins. I went swimming as much as possible as it felt lovely and cool on my bump, and I knew that once the bub arrived, I wouldn’t be able to swim (or exercise) for 6 weeks at least.
Month 9: Aqua aerobics, the light weights, and cross trainer for 15 mins max. The bump was big, but not overly heavy, and it felt great to keep active. I noticed my hips were getting very stiff after a day at work, and exercise really helped loosen them up. Plus at this stage, I thought labour could still be an option, and the thought of going into it without ‘training’ terrified me! I wouldn’t run a 10 mile race without training, so why wouldn’t I prepare for labour too?
Looking back, there’s a gradual decline in activity, which makes complete sense. But at the time, because of the extra weight you’re carrying around, you don’t feel like it’s a decline, and I came into the latter months with fewer unpleasant side effects. Cankles only arrived three weeks ago, my hips started to ache only four weeks ago, and I never felt too tired to stop doing things that were part of my usual life. Mostly, this involves going to coffee shops and walking a lot. Walking from coffee shop to coffee shop 😉