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Running in pregnancy, advice please!

(52 Posts)
running3 Wed 31-Jan-18 13:34:55

Hi, I had a bfp last weekend and am entered into a half marathon next weekend, so all being well will be 6 weeks pregnant. I've run for years and have done halfs before but training has been less consistent over the past year due to various things (hip injury, broken collarbone, mc) so I am a bit less fit than I had been. I had always planned to continue running when pregnant but I did 10miles last weekend (furthest in a long time, though I have been building up and obviously made sure I took it fairly easy) and it felt fine except I was panicking about getting too hot. Later that day i had a banging headache despite trying to stay extra hydrated. I have consequently bought a new running belt with a bigger bottle and plan to eat far more afterwards on my next run, but I still have a niggling doubt that perhaps I shouldn't do the half. Obviously I don't want to risk any harm to my baby. Am I being completely ridiculous to consider doing it, or am I being ridiculous to worry about it when my body knows running and has previously been pushed much further/harder? What would other pregnant runners do?!

QueenAravisOfArchenland Wed 31-Jan-18 13:41:30

If you otherwise feel OK and well trained for it, there would almost certainly be no harm in carrying on.

However, if you were already feeling not as well trained as you'd like to be, this may not be the time to push yourself. In general, I'm a big fan of carrying on with any exercise you were doing, at least in the first trimester, but your body will already be working harder, so if you think the run would have been a bit of a challenge on your non-pregnant body, it may make sense to sit this one out.

In general you can carry on running in pregnancy as long as it feels good. I kept running up until about 25-27 weeks in my first pregnancy, at which point it just became too weird and icky on my pelvic floor.

KarlKennedysBumCrack Wed 31-Jan-18 13:47:00

I found out I was pregnant two weeks before I ran a marathon a few years back. I figured I'd done all the training so it was a shame to waste it! Id run a couple of marathons before but I'm not a super fit club runner type or anything. As long as you don't get dehydrated or overheated the baby will be fine, but if you feel unwell at any point then i'd stop. Good luck!

hometownunicorn Wed 31-Jan-18 14:54:19

I ran up until about 25 weeks when it started to get uncomfortable and I was walking more than running when I went out. In the first trimester I did struggle to run much as it often made me dizzy or nauseous.

However, if you did 10 miles last weekend and feel fit enough, I'd think you'll be fine doing the half as long as you don't push yourself to get a PB and stop or walk if you feel uncomfortable.

Didntcomeheretofuckspiders Wed 31-Jan-18 15:29:21

Like others have said, you’ll be fine!

I planned to do a marathon in April until HG totally shut down any ability I had to train.

keeponrunning85 Wed 31-Jan-18 16:04:04

I guess maybe a question to ask yourself is how would you feel if you ran the half and this pregnancy didn't work out?

I am (was) a regular runner including training with a club twice a week. I am nearky 11 weeks pregnant after 4 early miscarriages and haven't run for 4 weeks now. The rational part of me knows that in all likelihood carrying on running would be completely fine and that there is no evidence to suggest a link between running and miscarriage but I was finding running was making me quite anxious and I knew that if this pregnancy didn't work out it would be one of the things I would use to blame myself. I am carrying on with other exercise, for some reason I do feel comfortable with that. I do miss running though and haven't ruled out going back to it a bit further down the line.

A friend pointed out that I have the rest of my life to go running and I decided she was right. Would it be the end of the world if you don't do the half marathon? There will always be more.

kitty1013 Wed 31-Jan-18 16:27:37

I am so glad you posted this as I am struggling with this question myself. I am 6+1 and meant to be doing a 10k this weekend and a couple of half marathons in the next six weeks.
I have been feeling sick and not training as much. I will probably still do the 10k but not the halves. But even the 10k I know I'm going to find it hard not to push myself, so am dithering about it.
It's so difficult isn't it.
I've had two MC at 8 weeks so definitely feel in a "dangerous " time at the moment, but equally I find running really beneficial to my mental & physical health and miss it if I don't do it.

running3 Wed 31-Jan-18 17:13:19

Thank you so much for all your responses. I love hearing your stories about what you managed- you are all amazing! It is really hard kitty! It's a head vs heart situation for me.

