By Alix J. Shutello
Over the past few months there has been a fury of activity on my blog I am happy to report. And after almost two years the most popular post is my story on running while pregnant.
One of my readers asked about taking up running again after not having run for a month. My advice to you is to go ahead and start off slow – there are a few things to remember when you begin.
In the case of the particular runner who asked me about this – you had some sort of blood clot in your uterus. I would not run unless you cleared that with the doctor. I know this is your third child but the safety of the baby comes first and you can always walk to relieve stress and get some exercise. Trust me, walk for two hours and you’ll feel like you ran 6 or 7 miles at a swift pace.
One month of limited to no training during pregnancy is a lot different than one month when you are not. In one month during pregnancy, a lot happens to a woman’s body. Depending on what how far along you are, you may have gained a lot of weight or remained stable, but either way, that baby grew! Also, your body’s physiology changed. Your blood became thicker, your ligaments loosened, and your center of gravity has changed. All of these are factors – and say you are moving into your second or third trimesters, that extra ten pounds you’ve gained hopefully by now will affect your knees especially. Your running posture will be different, so you will need to be extra careful.
I think that while it’s great to say you ran through your whole pregnancy – and many women do – you need be extra careful when you start up again because of the changes in your body. You also have to consider your running career after the baby is born. Is it worth it to run now? You’ll be putting all this extra stress on your bones and ligaments so just think about this before starting up again.
Most importantly, know that running during pregnancy can be great for many women. Each woman needs to judge their situation and reasons for running. It won’t kill you to walk instead of run; in fact, you may be more fit after pregnancy if you chose walking over running.
At the end of the day, the baby’s safety (and yours) comes first, but if you are feeling good, and the doc says it’s ok, then go for it!