There is absolutely no medical reason for you to give up running when pregnant. But there are definitely cautions that you need to put into place.

Evidently, if you have never run before, pregnancy is not the time to start. Your body is already going through some amazing changes. Setting out to take up a new hobby such as long distance running will put too much strain on your body and could risk harming your unborn child.

However, if you are a regular runner, then you are more than capable of continuing in your happy hobby, with a few caveats. Read on to find out what small tweaks you need to make to ensure that you can continue your pastime safely while pregnant.

Let your doctor know

Your doctor won’t necessarily advice you against running but do keep them informed as much as possible so that they are aware of all the facts should something untoward happen. While you may be an experienced runner, when you are pregnant there are changes to your body which could change the way you are used to it working.

Listen to your body

Your body is a very perceptive being, and you need to listen to it intelligently and openly. Training for a marathon and trying to improve your personal best times often requires pushing yourself outside of your comfort boundaries. However, when you are pregnant your body is already being pushed beyond its known limits and skimming the surface of new experiences.

Listen to it. If there are unfamiliar tweaks or concerning discomfort that your instinct is telling you is not right, then act on those warnings and stop training. Pushing yourself outside of pregnancy is different to pushing yourself while pregnant.

Don’t be afraid to slow down

As you advance through our pregnancy you will find that your body is changing in ways over which you have very little control. Yes, you can exercise and watch what you eat. But sometimes you are simply genetically predisposed to getting thick ankles, putting on weight, and all the other unpleasant aspects of carrying another human being in your body.

Whatever the paternity of your child, there is no test you can do on your baby to warn you about how your body is going to respond to the pregnancy. Equally, your first pregnancy could be completely different to your second and third (if you get that far). So make sure you slow down and take all these changes into account.

Most importantly remember that we are not looking at a permanent change here. The female body has an amazing ability to get back to normal within a few weeks of giving birth. You will have plenty of opportunity to make up for any degradation to your running form once the baby is born. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, do what you can do, and rebuild afterwards.

Change your focus to strength training

As you progress through each trimester, you might want to move away from the endurance aspect of long distances, and focus more on strength training, particularly around the your core, pelvis and abdomen. You centre of gravity will be constantly shifting so you will find that your usual running position might not be so comfortable, so working more progressively on you core will keep you strong and supple, prepare you better for the birth, and ensure that you recover more quickly after the birth.

Don’t forget that the hormone relaxin that softens your ligaments is prevalent throughout your pregnancy and you will be more vulnerable to ligament damage and injury if you don’t warm up and cool down properly.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].