Running in the 3rd Trimester

I have quite the obsession with running and my brain thinks about my little girl 23 hours a day so you can imagine that I have absolutely loved reading, “Runner’s World Guide to Running and Pregnancy.”   I feel like throughout the entire book I am shaking my head yes while I read and saying, ‘amen to that’ after every paragraph:

“When I reached the 20-mile mark in my first marathon, a man on the sidelines yelled, “Congratulations! You’re halfway there.”  I knew instinctively what he meant: The hardest part, the real test of my strength, lay ahead in those last 6.2 miles.  And he was right.

So goes it with the last trimester of pregnancy.  You’ve undoubtedly been anticipating this time, wondering if it will be as hard as everyone says, questioning if you will still run when your belly feels more like a watermelon than a cantaloupe.  Running typically becomes less and less enjoyable as the weeks pass, which is especially disappointing if you sailed through the second trimester. Some of the things you take for granted about your body will change yet again, and you will need to make adjustments.”

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(From my most recent 1/2 Marathon, 29 weeks pregnant)

It is getting harder and harder to run and my average pace has dropped down 2+ minutes per mile but once again the benefits that my little girl and I am getting from running make it all worth it.

– “Studies have shown that for pregnant women who exercise, labor is shorter and involves fewer complications.  Athletes who have endured labor say that their training gave them a mental edge during childbirth.”

-Sleep is hard enough as it is and I notice a big difference on the days that I run vs the days I do not run.  IE I finished 1/2 a season of Malcolm in the Middle the night after taking a rest day last week.

-Improved digestion.

-Let’s be honest, it isn’t easy to see your body change so much and put on weight but after I have a good run in the morning the whole day I feel so much better about myself.

-I can’t even imagine how crazy my emotions would be without running.

-I don’t know about you but running makes me crave healthier foods which is clearly better for me and my baby.   On days that I don’t run I notice that all I want to eat are processed foods i.e. mac and cheese and oreos.  Although, whether I run or not I always want donuts.

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I have one more 1/2 marathon on Saturday and no races planned after that but there will still be plenty of running adventures in the next 10 weeks even though there will probably be more waddling occurring than actual running;)

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What was the hardest part for you during the third trimester?  How much did your running slow down?

What was the biggest benefit from exercise for you during your pregnancy?

What changes do you notice (sleep, eating etc) on your rest days compared to your running days?

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34 comments

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Janae you look so great in your pics! I really need to know how to get my sports photo off the web site so I can put them on my blog, Ill probably buy one! major $$! Ill be honest, I hadnt found my love of running until after Zoee was born, but if I had know about all its wonders, I would have been hitting the asphalt! you are so amazing for keeping on running, so inspiring!!

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Your little girl is already a racing superstar!

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On rest days I tend to have a hard time relaxing before I go to sleep. My legs seem to want to move, almost like a restless legs feeling. Not fun. I also eat healthier on the days I run. Weird.

You are such an inspiration and when I get married and start having babies some day I plan on running through my pregnancies. It just makes sense, you know?

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The hardest part for me during the third trimester was just going slower and decreasing mileage. I was able to make it to 39 weeks before I stopped running because it literally hurt- the weight of baby on my pelvis. But I always had the attitude that it didn’t matter how far or how fast I was running, as long as I was able to keep going! Because just like you have noticed, you feel better, eat better and sleep better- all of which are important normally and extra when you are running for two! The belly band was also my best running friend in the third trimester. I really noticed that my running helped with recovery and how I felt after the baby was born. I think I bounced back quicker because of being in good shape and running throughout the pregnancy. Good lucks and keep it up!

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You look fantastic! I worked out my entire pregnancy. I wasn’t “running”. I was working out at the gym.

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I love your perspective throughout all of this. You’re putting you and your baby’s health first, whether that means running or sometimes NOT running! I’m so happy for you and Billy! :)

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Can’t say I can relate to this, but I think it’s great that you’re still running even if your pace is slowing! I know my mom ran right up to the end of her pregnancies back in the day. If/when I am pregnant someday, I hope I’m as fortunate as you!

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My doctor had me stop running at 30 weeks because of all my prior knee surgeries so I just swam in my 3rd. I’ve never had a baby before this one so I don’t now if my working out made it easier during labor. I did only have to push for 35 minutes and it didn’t wear me out at all. I kept pushing even though the nurse told me I could take some breaks. What I did notice is that all my swimming in the 3rd tri made it so much easier to get back to running. My cardio fitness was at the same level and I was quickly doing 4 milers 6 weeks after baby.

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I didn’t notice much of a difference between 2nd and 3rd tri. i only gained a couple more pounds. Even when the baby dropped it didn’t feel much different.

