I’m fourteen weeks pregnant and now that it’s finally public I’m going to start sharing my journey of growing a tiny human while training and racing at aquathlon and aquabike nationals. There’s a lot of stigma around pregnant women exercising and staying active. Hopefully sharing my journey educates some people or encourages an expectant mother to stay active and exercise throughout their pregnancy. Every pregnancy and woman’s body is unique. Most importantly talk to your OB about your current fitness activity and what you currently have planned so you can make decisions together what you can do, what you should modify, and what you need to drop.
My OB’s general recommendation is to maintain your current physical activity as much as comfortable and to be cautious of balancing risks starting at 5-6 months. My favorite personal example of this is hiking. I like hiking, I have hiked in the last, but I haven’t consistently hiked in the past few years so no hiking for me right now. You can read American Pregnancy’s recommendations here if you want to educate yourself about current standards/recommendations before your first OB appointment.
My exercise history in the last few years is doing half and full Ironman’s and last year doing multiple sprints and half marathons. This year has been a little lighter coming off of an injury but my doctor said it should be ok to race at nationals as long as I don’t have complications. I’ll be 22 weeks or 5.5 months race weekend. I’ve decided to change from half ironman distance to a half aquabike so I don’t have to run long distance during my second trimester. My doctor and I decided to move to an indoor trainer after nationals as long as comfortable to avoid the risk of falling due to balance issues on the road. I’ve already switched to a road bike instead of tri bike as my primary training and racing bike for more stability. Swimming is one of the most recommended exercises while pregnant and I plan to swim throughout the whole pregnancy.
It’s important to keep in mind that things may not go as planned so listen to your body and your OB through this journey. Stay flexible during your pregnancy. Your body is going through a lot of changes with a variety of side effects and limitations that are different woman to woman. Some moms can run up until the week they are due, others have to stop after the first trimester. If you feel uncomfortable doing specific types of exercises early on it’s ok to step back. You are not any less of an athlete if you have to take a brake.
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