It’s bloody hard staying fit when pregnant. I never managed it with my first as I was so sick and tired those first 4 months. So as soon as my daughter was born I pounded the streets and had a year full of injuries. Big injuries. This time I’m determined to keep my muscles strong and my fitness as good as it can be when you’re growing a baby.
Too tired to run
A couple of weeks before I found out I was pregnant I was doing my usually hilly, 5 mile, off road run to work but it was tough. There was no talking, I literally had to walk on the flat bits, I couldn’t catch my breath. I presumed I was coming down with something. The next week I did a fab off road hill training session with the running club (Pudsey Pacers) but found it so hard I was at the back (even on the down hill!) It was beyond frustrating. I just couldn’t get my breath. That shortness of breath stayed with me throughout the first few months.
Once the pregnancy kicked in after 6 weeks the tiredness really did hit and I’ll be honest there were a couple of weeks were I had the best intentions but could barely be arsed to walk.
Sticking to core exercises
On those tired weeks I stuck to a weekly Pilates class and a weekly gym session focused on core strength. I personally think keeping that core strength will make it easier for me to regain my fitness after my pregnancy. We’ll see.
Like everything the hardest thing is getting out the door but once I did I felt energised afterwards. And I’d booked on a Pilates course and only just joined a gym so I felt obliged to go too, which helped! I’d definitely recommend booking something for that added motivation to move.
Early morning runs
On the good days, bizarrely, I found running before work much easier than at the end of the day. It made my nausea disappear and I felt great …till about 3pm ….then I’d crash in work and be asleep by 7. But I got my run in! The first 3 months I managed one 3-4 mile run a week at a slow pace, an hour Pilates class and a gym session – that is all.
New love for swim
Now I’ve been trying out swimming for a while and getting frustrated with my lack of front crawl technique but towards the end of the first trimester I got on a swim course. I’d been waiting to get on it for a few months and it just so happened I was the only one in the class that could actually swim, so for a few weeks I had 1 on 1 lessons. It was ace. So every Sunday until I’m 18 weeks I’m booked on a half hour class and the trainer really does put me through my paces. Swimming on a Sunday will now be a staple for as long as my body will allow. But I seriously need to work on pace as I can only do front crawl quickly and it’s hard work.
Listening to my body
The NHS recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise every day when you’re pregnant. Well I’m managing 4 times a week at the minute but it will increase. My runs are steady, I’ve said goodbye to speed and if I need to stop I do. I listen very carefully to my body and if half way through I don’t feel right I’ll walk home, same with the gym. I’ve thrown my pig headed competitiveness away for a while. I’m in this for the long game. My exercise schedule is about maintaining core body strength for 9 months and keeping the memory of running in my legs.
It’s so bloody frustrating though when I know how fit I was just a few months ago.