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Running during pregnancy - the third trimester

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

I haven’t actually reached my due date yet, but since my little girl arrived almost three weeks early when my waters broke at 37 + 1 weeks, my pregnancy running journey is officially over!

Technically, the runs I did on holiday earlier this year were part of my third trimester. But since I already wrote about the those, this post will be about the running I did in the last six weeks of my pregnancy, from 31 weeks.

The short version is, I didn’t do much!

After running on the treadmill the day we flew out of Hong Kong, my next run was a few days after we got home, also in the gym. I did a half an hour/5km run on the treadmill, and went without my running belt for the first time in awhile.

I had suspected for awhile that my baby was lying in a slightly funny position based on where I felt movements. The midwife we saw at our 30-ish week appointment agreed, saying she was an ‘odd shaped baby’.

So I ditched the belt for that run in case it was contributing to how she was lying. It felt fine, though I was taking it very easy.

The next week though, at a check up with the GP, she still felt like she was lying in a somewhat transverse position. At that point, I decided to take a break and see if she turned because the doctor told me to be careful with excessive exercise in case my waters broke early.

That meant missing parkrun at 32 weeks, but I switched it for the bike and stretching in the gym.

We went back to see the GP the following week, and success, her head was down! She was still posterior, but when I asked the question about running I was told I could do it as long as I took it very easy.

I was more than happy to do that, and it was at this point where I finally slowed down.

I went to parkrun that weekend and kept my promise, running it in about 28:30. It was so nice to be out and moving that I wasn’t concerned at all about what pace I was running. A big change for my naturally competitive self!

Image of me running at 33 weeks pregnant
Running Greenway parkrun at 33 weeks pregnant

The following Saturday I did a similar run at parkrun, coming in just under 29 minutes. I followed it with a 5km walk on the Sunday.

Image of me running at 34 weeks pregnant
Finishing Greenway parkrun at 34 weeks pregnant

It occurred to me that I was approaching 200 parkruns, and I might be able to squeeze it in before the baby came.

The first week of June I couldn’t add to my total because we were run directors at our local parkrun.

I still wanted to get a run in that weekend. I went out on the Sunday for 35 minutes, which coincided with the 35 week mark and my 35th birthday.

The following week I was back chasing 200 parkruns. I ran my 198th at another one of our local events. I was 36 + 2 weeks and finished in about 28:20.

Image of me running at 36 weeks pregnant
My last pregnant parkrun at 36 weeks

At the time, I had no idea that would be my last pregnant run!

I did an hour on the bike and some stretching at the gym the next day. During the week, I aimed to keep moving by walking to or from work.

I got to 37 weeks pregnant on June 13, and walked home from work the following night. About an hour after I got home, my waters broke!

parkrun was obviously not going to happen the next day.

Within a few hours I was being induced and on Saturday morning I was experiencing a very different kind of pain. Our baby arrived at 9.50am on June 15, almost three weeks early.

I really enjoyed running when I was pregnant. Running is a big part of who I am, and it was great to be able to keep doing it through my whole pregnancy. I’m glad I was able to keep up some fitness. Hopefully it will help with motivation to get back into it when I get the okay from the doctor.

I’m also glad that I was able to share my experience that it was okay to run throughout my pregnancy. I was lucky to not have any complications or reasons why I needed to stop. While it’s always possible that things will be different if I have a second baby and it’s important to consult the medical professionals, the main thing I took out of the last 37 weeks is that pregnancy on its own is not a reason to stop running.

Next stop, getting back into it!

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