In terms of my current training, I'm sure I'll make it round it's just that my legs will be protesting slightly more in the last few km than they would have in previous years! I was already expecting to be about 15 mins behind my PB so for the first time ever I'm not putting pressure on myself to get a certain time.
I've got a place in London marathon in April but I'm not even considering that as I don't feel I have a good enough base at the moment.

There are indeed other halfs! This one is a little bit sentimental though as it's in my home town and I've done it the previous 2 years since it started. Also this year my Mum is running it and I love the idea of the 3 of us running it!!

I miscarried at 6 weeks a couple of months ago and as you said keeponrunning85 that is my fear- i would hate to feel i had caused it if it happened again (I fear husband would blame me too), but I can't find anything to say you shouldn't, as long as listening to your body. Here i am worrying about it all and I will probably be struck down with my first bout of morning sickness on the day and not be able to do it anyway! I'll take that as a sign if it happens!!

Girlwiththearabstrap Wed 31-Jan-18 18:36:58

I'd probably do it but not push myself to get an amazing time, and stop if I felt bad. Make sure you are well fed and hydrated leading up to it.

I know how hard pregnancy following a loss is personally, but I'm afraid I really don't agree with being really risk averse as you would blame yourself if anything went wrong. Running will not cause a miscarriage. I honestly think that changing your every day, safe behaviour "just in case" isn't healthy and just ends up feeding the anxiety.

Good luck whatever you decide!

Seacow87 Wed 31-Jan-18 18:38:20

I was 14 weeks pregnant when i achieved my half marathing PB.
Great advice from everyone if you have trained for it there is no reason you can do it.

kirinm Wed 31-Jan-18 18:51:16

I was meant to be running a 10k this weekend and a half marathon in 2 weeks time but after bleeding at 5w my anxiety got too much (I have a history of recurrent miscarriage as well). Now I'm 9w and feel far too nauseous and knackered to worry about it. I had hoped to keep running until as late as possible but it wasn't to be!

keeponrunning85 Wed 31-Jan-18 19:59:42

running3, how lovely that your mum is running it too. Presumably she would help you to pace yourself and prevent you going at it too hard? That was something I was struggling with and switching exercise type to things I wouldn't normally do has helped with that.

Girl I had really hoped I could be one of those people and I did carry on running during previous pregnancies but I just found the anxiety associated with it was outweighing any benefits really. I don't know if it is because we're pretty sure we won't try again if this one doesn't work out.

I did read an interesting article the other day about ladies who were ultramarathon runners and carried on doing 80-100 miles per week until well into their pregnancies. Impressive stuff!

Hollymchollyface Wed 31-Jan-18 20:25:51

Do you wear a hr monitor ? I don't think running is a problem as long as you feel fine to do it, but I think you are meant to keep your hr below 150 so if you can do that during the race then I would go for it.

running3 Thu 01-Feb-18 17:23:48

I think old guidance used to be to keep HR under 140 but it's since been dismissed. I have HR monitor on my watch but it never works!!

running3 Thu 01-Feb-18 17:25:00

Kirinm I think if I had bleeding I wouldn't do it, rightly or wrongly. Is there anything to say you shouldn't though?

running3 Thu 01-Feb-18 17:27:05

Thank you everyone for your encouragement smile

kirinm Thu 01-Feb-18 19:31:46

@running3 no and I asked the early pregnancy unit that when I saw them. They said if I'm going to miscarry, I'm going to miscarry. Running might dislodge blood that is already there but won't cause the bleeding. I miss running a lot so if you're feeling well enough, keep going.

