I started my journey with running during pregnancy around 7-8 weeks. I went into it with a plan through knew that it may have to change because I’ve never done this before. As our bodies change, get bigger, and this little baby grows I knew that I had to be willing to adapt.
Regardless of knowing this, it was my husband who had to finally point it out to me. I’ve been running 35-40 miles for most of the last 2 months. I’ve had 2 extra rest days thrown in there so some weeks were less but I’ve been pushing myself to try and keep my miles around that for as long as I could. Why? I really don’t know.
Last Sunday my husband and I were starting out on our Sunday easy run and I just stopped a little over a mile in. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I was going as slow as I knew how, and I was being way too hard on myself. I knew my body was starting to push back a bit, but my husband was the one who got me to finally make me admit it out loud.
So what if I have to change things and cut back? In the end this baby is the most important thing and as my body grows it is making it more difficult. I finished out those 6 miles but did the run/walk method to get through it and surprisingly had a much better run once I cut myself a little slack.
We did some brainstorming and I knew it was time to change things up a bit. I didn’t want to quit running my goal still is to run throughout this pregnancy, but I knew I need to cut back and add in a few other things to help me overall.
I love running but pushing 6 miles every day (almost) during the week and on Sunday, PLUS a long run was really tiring me out. I’m already exhausted BEFORE I run so it hasn’t always been easy. There are some days I feel great and some days where I am slugging through them.
I’ve noticed in pregnancy I have to give my body AT LEAST 20/30 minutes to warm up so judging a run before that is pretty pointless; however, I’ve been noticing it getting harder to breathe and the added weight is taking a toll on my leg recovery.
The goal for now is to still do a longer run/”workout” on Monday and Wednesday and then cut back the miles on my Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday run. I’m only about 4 days in but I can already tell a pretty good difference in how my body is responding.
Plus, this enables me to sleep a little later some mornings and the further along I get the more I realize just how important sleep is and how much I need a little bit extra.
A few weeks after I began running again we purchased a spin bike to help with cross training during pregnancy. I’ve used it at least 1-2 times per week for short sessions, but I knew it would really come in handy when I needed to run less.
I’ve been trying to supplement some of my mileage decrease with a few afternoon spin sessions. This is helping me in to work different muscle groups while at the same time working out some of the lactic acid build up in my legs. It’s sometimes hard to talk myself into, but 2 days a week in the afternoon seems manageable.
I use the sessions more to just keep my legs moving then trying to work up some huge sweat or add in intervals.
I’ll be the first to admit that strength work is one of the first things to go when I get busy, or in my case right now tired. However; as I’ve become bigger during this pregnancy the deficiencies in my strength in certain areas are really standing out.
I came up with a small strength workout I can do every day right after my run. On the days where I don’t run as much I usually will add in a little bit more upper body. I try to avoid adding too much extra lower body to avoid being too sore the next day.
I know the stronger I can get during the next 17 weeks the more it will help me later down the road after baby. The things I do now will directly impact my abilities later and I want to be stronger than I’ve been in the past.
The simple changes may not seem like much but I can already tell a difference in not only my physical health but my mental health as well. It’s so important to realize when your body needs a break and it doesn’t make you weak!
I can’t wait to meet this little guy and I know that these small changes which I’m sure will adapt even more throughout are the best thing for myself and for him!
Have you ever had to cut back?