I went into labor a week early with my 1st. I ran 5 1/2 miles that day. If your are still running, you will probably go early, so be ready!

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I wasn’t active AT ALL during my pregnancy, and I definitely regret that. I didn’t get serious about being healthy until recently, and my little guy is 2 now. :) Better late than never, right?

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I was in the Army for my first pregnancy and had no choice but to workout every morning until the day I had my son.. I continued to workout up until my due date with my other two children as well.. Do you ever feel people judge you for doing so?? I had my bff tell me I was giving my baby “shaken baby syndrome” because I was running on the treadmill.. she was joking, but I think she did think I was harming the baby in a way.. it made me feel like a bad mom in a way.. even tho I obv cleared it with my doctor..

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I certainly sleep better on running days!
My labor was not easy the first time, but that was my little lady’s instance on being sunny side up and sending her elbow out first. But compared to my friends, my C-section recovery was much easier.

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You rock, Mama!!! So amazing that you are running another half!! My last half (with #1) was @ 27 weeks – I felt okay during the race – just felt completely and utterly drained for days after! LOL. I’m cautious to do much more than 10 these days b/c I can’t spend the day on the couch like I did during the first pregnancy! HAHA.
My overall pace was probably about 90 sec slower – maybe a bit more – towards the end. I stopped running with a Garmin b/c the slow (for me) pace was really starting to mess wtih my mind. I felt like I was giving it my all and the Garmin said 9-9:30 most days. This time around I feel *slightly* faster – did 10 on Sat @ 8:33 pace. Although I will say that it’s exactly like you said – the last trimester is the toughest and I fully expect to be seeing 9s VERY soon (3rd tri starts in 1 week – yay!) =)
Hope you had a great weekend with your family! xoxo

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i get into the third trimester this week!! Can’t believe how fast time is flying! Still feeling great- running around 45 minutes a day and loving it! Staring to feel a bit more “heavy” though, but very very thankful I can just run!!

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Wahoo!! Are you running AF Half?? I think Billy mentioned awhile ago you guys were. I hope to see you up there:)
I couldn’t even imagine my fastest pace being able to keep up with your slowest pace. You are sooo incredible.

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you know what’s so cool about all this? You and your girl have already raced together! It’s great to see that you’re still getting out there to run and feeling good.

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I got progressively slower, but just slowed down the treadmill and took some walk breaks. I never got too uncomfortable and didn’t even have to get a running belt which surprised the doctor. He said that as long as it didn’t hurt I could keep running. I ran 5 miles the day the baby was born, my contractions actually started while I was running. I was three days from my due date so I kept running in hopes of helping the labor progress. I had the baby 11 hours after my first contraction and the labor and delivery was easy. I have bounced back quickly and am back running – still slow but this time I am getting progressively faster instead of moving backwards. We have a great running jogger and took our little guy nine miles on Saturday and he slept the entire time. We teased that he would come out running and he basically did. So glad you are still able to run. Hopefully I see you at the gym before you have the baby.

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I was not a runner during my 3 pregnancies, but I was consistently doing yoga during my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies, and I know it helped. With my last one, theday I left the hospital, I didn’t even feel like I’d given birth, I had no pain and never needed more than just ibuprofen the first day. I felt like the yoga helped me bounce back quickly as well.

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You are so inspiring! I love that you are still racing and feeling good :)

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You look great! You are motivation for us all. :)

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I have to give you major props for still doing half marathons! My hips have been really sore so I haven’t ran more than 0.5 mile since 29 weeks (I have been walking and I ran 0.5 mile during my walk). Hopefully they will start feeling better so I can continue running just a little longer. I think I might start swimming if not so I can at least keep some cardio for afterwards. 10 weeks, we are getting close!

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at this late in the pregnancy, i was confined to the spin bike! running felt bouncy and bouncy wasn’t fun.

