My Experience of Running During Pregnancy: The Second Trimester
I’ve finally made it to the second trimester and ‘Junior’ is growing. This trimester for me has consisted of reducing morning sickness, less exhaustion, Junior starting to move whenever I stop, reintroducing strength training, bra shopping once a fortnight and the introduction of the ‘Ralk’ (Run and Walk).
Running still feels great, but I’ve stopped looking at my watch and worrying about people passing me, and am just enjoying being out there and not feeling sick. As the weather heats up, I’m conscious of getting out early in the morning, sticking to shaded trails or the shaded side of the street and keeping well hydrated. The slower pace has given me the opportunity to explore some new running trails and enjoy the scenery.
Overheating is a risk in pregnancy, so it’s important to consider the conditions and ensure I’m appropriately dressed and hydrated before stepping out the front door. Ralks are another way to control my temperature and heart rate, and enable me to be out for longer and cover more distance.
I initially started with a couple of minutes walk after each kilometer of running. As I’ve progressed through my second trimester I walk whenever I feel I need to, especially going up hills. This has been a significant mind shift for me as I am a fiercely competitive person, especially against myself. However it was very liberating to stop looking at the pace on my Garmin and just enjoy the fact that I was out there Ralking, keeping myself and my growing Junior healthy.
As my exhaustion has reduced and morning sickness is easing, I’ve gotten back into strength training three mornings a week, on the days I don’t Ralk. Strength helps with Ralks, but more importantly it will help to ensure I’m ready to bring Junior into the world. I’m conscious of limiting single-leg exercises to reduce additional load on my pelvis as I want to be able to Ralk for as long as I can without pelvic pain.
I was expecting to start noticing the swell of my belly and having to buy new running shorts. What I wasn't expecting, however, was needing a new sports bra every fortnight. Having the right support when running is essential and, as I found out, you can only run for so long holding your chest without getting strange looks or compromising your running form. I now own my favourite sports bra in five different cup sizes and all I can say is that it was money well spent.
Thankfully the stretchy waistband of my running shorts is accommodating and I now wear my husband’s running t-shirts. My lightweight running shoes have been replaced with more a supportive style to look after my feet.
About halfway through this trimester I started to feel Junior moving. It began as a flutter and soon progressed to the feeling of someone running inside me. I think Junior’s going to be very active, as whenever I stop moving Junior starts. Hopefully Junior will develop my love of running and it is something we can enjoy as a family in the future.
People are starting to do a double take when I’m out on a Ralk, like they’re trying to decide if I ate too many donuts or if I’m pregnant. I feel great while Ralking and look forward to what lies ahead.