8 tips for running during and after pregnancy

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Baby on the way? Read these top tips from Edwina Sutton, a personal trainer, ultra runner and mum-of-three.

TIPS ON RUNNING DURING PREGNANCY: 

If you're heading out on a run whilst pregnant, follow these top tips: 

1. Manage your expectations

Ditch the Garmin, grab the comfy shoes and gently tick over rather than aiming for PBs.

2. Connect with your baby on your runs

Slow down, walk when you need to and always stop if you’ve any pain or feel tired.

3. Dial down your miles

Trying to run the same distances will leave you exhausted, so cut back and compensate by walking to feel you’ve still done a session.

4. Pick your routes

As you get bigger your gravity changes; running downhill gets tricky as the bump gets bigger, and it can feel uncomfortable. Pick flat routes and walk the downhills. Try trails or grass if you find roads jarring, and stay close to home in case you feel tired.

TIPS ON RUNNING POST-BIRTH: 

Congratuations! You've now welcomed your new-arrival. Here's Sutton's top tips on getting back into running post-birth: 

5. Take your time

The recommended guidelines to return to running are six weeks after vaginal birth and 10 weeks after a caesarean. But I recommend spending the first 12 weeks working on your core, and check with an osteopath about spine and pelvis alignment.

6. Build slowly

After my pregnancies I built up to walking 10km a day with the pram before even starting running. Once running, I kept

my expectations low – six times two minutes, with five minutes walking in between.

7. Be aware of your body’s changes

While breastfeeding, my bra size increased and I found I needed to wear two sports bras to minimise bounce.

8. Strengthen your pelvic floor

You need to do pelvic floor work to avoid stress incontinence. Try abdominal bracing: lie on your back and pull your abdomen in, as if someone is about to hit you in the stomach. Then perform different movements with your stomach pulled in. Try lifting one arm overhead, then the other, then both. Once you can do this progress to legs, then legs and arms, then opposite legs and arms. After finishing each movement, release your abs.

Related: How weight training during pregnancy can benefit your running after birth