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5 Truths About Running While Pregnant

by Meghann on June 3, 2015

Happy National Running Day!

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It’s no secret how much running means to me. What started as something I did to lose weight 7 years ago has turned into so much more. Running is my therapy, it’s my strength, and it’s who I am.  I love running. It’s that simple.

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I’ve been really lucky to have been able to continue running through this pregnancy. Though I do have some restrictions in place, my doctor has been really great with encouraging me to stay active and continue to do what I love. With that being said, I thought it would be amusing to reveal some truths when it comes to running while pregnant. Most of these I was warned about, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t take me by surprise when I started making my way into the second trimester!

  1. You will fart. A lot.

Pregnancy makes you gassy. Well, at least it makes me gassy. And that gassiness intensifies about 100 times over while running. I’m basically a running fart machine. It’s a good thing that I run when the streets are still quiet and the cars whizzing by can’t hear a peep. Want to know the real reason I run with Maddie? So I always have someone I can blame the flatulence on. Just kidding. Sort of.

  1. Running will make you poop.

Every pregnancy book/ forum I’ve read talks about how constipated women get during pregnancy. Thanks to running, I have yet to have that problem. So if you’re having problems with not being able to go in your second trimester, please allow me to suggest going for a run. It should clear you right up. While I’ve been enjoying the benefit of staying pretty regular, unfortunately the urge to go starts to creep in around mile 2 and by mile 2.5 I’m waddling to make it home in time. I’ve mapped out a couple of perfect 3 mile loops from my house, but unfortunately none of the routes have access to a public restroom. In fact, there really aren’t any public restrooms close to my house that would make sense if added to a 3 mile route. At this point I’m toying with the idea of creating some 1.5 mile loops that would allow me to make a pitstop at home before continuing on or sticking with a treadmill that would allow me to quickly hop off if I felt the urge to go. However, the idea of the treadmill scares me because, well, see #1. Most people wear headphones when they’re at the gym, right? I’m sure they won’t notice the farting pregnant woman the next treadmill down.

  1. Walking breaks are awesome.

I have NOT been breaking any speed records lately. I’m actually thankful my doctor has encouraged me to take the “run/walk” approach because it means I feel less guilty when I walk. Actually that statement is dumb because walking breaks are awesome. I’ve been doing a “run every two light poles/ walk one light pole” approach and really enjoy it. Since I haven’t been running with a watch (yep, I’ve been running “nekkid” all pregnancy), creating some sort of visual goal for the run/walk helps keep me motivated to keep moving forward.

  1. A good sports bra is invaluable

I’m actually planning to dedicate a whole post to this, but let’s just say going from basically no boobs to big boobs does not come without certain challenges. Like how all of your flimsy Target sports bras suddenly becoming pointless. There was a point where I had to hold my boobs for entire runs to stop the pain. Pet peeve – anyone who tells you to “wait” and buy new bras until after the baby comes because they will continue to grow. While I agree they will (and have) continued to grow, I’m afraid if I would have waited, that there would be no boobs left as they would have ripped off in rebellion. But again, I’ll focus on this in another post. Let’s just say it’s worth the investment of news sports bras (or regular bras, really) periodically through the pregnancy.

  1. Your body is amazing.

When all is said and done, I can’t help but take awe in how amazing the human body is. While I can laugh and joke about flatulence, needing to poop, and sore boobs; I also feel so incredibly lucky and blessed to continue to run relatively pain free (*knock on wood*) at 22 weeks. I know this can change at any moment, so I’m going to take advantage and enjoy every second of it while I can. My body has carried me through an ultra marathon, seven marathons, a full IRONMAN, and now it’s growing a new life. That’s pretty friggin’ awesome.  Thank you, body, for being my secret weapon. You rock.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erica [email protected]} June 3, 2015 at 7:30 am

At 26 weeks I’ve basically given up on running. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore, and I usually start to get round ligament pain a few minutes into it anyway. It’s hard because I was a pretty serious runner before (was planning to train for my first 50k!) but I know it’s only temporary. I still try to run/walk intervals at least once a week, and am going on a lot more long walks now!
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2 Nikki June 3, 2015 at 8:29 am

No longer pregnant, gave birth last year, but this made me laugh. You are spot on!

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3 Goldie June 3, 2015 at 8:32 am

here here! Our bodies are amazing. I mean, mine is slowly breaking down as I fast approach 30 weeks but after a 28 weeks scan and a look at bubba and seeing how wonderful s/he is I am a big fan of my body right now. I look odd and I walk funny but I don’t care. I am creating life.xx
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4 Linda @ The Fitty June 3, 2015 at 8:33 am

YOU WILL FART A LOT.

