Monday, June 11, 2012

10 Pregnancy Running Tips

1) Bring more water than you think you'll need.  I've been drinking about 50% more than I used to.  And since fuel belts probably aren't going to fit you anymore, get used to the hand-held bottles or a hydration pack.  I have the older version of this one by Nathan and love it.

2) Throw on some extra lube.  I'm now experiencing chub rub in some odd places.  Which might have something to do with wearing non-maternity running clothes beyond their stretchability.  But really, extra lube never hurt anyone.

3) Belly support!  I'm still on the hunt for one that works for me.  I didn't like this one very much at all (way too much chaffing and a weird fit) so I'm going to try this one and/or this one next.

4) Buck up the $$ and get yourself a new sports bra that fits.  Not everyone has circus-freak boobs like myself (increased over 4 cup sizes so far!), but there's a good chance your old ones aren't really working for you anymore.  When the girls are comfy, you're comfy.  I use this one by Shock Absorber.  It goes up to at least to a 36H.  Please don't ask me how I know.
Short side story: I stocked up on $500 worth of new sports bras about 2 weeks before getting pregnant.  If you are in need of 34DD, hit me up!

5) Walk on over to a garbage receptacle.  Now, throw out all of your old hangups about speed, distance, and endurance.  Go on, let go.  Good.  Now close the lid and back away.  Giving yourself permission to finally just listen to your body is one of the best gifts you can give yourself if you want to continue enjoying running while pregnant.  This is actually good advice for non-pregnancy running.

6) And while you're at it, chuck your dignity in there too.  Running while pregnant probably won't do much to boost your self-esteem.  This was confirmed during a run when a car of teenage girls yelled "keep running fat ass" at me.  Lovely.  Because I didn't already feel fat and gross and bouncy.

7) Indulge in some maternity-specific workout clothes.  I didn't run much in the first trimester because I was too sick.  By the time I got into running again (close to 20 weeks) my belly had popped, but I was still trying to squeeze into my usual ensembles.  Those first few runs were spent pulling my shirt down over and over again as it tried to repeatedly creep up over my belly.  And my running shorts, although pushed below the bump, were still tight enough to give me a constant wedgie.  It was miserable.  Although they aren't maternity-specific, I'm loving the running skirts by Lululemon and their regular running/yoga tops but in a longer length.  I have one from Nike that I'm obsessed with, so I'm on the hunt for the same style.  I'll post it here if I find it. But the Lulu ones are pretty awesome and have a nice selection in long lengths.
Another side note: For maternity cycling clothes, check out the line by Sheila Moon.  I purchased two sleeveless jerseys and the Aphrodite shorts and LOVE them!

8) Treat your feet.  I'm not talking about changing up your running shoes (don't!), but the swelling is quite painful.  And nobody looks good rocking the hobbit-feet.  I guess this happens whether you're running or not, but now is the time to spoil yourself.  Kick them up post-run and let the hubby give you a good massage.  Or be good about scheduling regular pedicures.  Yes, it's safe.  No, it won't make you go into pre-term labor.

9) Mind the heat.  You're going to get hot fast.  Like, nuclear hot.  And now that we're heading into summer, try and get out the door early in the morning or later after the sun is going down.  Bring extra water (see tip 1), wear clothes that breathe (preferably not in all-black, even though it is slimming), and don't push the pace too much if the mercury is on the rise.  Remember that first trimester nausea that made you want to slit your wrists and question the sanity of anyone with more than one child?  That's what you'll feel like if you get overheated.  Don't go there.

10) I should probably put in here somewhere to check with your physician about running while pregnant. While a minority of women have issues that prevent them from running safely, it really is okay to do for most of us. Luckily I have kick-ass midwives who are up-to-date in their field and forward thinking. No heart rate limit (totally bogus and outdated advice), no time limit, no distance limit. Just instructions to listen to my body and don't do anything stupid. Common sense stuff.

Happy running!