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Monday, February 15, 2016

Pre-natal Running: 10 must haves!

Heres a list of my absolute must haves for prenatal runs (and work outs)! One of the things I've loved about the sport since I started running at 14 is the simplicity.  You really just need shoes and a sports bra and you are good to go! Since becoming pregnant, though, there are a number of additional items I have found make it much more enjoyable and safer.

1. A supportive sports bra

Prior to becoming an expectant mama, I loved my Nike sports bras.  I have a bunch of them and I do still wear them but they are much tighter now.  My least favorite before becoming pregnant, however, is now my definite favorite!!

The Incredible by Victoria's Secret is now my go-to for everything from workouts to trips around town running errands.  I have found it to be the most supportive and it doesn't smoosh me the way the Nike ones do due my increased cup size.

2. Initially I loved having my Garmin heart rate monitor for running when it was summer and still accurate. I used that to gauge my effort level and make sure I was staying in a safe range (not higher than 80% of my max).  

3. Supportive shoes

There's no more important time to make sure you have proper shoes than when you are pregnant! I always, always recommend getting your stride and shoes evaluated to make sure you have the best fit and its even more critical for a pregnant mama.  The effects of changing hormones, such as relaxin, on biomechanics from joint laxity, changes in weight and center of gravity, shifts in skeletal structure and other physiological changes result in an increased work load for the body.  Because of all of this, making sure you have the best shoes is very important! 

4. A water bottle

I admit, I wasn't consistent at all about my hydration before I was pregnant. Thanks to the constant reminders, especially from my husband, I was able to get into a habit of not leaving my house without a water bottle.  I always keep one with me now.  This one is my current favorite! 

5. A running buddy! 

My running buddy was one of the first people I told about my pregnancy outside of my family and best friend. Because it was summer and we were training for my half marathon, I felt it was imperative that she know in case something should happen.  Luckily she was also very supportive of my endeavors and didn't mind at all when it got to the point where I'd have to stop to pee half way through our run :) 

6.  Running routes with loops

I'm probably too concerned about safety.  I owe most of that to my time living near Washington D.C. and being freaked out about someone stealing me.  I've never liked to run by myself when its not perfect conditions.  One of the reasons I got my dog (aka best running buddy ever) was not only to motivate me and for the awesome companionship but also for safety.  There are some great loops near our house and in the city that are shorter and allow for a quick exit in case I get injured, don't feel well, or need something from my car.  I usually keep another water bottle, snacks, etc in my car just in case. I don't think I've run without my phone since becoming pregnant either.  This is also helpful with the loop near my house so I can stop to pee every few miles. 

SIDE NOTE: in case you aren't aware on iphones about the medical information you can put on there---I updated this with my due date so first responders would be able to find that info in addition to my emergency contacts.   Just google it or click here for a tutorial. 

I love my Road ID, however I didn't want to pay for another ID piece with that info on it but you totally could.  Click here to get more info on those

7. Layers

I have always hated the cold.  In fact, my matron of honor at our wedding even worked into her speech about how one of the ways she new I really loved my husband was that I would willing go to his ice hockey games and sit in the cold just to watch him play.  Thankfully, one of the benefits to being pregnant in the winter is that I am significantly more warm!!!   That being said, having a variety of layers is super helpful for temperature regulation.

8. A stretching routine

Post run its very important to cool down gradually and let your heart rate return to normal more slowly.  Doing some walking around, stretching, etc can help with that so there isnt a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure. I've been using some of the routines on the Pop Sugar Active app and Runner's World for post run stretching or post run yoga.

9. A snack

I was very sensitive to blood sugar drops in my first and second trimesters.  I got into the routine of having a banana or protein bar in the car for a post run refuel, or having yogurt with granola or something similar at home.

10.  Kinesio taping

I had asked a friend of mine who ran through some of her pregnancy about a belly support band.  I am such a cheapskate though I didn't want to spend lots of money on a band I wouldn't use for a really long time.  I also just wasn't sure what kind to get.  I checked the Kid-to-Kid store in our town and would've purchased one from there if they had had one I thought would work.
A couple of times that I felt like I needed a bit more support I used kinesio tape.  I would only recommend this after having a physical therapist apply it for you or showing you how to do it.

So thats my list of 10 things I have found

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