You made me laugh today, thanks for your honesty and sense of humor ! 🙂
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5 Dunja June 3, 2015 at 8:34 am

Thanks for this post! I hope I can run again when I start in my second trimester. I’m now in week 11. In the beginning I run three times a week a 5k (what is ridiculous because before pregnancy I’ve running four times a week and no less then 10k). And then I have start feeling very unconfortable. And last week I have get an restriction by my doctor because I had a bleeding. But I miss running so much. It was always my perfect start in the day. And of course I’ve coul go regular to the toilet. Since I can’t running I have big problems with this issue. My stomach hurts almost every day…

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6 Jamie June 3, 2015 at 8:39 am

I am pregnant with my third and quit running during the first trimester. I think it is so awesome that you are able to continue your running. Thanks for keeping it real though, you made me laugh. The pregnancy gas is no joke ha ha. My daughter (2 years old) told me how stinky I was the other day. Oh well, I know from experience that it will all be back to normal eventually.

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7 Samantha June 3, 2015 at 9:14 am

All of this is true! I’m 41 weeks tomorrow and I’ve run my entire pregnancy – minus weeks 1-5 because I did IVF and was restricted to walking. My biggest peice of advice is to continue to adjust your expectations. First my pace slowed, then I began taking more walking breaks. About six weeks ago, running outside caused my calves to swell, so I’ve done the treadmill exclusively since. Now I run for about 15 minutes, take a break to relieve the swelling in my feet, then run 15 more. It’s a far cry from the half training I was used to, but it still gives me that runner’s high. I’ve approached every run with the idea it could be my last, and that’s ok. Good luck with the remainder of your pregnancy! I also bought a support belt around my third trimester and that helped a lot with back/pelvic pains.

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8 Cara June 3, 2015 at 9:17 am

However, you didn’t mention anything about peeing your pants every 2 minutes, lol!

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9 Jen @ Pretty Little Grub June 3, 2015 at 9:20 am

Does it feel funny? I always wondered if your belly would feel like its bouncing around.
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10 Meghann June 3, 2015 at 7:27 pm

Sometimes I swear I feel my uterus hitting my bladder, but I don’t think the bump is quite big enough to really notice a bouncing difference yet. However, I’m full prepared to order a maternity support belt when it does.

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11 KatyBugChild June 3, 2015 at 9:34 am

I highly recommend the Moving Comfort bras, especially in Juno style, because they’re nursing friendly and because of the velco straps, they adjust really well as your boobs grow. I have four pair.
KatyBugChild recently posted..Dear BabyBug 2.0 (17 Weeks)

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12 Meghann June 3, 2015 at 7:25 pm

I ordered one and LOVE it. Looks like I’ll be investing in a few more.

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13 Annie June 3, 2015 at 10:02 am

Congrats on running through the first half of your pregnancy! Love the jumping picture- adorable! I was just wondering if you and Derek were going to install a childproof fence around your pool, since I’m sure you will be doing a lot of entertaining with the under-5 crowd in the next few years. If you need additional info, the Red Cross is a great resource for pool safety and fence tips. Some places even have organizations that provide free fences! Best of luck to you! 🙂

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14 Meghann June 3, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Yep. That’s on our baby proofing list!

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15 Sarah June 3, 2015 at 10:18 am

I am not sure if you have ever tried a Wacol sports bra or not but they are awesome, In the last year and a bit I started running and lost 45lbs and I’m still wearing the same sports bra I bought at the start of my running. Granted I didn’t lose all of my boobs but I did lost some and changing the straps from straight to crossed back allows me to still wear the same bra. I think I really could go down a band size but this one still does the job. Might be worth checking out if you think you’ll have variability as you continue your pregnancy and then run post-baby – and for me it’s 100% supportive for the run.

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16 Meghann June 3, 2015 at 7:24 pm

I had a few folks recommend Wacol for regular bras, but I didn’t know they made sports bras. I’ll have to investigate.

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17 Mary June 3, 2015 at 11:38 am

Thanks for writing such an honest (and funny!) post. Like Jen, I’d also like to ask the question ‘Does it feel like your belly is bouncing around?!’
As someone that is recently married and thinking about starting a family one of the things that worries me most is that I may not be able to run. It’s not really talked about – people assume I’ll give it up when I fall pregnant – a little like someone would give up cigarettes or alcohol, but I’m not sure I want to do that. Best get prepared for all the farting then instead! 😛
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18 Meghann June 3, 2015 at 7:24 pm

I still have some ways to go in the bump department, so I’m sure the bouncing will start soon. I’m looking into maternity support belts for when that happens.