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I’m in the throes of the 3rd trimester now at 36 weeks plus a few days! I am still running but only 3-5 miles because – well, quite simply, it comes down to time available to me. Losing sleep to go super early just isn’t an option for me because with 5 other kids to feed, school, clothe, and clean up after, I get pretty tired every day, and I need all the sleep I can get!! I’d love to still be out there 1 1/2-2hrs at time instead of just 45-65 minutes, but most of my runs now I pay a babysitter for so I can do it after my husband is at work. (I homeschool, so they are all here all day – no jogging stroller for 5, as if I’d use it anyway :) – and none are old enough to babysit the others – oldest is only 9) So I usually go on Saturdays when my husband is home to babysit, and then I pay the babysitter two other mornings. I am so jealous reading about all the first time moms out there – or those maybe running through their second pregnancies pushing a jogger (or the one I read about pushing a triple stroller!!!) – because you guys all seem to be running 6 days a week still!! Who’m I kidding, though, even not pregnant when I can manage to make it through with less sleep, I still run a maximum of 5 days a week, and usually only 4 :) Anyway, my pace has slowed by about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, depending on the day. I wasn’t very fast to begin with, having only started running after 4 children and at age 35 I’m still building up with mileage and trying to get faster. My VERY FIRST half marathon was during this pregnancy at 24 weeks because it was the first time I’d ever been consistently running 7-12 miles for my longer runs, so I figured I was ready. So when I say my pace has slowed — it’s gone from about 9 minute pace at my fastest to 10:30 pace when I’m going “fast” now, and my average pace used to be about 9:30, where that average is now anywhere from 11:30-12. By the way, your baby bump looks SO TINY for 30 weeks! I know with my first mine was smaller as well, just from all the muscle tone I had had from previously being a power lifter in college, but after that first one I never got back into lifting in any way and don’t cross train, so I think the bump just tends to “pop” out much more now, regardless of my weight being 15 pounds lower than in previous pregnancies (from all the running). I can’t wait to eventually make it up to my first marathon!! But that will have to be in the fall after baby and I do our big marathon some time around July 14! :)

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I just wanna know how you do a 1/2 during pregnancy. I’m so scared, but really wanna put it on my ‘goals’ list; so just push me out the door, will ya?! My pace has really decreased too. Sometimes it’s really frustrating for me, but I know it will come back some day!

You’re such a rockstar runner!!!

Ps – I didn’t run today and I’m eating french fries, so I can relate to your other post about not wanting as healthy foods on rest days…just so much easier to throw fries in the oven lol

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You are a superstar!!!! You are so inspiring! I sent you a message through your “contact” page — did you receive it? I know you are super busy so it’s no biggie! I am just technologically challenged so I wanted to make sure I sent it correctly!!!!

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with #1 I ran the day before she was born, with each additional pregnancy, running was harder and harder. My pelvis hurt and it just didn’t feel right after about week 12. So, I stopped but I eliptisized like CRAZY! I seemed to gain just the right amount of weight each time and always had unreal energy. I am a firm believer in exercise during pregnancy! e

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The hardest part of the 3rd tri is the end. The waiting. You hit a point when you are done (Stick a fork in you done) and you just want the baby out. You usually give birth a few days/weeks after that – but everyday feels like a month!

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You are such an awesome pregnant runner girl. I’m so proud of all that you’ve accomplished. I hope I can do that, should I choose to have another.

PS: I’m going to pick up Glycerin 10’s TONIGHT!!!

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I saw a shirt at a booth at the Utah Valley Marathon that said….
(On the front of the shirt) I run because…..
(On the back of the shirt) You wouldn’t like me if I didn’t!

I had to laugh at that one! I am generally a happy person, but when I get stressed out dealing with the kids and everything it takes to run a household with a husband and 4 munchkins…..I just HAVE to get out there and hit the pavement! It’s my sanity!! I come back feeling so much better and happier!! :O)

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Way to go still running. I dreamt of being a pregnant runner but by 5 months my bladder would just not cooperate. Luckily once she was out, all bladder issues in check. Phew. With running out I was on the elliptical, a bike or doing hills on the treadmill. I had to exercise or I was one bitchy pregnant lady. I really think it helped me have such a fast labor.

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I don’t have any kids so have never run preggo, but just wanted to say I think it is awesome! I always want to high five the preg ladies I see when running but then worry that would be too weird, so instead I will tell you that I think it great and am sending you a bloggy fiver!

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The hardest part about running in the third trimester for me was finding shirts that covered my belly! Other than that, I was just so happy to be running, no matter how slow.
Running definitely makes for easier labor, at least mentally. It also helped me physically, and recovery was short! At three weeks post partum, I felt ready to roll.

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I agree. That was by far the best book I read during my pregnancy. I was also obsessed with always rubbing my belly post run and asking baby S whether s/he was okay.

The only time I didn’t mind racing without pressure was during pregnancy — it’s already such a huge accomplishment running, but running with baby in womb — well, that deserves medals!!!

You look fab in your pictures.

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Hi! I know I’m super late in postng here but I was combing the web for running during the third tri and was shocked at all the misconceptions I’ve found out there. I have to say I feel awesome during and after my runs!!! I spent most of the winter indoors on the treadmill :( !!! So, I’m so thankful for being able to get out there and just run! Thanks for great inspirations!!!!

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