Whether you've been a road racer for years, or you were just inspired to take up the sport by watching Milly Clark and company prep for the Olympics, running is a sport that has appeal for just about everyone. But, like any athletic endeavor, it's important to stay safe and adapt when your daily life affects your running life. For instance, is running safe during pregnancy, and how can pregnant runners maintain their baby's health without losing all that training?
The most immediate answer is: it depends. A professional ultra-runner may have different medical concerns than someone training for that first 5K. (Both are worthy endeavors, of course.) It's important to work with your doctor to establish safe and sane running regimes based on your individual pregnancy progress, health needs, and workout goals.
That said, there are some general guidelines about running and pregnancy. The good news: safe training may be beneficial for you and your baby. As Dr. Lewis Maharam said in the New York Daily News, regular exercise may help a pregnant woman have an easier birth process, as well as a healthy fetus. This is great news for active moms-to-be who want to maintain their fitness level throughout their pregnancy.
However, your pregnancy activity level will depend heavily on how much you worked out prior to conception. If you're just beginning your workout journey, then it's important to avoid overexertion, which may restrict blood flow to the fetus, according to WebMD. The site also states that starting off with moderate activity, such as swimming, walking, or yoga, is a good call. Remember, you can always get more into running after the baby has arrived (and you can make use of a sweet jogging stroller).
If you were racking up some serious weekly mileage prior to your pregnancy, then it is probably safe to continue running, although you may need to dial back your workout intensity and duration, according to Fit Pregnancy. So this is probably not the time to try for a new personal record. In addition. you may want to reconsider any long races close to your due date. (Although Amber Miller did give birth just after completing the Chicago Marathon in 2011, as Parenting reported. So there's that.) In general, as long as you work with your doctor's advice and don't put any unnecessary strain on yourself or the baby, running while pregnant is most likely safe.