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Running during pregnancy: the third trimester


I feel like I just shared my second trimester running experience with you – I guess it was only 5 weeks ago! Still, I feel the need to tell you all about my third trimester running experience now – at 30 weeks pregnant – while I’m still able to run.

At 30 weeks, I’m feeling very pregnant. All of the usual third trimester discomforts have started – back pain, sleep disturbances, nausea – and I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever. But I’m still a long 10 weeks from my due date which is hard to wrap my brain around.

Running has suddenly gotten a lot more difficult over the last week or so, too. My feet ache from the minute I start running and I’m starting to feel awkward and almost off-balanced rather than comfortable – no doubt from the extra 25 lbs. I’m lugging around.

I only ran until 33 weeks when I was pregnant with my son, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it that far this time around. But I really want to. Heck, I’d love to be one of those women who is able to run up until her due date. Even though I doubt that will happen to me, I’m trying to do everything possible to keep running, such as:

  • Only running when I feel up to it. I’m a type A person and, even when I’m not officially training for an event, I like planning my week’s workouts ahead of time. I usually have set running days and a goal mileage before I even head out the door. Things are different now that I’m so pregnant. Some days I wake up and my IT bands burn, my hips throb, and I just do not feel like running. So, I’m listening to my body on those days and forgoing a run for a walk instead. I can always try again tomorrow.
  • Taking plenty of walk breaks. Walk breaks have become a necessity during every run. I used to aim to only take one per mile, but I need them more often now, and that’s OK.
  • Sticking to the treadmill. Thanks to a colder-than-average winter, I’ve been doing a lot of runs on the treadmill. Last week it was nice out (mid-30s!) so I had the chance to run outside for the first time in weeks. It was humbling to say the least. I live in a hilly area, and even walking up the hills was hard on my body. I felt wiped out and sore for the rest of the day, which is not a fun feeling when I have a toddler to care for. I learned my lesson – it’s the treadmill from here on out.
  • Stretching and icing. My lower body aches all of the time now, so I’m being mindful about stretching after each run and before bed. My feet kill by the end of the day so I’m icing them most nights, too.

I feel like a ticking time bomb. I know I’m going to get to a point where running is just too uncomfortable, and when that happens, I’ll stop. But I have no idea when that time will come – it could be tomorrow or two months from now. Until then, I’m doing my best to treasure every run like it’s my last.

What was running like towards the end of your pregnancy?

Written by Jen Matz.

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