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19 EB @ Running on E June 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Hilarious and honest! The human body is really amazing and it’s ability to create another human is impressive!
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20 Laura June 3, 2015 at 3:13 pm

I don’t have gas during my preggo runs but I notice that it hits right after a run. And it’s that painful gas that makes you feel sick until it works it’s way out. Oye!

And preggo boobs are no joke! I tried to run yesterday using a sports bra I ran in 1.5 weeks ago but within 10 steps I realized it would no longer give me the support I need. The run turned into a very long walk. I just don’t know which bra to try and which size to order. My husband remind me “you’re getting a baby out of this” and I point out he is too but his body isn’t doing weird things!
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21 Kim June 3, 2015 at 8:45 pm

I wasn’t really into running back when I was pregnant but I know if I got pregnant today (oh dear), I would continue to run. I’m really going to enjoy following your journey until that little one arrives. I bet this makes labor a breeze. Keep it up!
Kim recently posted..Dear stomach, the party’s over. Avoiding post marathon weight gain.

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22 Pam June 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm

Have you used a heart rate monitor at all while running?
My personal trainer suggested I stay at 140/150 BPM and it’s hard to stick to those levels once I break a sweat. I’m only 6 weeks so being very cautious right now.
Great post and so true about being gassy, right after every meal too, hard to hide it sometimes!
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23 Laura June 4, 2015 at 9:39 am

The 140 BPM for pregnant women is really outdated information. It should be based on each individual person’s fitness range and their normal BPM. I’m 19 weeks pregnant and got so stressed out trying to stay within a certain range that I ditched the heart rate monitor completely. I feel so much better not worrying about it. I just do my normal workouts but don’t do anything extreme like sprints, etc. On an exertion scale of 1-10 I’d say I don’t really go above a 7 anymore. And at 6 weeks pregnant, it’s so early you really don’t need to worry-baby isn’t even using your blood supply yet so no damage can be done.
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24 Megan June 3, 2015 at 9:30 pm

I ran throughout most of my second pregnancy- it was amazing. I had to stop around 34 weeks bc it felt like my stomach was going to fall off… But I continued to use the elliptical.

I loved the looks and comments I would get. ????

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25 Molly Rose June 4, 2015 at 7:29 am

haha I love it! So glad to hear your body is able to run while pregnant! And hey- I take on the run/walk approach and I’m not pregnant… I love walking breaks! They make the whole thing less miserable 😉

keep chugging along girlfriend, you’re looking great!
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26 Meghan June 4, 2015 at 9:42 am

I love this!! So happy that you have been able to run throughout your pregnancy!
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27 Jenna June 4, 2015 at 10:21 am

This made my day! I am almost 15 weeks and i have issues with #1 and #2 EVERY time! Luckily i have a treadmill at home so only i have to suffer haha! And i can totally relate to the bras…i too went from nothing to OMG HOW MUCH BIGGER CAN THEY GET! I needed new bras ASAP! I have had to incorporate walking as well because my belly can feel heavy and my lung capacity isnt what is used to be =)

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28 Laure June 4, 2015 at 11:39 am

Meghan, I have been reading your blog for years. I just had a baby April 1. I think I had to stop running around 20 weeks due to the peeing issue. However I did the stairmaster and elliptical until 32 weeks. Then it got harder. I hiked up and down the stairs at red rocks amphitheater a few times between weeks 32-41. I also worked as an RN until 39 weeks. I bounced back super quick, in fact I was below PP wright within 1 week. Stay active, it gets harder but you will not regret it. So excited for u and baby girl

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29 Julie June 4, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Totally could not run when I was pregnant, so I admire that you can. I did a near marathon at 9 weeks and I think at 21 weeks it just felt bad. I had (and still have — 6 months postpartum!) pubic issues that made/makes running painful. But it could have been worse!

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30 Ashley M. [at] (never)homemaker June 5, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Great post. I completely agree with the pooping and farting. Shit got REAL sometimes. Hahah 🙂
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31 Trish June 6, 2015 at 6:47 am

I ran my whole pregnancy. My last run was two days before I gave birth. I was even able to complete 2 marathons. I never noticed being gassy on runs and I never needed to pee (I sweat a lot) but like you, I never had to worry about constipation. I also sometimes noticed my leg/feet going numb for a few when the baby readjusted on my sciatic nerve. That was fun. You will notice after you have baby and come back to running, it is weird too. Your hips might be wider and your muscles had adjusted to the belly so it just feels different. .

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32 Tricia @ A Couple of Dashes June 11, 2015 at 10:38 am

You had me laughing out loud on the bus when I read the part about how you bring Maddie with you so you have someone to blame for your gas. Hilarious!
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