I want to give a few personal updates on my training these days. I am just over the half-way point with this pregnancy (21 weeks) and last week we found out we're having a boy (yay!). Since I've already been through this process once before I know that the next 20 or so weeks can become quite physically trying. So, I've reassessed my progress to this point and have created some new goals.
First 20-weeks goals:
- Build a solid aerobic base ahead of time - ACCOMPLISHED. With Arabella I had NO IDEA how important aerobic exercise would be for my day-to-day tasks. I ended up having to play "catch-up." You'd think this would happen late in the pregnancy when you've gained a bunch of weight... surprise! It doesn't! It happens very quickly as the result of increased blood volume. The aerobic training helps your body adapt more quickly. For Baby #2 I began a conditioning program (geared towards 800m runners) about 1 month before we started trying to "get pregnant" - it has worked wonders. Weight gain has been slower and I've felt much better.
- Address my body's areas of breakdown ahead of time - ACCOMPLISHED. I've learned that, while pregnant, I need to take special care of my lower back via simple strength movements like the bird-dog, address calf weakness and overall foot health, and can train with more vigor than I did with Arabella (again, I realized this about half-way through with her). The result is that while my back flares up from time-to-time, it is under control and overall I feel much more like myself in terms of strength and health. Regarding foot health, I won't know if I've been successful until after the baby is born.
Second 20-week Goals:
- Continue to prioritize low- to moderate-level conditioning but without laying the foundation for wicked plantar fasciitis. I'm shifting towards Prowler sled pushes 2x/week, stepper or bike or smililar low impact activity 2x/week, and 1 or 2x/week of actual running. Believe it or not, with Arabella I ran 3-4x/week (with low impact on off days) up until I was 38 weeks pregnant. For my Prowler pushes I will do a "trip" for every week pregnant I am - today I did 21. Took about 30 min.
- Keep up with lower leg pre-hab to keep my feet and calves strong enough to safely continue to propel my heavy(er) body when I'm running.
- Maintain pullups and chinups in my training regime. Sadly, these will not be body weight. BUT, on the upside, they can be called "Banded + 25lbs Pullups" by the due date - I'm sure somewhere in there things even out. With Arabella the stretch placed on my torso from the hang position was too uncomfortable/borderline painful to keep in (even banded). So, I'm hoping to keep them in throughout, if possible. Same approach as the Prowler: 1 rep for every week pregnant.
- Lastly - and, okay, I recognize this borders on the ridiculous - but, if everything goes smoothly and all the variables line up in the best possible way. Then my goal is to beat my time in "active" labor. Arabella took 55 minutes. I'm after a PR with this little guy.
One final note is that I'm not entirely a crazy person, I do certainly understand the limits of my body and the safety of the baby comes first. So, as with #1, I know when to dial things down if my body isn't feeling quite right. And, the above is by NO MEANS my recommendation to pregnant women looking to stay active throughout their pregnancies. Rather, this is the by-product of a body (mine) which has been trained consistently at a very high level for about a decade.
I categorized this post under "Awesome" and "Chest Thumping" because, well, staying active throughout a pregnancy is really, really tough. So, anyone who manages that feat should feel it is both awesome and a serious point of pride!