Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Running During the First Trimester

Like many women out there my first reaction to finding out I was pregnant was excitement and then bubbled up the nerves and concern.  I immediately started worrying about miscarriage and specifically if there were ways I could cause one.  I knew from the moment we talked baby I wanted to continue to run while pregnant.  Now that I actually was, I was so worried about what was safe.  I had so many questions: how much, how fast, how long?  We had to wait 4 weeks after taking our pregnancy test to go in for our first doctor’s appointment.  I just couldn’t wait until then to find out what was safe as far as running goes.  

I thought about discontinuing running until my doctor’s appointment, but then I thought of Charlotte in “Sex and the City”.  I refused to be like Charlotte and become so afraid of losing the baby that I altered my lifestyle.  So began my research on the dun dun dun, internet.  As wonderful as the internet is, it is filled with inaccurate information.  Some sources said to make sure your heart rate doesn’t get above 150.  Other sources said run at conversational pace.
Kristin Davis, aka Charlotte, running on an episode of Sex and the City.
I had a Garmin that came with a heart rate monitor, but I wasn’t sure where the heart rate monitor was since I had never used it.  I decided to stick to running at conversational pace.  While out for a run I would talk out loud to myself (yes, to myself) to make sure I was running at a conversational pace.  So glad no one ever saw me, I know I was being a bit nuts.  I just couldn’t help it, I was already so obsessed with the little baby growing inside me.

The first trimester was definitely the hardest for me in all aspects, especially running wise.  I was exhausted and would barely make it out a mile before I was fatigued and wanted to return home.  I was still having the burning sensation in my thighs and my legs felt heavy.  Before getting pregnant my average pace during runs was usually about 8-8:30 per mile pace, although I would run easy, recovery runs at 9:00 pace.  Once pregnant, I slowed down about a minute per mile to 9-9:30 pace.  I even had some really difficult runs where I would struggle to run 10 minute pace.  Toward the end of the first trimester I was even slowing to 10:30 pace some days.  

Before going to the doctor I ran a couple of 5Ks.  I decided to play it safe and run them with my husband, Ty.  He was new to running at the time and was about a minute or so per mile slower than me.  I figured that would be the best way for me to make sure I didn’t push too hard.  

Before running a 5K during week 5.
I ran my first 5K knowingly pregnant at 5 weeks with Ty and we ran it in 26:54.  My normal 5K time would range anywhere from 21-23 minutes depending on how “in shape” I was.  It felt good to run with him and I was pleased I was still running.  We ran another 5K during my 7th week.  I once again ran with Ty.  He was having some ankle issues and we finished in 28:00. 
Before running a 5K during week 7.
Running during the first trimester was exhausting and it was so hard to get out the door most days.  I always felt refreshed and had more energy once I finished which was great motivation to get out there.  I ran about 12 miles per week during the entire first trimester.  I ran 5 days a week, usually 2 miles 3 times a week and 3 miles twice a week.  I could have run more, I was just so exhausted.  I was also overly cautious.  I knew the first trimester held the highest risk for miscarriage, so I really played it safe.  Next time around I will probably run a bit more.

How many miles a week did you run during your 1st trimester?  What other exercising do you do?

1 comment:

  1. I used to run 20-25 miles a week but I started to get morning sickness and it got really hard to keep it up. I'm now 12 weeks pregnant and haven't ran this year and feel awful about it!! I'm worried I won't be able to get back into it now I've left it so long, as I haven't ran for about 5 weeks but I'm so glad I read your blog. I'm going to try and start up again next week and see how it goes. :) xx