I have been very blessed that a majority of my pregnancy I’ve gotten such great support in my running. My husband, family, and friends have all been supportive of my decision to continue running for as long as I could during pregnancy. However; there are a few who have questioned my decision (and I expected that).
One of the most common comments I received is: you shouldn’t be pushing your body so hard. When are you going to start cutting it back?
To begin, I never push my body too hard. I’m very careful to listen to what it needs. If I need to stop and walk, I do. If I need to slow down, I do. In fact I am running the slowest I’ve run in several years – and that is perfectly OK!
I knew there would come a time however, where I would need to finally cut things back a little. In the back of my head I’ve always had a plan of what I’d do tentatively I was just waiting for my body to give me the signs that it was that time. Last week, I started to see those signs.
- My body was having a harder time getting through the runs
- I was having more difficulty breathing
- My body was not recovering at the same rate as it had been
- My exhaustion just keeps getting worse
I made the decision when I hit 30 weeks that it was time to start slowly cutting back my running. Does this mean I’m going to cut 10 miles each week? No, not yet. Almost like a marathon taper I am going to slowly back off of my miles as I feel the need.
One of the biggest road blocks I’ve faced is this issue with breathing. Depending on how our little man is positioned I often have trouble breathing and it feels like someone is sitting on my chest. That’s real conducive to running right? Thankfully I haven’t dealt with it too much while running yet but I realize that as he gets bigger this could become even more of an issue.
The first changes I made going into week 30:
- No more interval workouts
- Monday and Wednesday runs are cut down
- My long run
- More spinning/cross training
Intervals were a great way to keep my legs moving slightly quicker while making the treadmill miles go by a bit quicker. However; it has been hard to keep up and my pace has continued to significantly slow down. I knew my body was starting to not be able to do it as easily so I knew it was time to step back.
In case you missed it, you can see my post on running workouts during pregnancy here.
I cut my longer week day runs down one more, which I realize isn’t a lot but it was a good start. I will continue running 4 miles most days hopefully.
Finally, about 2 weeks ago you may remember that I cut back my long run and made the decision to no longer run double digits. The past week I only ran 8 miles as my long run and even though it was enjoyable, it definitely wasn’t as easy as it once was. I don’t know if I will continue 8 this week or take it down again, I am playing my long runs by how my body feels.
The ultimate plan is to continue decreasing as I need and then in the last month or so I will move towards an every other day running schedule and supplement more heavily with spinning and other forms of cross training. I want to keep myself healthy but I also don’t want to overdo and cause this little man to come early by any means.
This can all change in an instant of course. I’ve learned one really important thing during pregnancy and that is you have to be more lenient than you’ve ever been. You have to listen to your body and regardless of what you want to do – you have to do what your body can do.
As I’ve always said since the beginning of pregnancy it’s all about focusing on one day at a time. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, not a month from now – simply the day that is in front of me right now.
Running is a journey, and this is the journey I am on now.