Eggybod Sun 04-Feb-18 20:41:20

I ran through pregnancy (ALL the way through pregnancy. I got some looks.) but always at easy chatting pace, and only in the shade in Summer, and never if I felt I was getting very sweaty. I didn’t do any races once I found out as didn’t trust myself not to get competitive. I had four weeks off at 16-20 weeks as it was making my lower tummy muscles hurt, but then had to run for a train and realised the pain had gone so picked it back up again. I told the midwives at my booking in appointment and mentioned it at every medical appointment along the way. I later had an unrelated complication, and had an emcs and my consultant did comment that being fairly fit had helped ‘in the moment’ and in recovery. I know plenty of other people who stopped because their minds or their bodies wanted to stop during pregnancy, who got back into running absolutely fine afterwards too - you’ll forget the races you didn’t do because you were pregnant and proudly remember the ones you did. I didn’t actually find out I was preggo until after the 6 weeks you’d be running at, by which point my son had done a fell race in my tummy - the penny hadn’t dropped by then! Good luck whatever you choose, and congratulations! X

kirinm Sun 04-Feb-18 21:09:12

I ran for the first time in weeks yesterday (well, it was a bit of a run / walk and pretty slow). Unfortunately my nausea was awful afterwards but I'm definitely going to try and get back into it as I start to feel better even if it's only 20-30 mins or so.

TriJo Mon 05-Feb-18 01:58:28

I've run a decent amount through two pregnancies, until 25 weeks first time and 34 weeks second time. As long as you're keeping the effort reasonably controlled you should be fine. I completed the London Triathlon Olympic distance at 8 weeks first time so that would be a similar effort level to OPs half marathon, no issues.

As another bit of anecdata - I've had two normal deliveries, spontaneous at 41 weeks and induced at 38 weeks. Nothing more than gas and air either time and recovery is reasonably quick.

running3 Mon 05-Feb-18 06:54:53

Eggybod did you do all sorts of distances? Haha the looks and possibly judgement from other people worries me a bit!
Well done on your run Kirinm!
Im still anxious about the half but it's next wkd so no more long runs until then. After that I think I'll stick to 10k max which won't stress me out so much!

running3 Mon 05-Feb-18 06:57:29

Thanks TriJo, that's amazing! You've all achieved such great things with your bubbas on board!
I had a long run yesterday and as I was nervous about it I went sooo easy that it really did feel fine. And I wasn't so dehydrated afterwards this time. I probably get more puffed when rushing to walk the 30mins to work every day!

running3 Mon 05-Feb-18 07:05:00

Kitty did you do the 10k?

Eggybod Mon 05-Feb-18 08:48:04

Hi running3, yes I did in the first trimester as it felt good, after years of running, I didn’t have a bump and I had discussed it with a midwife (two actually). I didn’t suffer from morning sickness though. But I did make sure I went super slowly - i discovered I was pregnant in a June so my first trimester covered the hottest months, so I just plodded in the shade and avoided the hottest days. From second trimester on, I didn’t run as far. I was the type of pregnant person who needed a wee every two minutes so it just wasnt possible. When winter came I moved onto a treadmill, I didn’t trust my feet in wet or icy weather and had a bump by then so my balance was a bit off, although I never fell. I spoke to the gym who had a prenatal personal trainer and she worked up a bit of a gentle pregnancy plan for me, which included swimming as well as treadmill (where I got the looks - was wearing my hubby’s old race t shirts by this point!). But as cliched as it is, you won’t miss the training you don’t do in pregnancy, and so you just choose what feels good for you. I still run at a similar pace to pre pregnancy despite those months of plodding in the middle (and now having a backchatty 3 year old!), and I personally really enjoyed my jogs when I was pregnant x

kitty1013 Mon 05-Feb-18 09:28:54

Running3 yes I did do the 10k ! I didn't push myself , but was happy with my time- actually the same as my non pregnant 10k time (but this one was very very flat - it was the winter run in London).

I enjoyed it and I'm glad I did it. It was a great atmosphere. I had to fake drinking champagne with friends afterwards!(my husband drank it while I drank the lemonade I'd ordered "as I'm so thirsty")!!

I have a scan on Friday as my previous scan was a bit uncertain- could be ok or could be lagging behind and on course for MC. However I deep down know that the run won't change the outcome. It's either meant to be or it's not. If I MC I feel sure that would be due to a genetic problem, given my age.

I am still feeling sick all day- especially evening- but I felt ok when running!

I haven't decided about the half marathons I've got coming up - but they are after the scan so at least I'll have a bit more certainty.

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