We caught up with our ‘mum on the move’ Leanne following this year’s 2wish Great Welsh Marathon to find out more about her mission to keep running right through her pregnancy.
Leanne is 36 years old and a mum to 3 children. She took up running 6 years ago after having her two girls (now aged 15 and 12) and ran her first marathon with us in April. Leanne said:
“Running through my pregnancy really helped my mental health as I was still doing what I loved. Whilst pregnant with my little boy I wanted to do what my body allowed so I gradually got slower, the heavier I became. I also dropped the mileage down but was still running 3 times a week.”
“Towards the end of my pregnancy I wore a support band to hold my bump too! My last run was on a Monday & I gave birth to Kenzie on the Sunday.”
Top Q&A’s for a mum who has ‘been there and done that!’
Q: What challenges did you experience whilst you were running while pregnant?
A: I am part of a running club so didnt really face any challenges as I always had support and someone to run with.
Q: What words of wisdom would you give to a fellow pregnant runner?
A: I would say to keep going but listen to your body- slow down or walk when needed, keep hydrated & eat well before a run.
Q: What did you do differently when planning for the marathon event while pregnant?
A: Training whilst pregnant for the marathon was the same as any other training. Build the miles up slowly over the weeks up to race day. To help with this I ran a 20 mile event in preparation for the Great Welsh Marathon (at this point I was 16weeks pregnant). I also continued doing parkrun on a saturday morning, but made sure I eat well- and kept hydrated.
Q: Are you still running after becoming a new mum all over again?
A: I haven’t started back yet as am breastfeeding & need to allow 6weeks recovery but have been advised to start with run/walk, then build up from there. I hope to be going to parkrun soon to see how that goes.
Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so it’s crucial to tailor your running routine to your specific needs and consult with your healthcare provider for personalised advice. It’s essential that you prioritise your health and safety when running during pregnancy but here are some of our tips to help you:
- Consult Your Doctor: Before continuing or starting a running routine during pregnancy, consult your doctor as they can assess your individual circumstances and provide you with personalised guidance.
- Listen to Your Body: Pay close attention to how you feel, if you experience discomfort, pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath, stop and consult your doctor.
- Adjust Your Routine: You’ll probably need to run more slowly, for shorter durations, or on softer surfaces like trails to reduce impact.
- Stay Hydrated: Pregnancy can lead to increased fluid needs. Make sure to stay well-hydrated before, during, and after your run.
- Wear Supportive Gear: Invest in a good sports bra and supportive gear such a a belt like Leanne or running shoes to minimize discomfort and protect your joints.
- Engage Your Core: Focus on maintaining good posture and engaging your core muscles while running to support your changing body.
- Avoid Overheating: Be cautious about overheating, especially during hot weather. Wear breathable clothing and choose cooler times to go for your runs.
- Watch for Warning Signs: If you experience any unusual symptoms like bleeding, contractions, or severe pain, stop running and seek medical attention immediately.
- Cross-Train: Consider incorporating other forms of exercise like swimming, prenatal yoga, or walking to reduce the impact on your body.
- Postpartum Recovery: After giving birth, follow your doctor’s guidance on when it’s safe to resume running, and start slowly!