- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
What work or regimen did you do prior/during pregnancy?
The month before we started TTC, I completed a 3-day, 170 mile, 3 mountain pass cycle ride in Washington state. I had been doing an intense training regimen since early summer for that event and had re-started personal training the November before (9 months before getting pregnant). My workout regiment before training for the cycling event consisted of 2 days mid-level strength training (weights), 1 day intense cardio interval and strength training, and 2 days mid-level cardio. During my training for the cycling event, I had 1 day strength training, 1 interval/strength, and 2-3 more interval or endurance cardio days.
When I got pregnant at 30 this August, I was in the best shape I had been in for years. This was not my first time training regularly, as I have been weight lifting since college and trained for several endurance events including multi-day rides, marathons, and triathalons before.
I had just come off birth control after being on the pill for over a decade, but I was fertile my first cycle off. My third cycle was very short, probably due to the intensity of my training, so I thought it might take us a few to conceive. We started TTC my fourth cycle off the pill (charted) and got pregnant right away.
The first week I was pregnant, we were in Glacier National Park and put 35 trail miles, two summits, and one bicycled mountain pass under our belts. I noticed that I was more fatigued than usual in the evening, but nothing else.
I am currently continuing to work with my trainer once a week, doing the same 1.5 hour interval/strength workout at a slightly lower intensity, and 2 more days strength training + 2 more days lighter cardio. My goal is to maintain a similar or only slightly decreased level of strength and cardiovascular fitness while decreasing my workout intensity as needed and overall by about 10% a month.
The first 2 months were a little tough because I felt kind of gross, so I took it easier on myself. I credit my fitness with an easy time getting pregnant and better recovery from fatigue and nausea so far.
I have been able to maintain a similar level of activity (now 12 weeks along) although I am noticing that if I do activities that require me to dip and/or bend suddenly, I am more prone to drops in bloodpressure. I definitely don’t feel inspired to “go for a run” but when I do, I find that I am able to. When I was out of state traveling last week, I walked 4-5 miles a day on countray backroads, and that felt GREAT. Walking is a really excellent way to start building up cardiovascular endurance.
I imagine that as I get farther along, I’ll keep tapering my workouts to lower intensity, but I plan to keep doing them unless it’s recommended that I stop for medical reasons. I would like to maintain my level of fitness to help me birth naturally if I can.
It’s worth noting that I am not working out to maintain weight or keep my pregnancy weight gain low, I am trying to keep up my fitness so that I will have better energy and strength as my body changes.
Are/were you mostly sedentary?
When I’m not working out, I spend most of my day in front of a computer. The days that I don’t go to the gym or plan a workout for myself, I usually walk no more than 1.5 miles. So I have very sendentary days but otherwise a high level of fitness by planning workouts.
Did you feel your heart strain more than usual and/or shortness of breath?
I feel more prone to low-grade dizziness and nausea than I used to, but otherwise fine.