Running in pregnancy

Hi I am currently 15 weeks pregnant. I'm still running 4 times a week, 4-5 miles at a time. I'm really starting to struggle with keeping my heart rate under control. I know that all the more recent studies have shown that it's fine to continue running as long as you stick to what you were doing before. Since finding out I was pregnant I have stopped doing any speed work or long runs and have been doing all my runs at what should be an 'easy' pace for me and recently have slowed down considerably more. I am finding that it is getting really hard to keep my heart rate anywhere near normal rate even when I am just plodding along. I don't know if I should let it bother me, after all if I didn't have the heart rate monitor then I would just plod along at a pace I could mange without stressing! Could anyone who has run through pregnancy share their experiences or offer any advice? Thanks.


  • First of all congratulations!

    Ditch the HRM and just go with what feels right for your body, plodding and walking are totally fine and you shouldn't feel bad that you need to slow down.  If anything hurts, STOP! 

  • ShazmoShazmo ✭✭✭

    Exercising in pregnancy is OK as long as you’re sensible. A word of warning though (and you may already know this) the body produces a hormone when pregnant that relaxes the muscles and makes everything more stretchy, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. I developed pelvis problems from being ‘over stretchy’ and a friend of mine had lower back and knee problems brought on from running during pregnancy and soon after giving birth.

  • Hi Trinab, I exercised through both my pregancies but I stopped running at about 15 weeks.  I found it too uncomfortable and had to keep stopping after each mile to use the loo.  They say you need to keep your heart rate to 140 but that's across the board and as you know, some are fitter than others.  The most important thing is not too overheat.  Just remember that if you train too hard its not conducive for the baby.  You need to ensure you are exercising moderately.  Now is not the time for increasing your fitness levels.  I'd carry on at a comfortable level.  It sounds like you are doing a great job.  I probably exercised too much with my first child, so I was very mindful when I was pregnant with my second.   A stationery bike is often a more comfortable option, later on in your pregnancy.  Good luck.

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭


    There's a couple of threads in the health & injury section, pregnant runners club and mum's running club.  Lots of people on those threads ran through pregnancy.

    You'll naturally slow down as your pregnancy progresses 

  • Thank you everyone for the advice, I think I will get rid if the HRM it's stressing me out so much that it's probably making my HR go up just having it! Pipski thank you for sharing your experiences with me. I am starting to find the needing to wee issue a bit troubling at the moment but most of my runs are fairly rural so it's not the end if the world if I can't wait until I get home! As far as I have been able to work out the 140 bpm rule had been pretty much discredited. My heart rate is a lot higher than that on an easy run, even pre pregnancy but I have a very high max heart rate for some reason. I think mine would hit 140 just on a brisk walk! I do know that I get hot easily so I can't see my self being able to run past the end of April just because it will be too hot for me. I am starting swimming lessons today (yes, to my shame I have reached the age if 28 without ever learning to swim!) so I hope to be able to swim once I can no longer run.
  • I've just been having swimming lessons too!  It's brilliant, I'm no longer embarrassed about my swimming and it's given me a real challenge to get my teeth into.  It will help your back a lot later on to be swimming properly.  Good luck with the swimming lessons, I'm sure you'll love them.

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    Strangely I kept on running right through pregnancy but gave up swimming as my bump felt too heavy especially doing front crawl.

    Good luck with your lessons trina85 image

  • Thanks! This is the second time I have attempted lessons in the last few years but I'm determined not to give up this time. It was quite mortifying to be honest as I was the only one in the pool, had the instructor, life guard and someone cleaning round the outside if the pool and I felt like they were all laughing at me as soon as I wasn't looking! I will keep it up though. I think I could get the hang of it if I could get the breathing right and could manage not to inhale quite so much water!
  • I swam when pregnant but also did rock and roll/jive dancing. Just had to slow down a bit and not do the lifts/dips. Had to stop when go to the point that bump put me off balance and partners couldn't find my waist!

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    They won't be laughing trinab85, keep it up, it will be so worth it image

  • Trust me they won't be laughing, probably the opposite offering you silent moral support!  The breathing is key to the whole thing and inaling half the pool is unfortunately part of the learning process, we've all done it!  It won't be long before you crack it and suddenly realise that all those people swimming with their heads out of the water are jealous of your technique! 

  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    Seriously, no one will be laughing at you.  I was lucky enough to be taught to swim as a child and was in a swim club, but when i see adults having lessons/learning to swim, all i think is respect and fair play.  It must be v frustrating as there are so many things to learn and concentrate on but once you crack it, you will be so chuffed.

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