5 Tips for Running in Pregnancy

Have bump, will run! Running in pregnancy sure is an experience. Some runs feel great, and on other runs the miles tick by so slowly and feel less than great.‍ Only 1/3 of runners continue running into the 3rd trimester. So if you're continuing, that is a major accomplishment!!‍ Here are some easy tips to keep running in pregnancy.

Have bump, will run.

Running in pregnancy sure is an experience. Some runs feel great, and on other runs the miles tick by so slowly and feel less than great.

Only 1/3 of runners continue running into the 3rd trimester. So if you're continuing to run or run:walk, that is a major accomplishment!!

Here are tips for running in pregnancy:

1. Run for time

Your pace will likely slow down when you're pregnant. Your body is working overtime, circulating and producing more blood, carrying extra weight and adapting posturally to your new figure.

Most moms notice that they can't run at their normal pace as early as the first trimester.

Ditch the Garmin and run by feel and don't look at your pace! You'll likely only get discouraged. It's best not to compare your pregnancy pace to your pre-pregnancy pace.

During pregnancy, it's better to run based on total time, rather than on pace or distance.

Just run your "normal" amount of time that you did before. Just know that it will be slower and probably get even slower as your pregnancy progresses.

And that's ok!

2. Be ok with running less

Run less often, for shorter duration, or with walk intervals.

Because you are literally growing a human inside your own body (nothing short of amazing!), your body will likely need longer recovery periods when pregnant.

You may find that you're more sore in general from running and/or working out. Or that your usual route now feels exhausting.

Listen to your body and take that extra day of rest, or make sure that you're scheduling recovery days into your week.

You want to go out into your next run refreshed, not still dragging from your previous effort!

3. Get some belly support

Whether that's a belly band or some kinesiotape, and start using it before you think you need to! Usually by 20ish weeks (give or take), a lot of moms are needing some additional belly support, depending on the size of the belly bump.

My personal favorite is the Bao Bei band. I'm now on my 3rd running pregnancy with it! I have no affiliation with the company; I just love their product!

If a band is not your thing or feels too cumbersome or restrictive, you can try taping your belly for support. LOTS of moms LOVE this option because you can literally leave it in place for days and forget that you even have it on!

To learn more about techniques for belly taping in pregnancy, click HERE.

4. Strengthen and strengthen some more!

Simple, effective, intentional exercises for strengthening have never been so important as now in pregnancy.

Many runners don't like to strengthen. I have to admit that it's not my favorite either. However, I view it as the vehicle to achieve my end goal, which is to maintain running as long as possible during pregnancy! So it's totally worth the time and energy to get it done a few times per week.

In pregnancy, the hormone relaxin will increase the laxity in your joints, making you more susceptible to injury as well as pregnancy-related aches and pains. Some common ones include Runner's knee, sciatica, hip pain, pelvic girdle pain, and even things like prolapse or leaking while running.

Doing pregnancy and runner specific exercises can help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place. AND the right exercises for your body and your pregnancy can help heal any issues you're dealing with so you can get back to and keep running as long as possible.

In pregnancy, you need more strength and stability and less stretching.

5. Watch your posture and your form

This is paramount for preventing and eliminating aches and pains while running.

It's all to easy to succumb to gravity, a growing chest and a burgeoning belly. But this often puts undue stress and strain on our neck, shoulders and back. As a result, we can develop pain in these areas or in secondary areas that are trying to compensate like the SI joint, the pubic symphysis (pelvic pain) or even the hips.

We can't prevent all postural changes from occurring in pregnancy as this is normal, however, we can definitely work to minimize the effects!

Working on posture outside of running can help your run form. And working on your form itself will only help you in the long run, both in pregnancy and beyond!

Get your Pregnancy Running Guide PDF today

For more tips, current research and recommendations on running pace, heart rate guidelines and posture/form, get my Pregnancy Running Guide PDF today.

Rachel holding her kids in front of her house

Get back to normal. Get back to running.

I help Moms at all stages of postpartum get back into running successfully to relieve pain, remove discomfort and enrich lives.

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