I am happy to report that I was able to run throughout my entire pregnancy and thoroughly enjoyed it! My mileage during the 3rd trimester was 287 miles and my total mileage during pregnancy was 1208 miles!
My last run was 10 days before Davis was born. I was 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I ran a slow 6 mile run on the treadmill and decided later that day that would be my last run for the pregnancy and I would walk or do the elliptical instead. At that point in my pregnancy it was getting too uncomfortable to run and my body ached the entire day after the run.
I walked 2 miles with my mom the night before Davis was born and then another mile with Justin the day of his birth.
There was a definite difference running during the 3rd trimester as I got larger, as my weight increased, and as my running form shifted. I had to slow down my pace significantly or my heart rate would skyrocket. During the 2nd trimester I was able to comfortably run most of my runs at 8:30/mile, whereas my 3rd trimester runs were around 10-11:00/mile, and towards the end I did a combo of running/walking (7 minutes running/3 minutes walking). I also did hillwork at 0-5% incline on the treadmill 1-2 times a week up until the 3rd trimester, in which I left the incline at zero.
I noticed a huge turning point in my running around 29 weeks pregnant. My mileage went from around 35 miles a week to 20-27 miles a week. My goal during the 3rd trimester was time rather than distance. I aimed for 40 minutes of aerobic exercise 4-5 days a week with a longer run of 60-90 minutes on the weekends.
At 35 weeks I ran my last long Saturday run (a 10 mile treadmill run). After that my longest runs were around 6 miles.
I did a lot more stretching during the 3rd trimester. I noticed that my runs left me more sore and achy, so I often ran for a shorter time period to ensure I had enough time to stretch. The most noticeable areas that hurt after a run were the arches of my feet and the inside of my thighs. As a runner I probably don’t spend enough time stretching as it is anyway, so it was a nice change.
With the amount of running I did during my pregnancy there is a curiosity as to how much weight I gained or if I had a healthy sized baby. I gained a total of 35 pounds during my pregnancy and Davis was born weighing a healthy 8 lbs. 6 oz. and almost 21 inches long.
I ran 2 more races during the 3rd trimester, bringing my total to 5 races for this pregnancy–3 half marathons (including a personal record!), a 25K, and a 10K.
At 28 weeks I ran a 25K (15.5 miles) midnight run with my mom and dad. It was literally a last minute decision after some spots opened up, but I’m so glad I did. I got some strange stares that night. I mean, what crazy person willingly runs 15 miles at midnight while pregnant. It was so much fun and I look forward to running it again someday.
I would have to say my greatest accomplishment this pregnancy was when I ran a 48:59 10K (7:54/mile) at 32 weeks pregnant and won 1st place in my Age Group and 4th female overall. The best part of the race was getting so many high fives and encouragement by runners on the way back to the finish line.
Running throughout my pregnancy was beneficial in so many ways. Gone are the days when doctors tell you to decrease activity level while pregnant, but rather continue wisely and listen to your body.
At 4.5 weeks postpartum I am noticing a huge difference in recovery time versus my other 2 pregnancies. I’ve already started running again and feel great. My first pregnancy I exercised and had a great recovery period, my 2nd pregnancy I was virtually inactive and had a longer and tougher physical recovery and hard time losing my baby weight. This time around it’s like my body has almost bounced right back to pre-pregnancy and the physical recovery has been amazing. I would highly recommend continuing a running or exercise regime throughout pregnancy if at all possible, as there were so many benefits that I experienced throughout my pregnancy and now post-partum.
I’ve enjoyed posting about my running during pregnancy, and I hope it was an encouragement to get active and be active while pregnant. If you have any questions, let me know!