BLOG: Running helps Anna through pregnancy

THIS is the third part of former Rocky River Run winner and new mum Anna Houghton's blog as she prepares for this year's race.

I did continue a form of running throughout my pregnancy. This is something obviously some may question; however, having run my whole life, it wasn't anything different.

I was aware of the risks associated; however, I was guided entirely on this also being beneficial for the health of my baby as well as me. I altered my running training throughout pregnancy significantly.

There was no sweating, it was talking based running/jogging which gradually turned into fast walking - slow motion running technique. My husband loved the alteration to my running as prior to pregnancy he would join me for a run… on his bike - something we have done for years. For the first time he was out the front and loving it.

Throughout the pregnancy, I gradually slowed and David sped up.

The important thing I felt

in order to continue a form of exercise or running throughout pregnancy was to listen to my body. I have always found that my body some days just does not need that extra energy expenditure. Prior to pregnancy, this may have been because a particular muscle may have prevented me from completing a session.

I think having had this philosophy throughout my years as a middle-distance athlete, prevented me from ever having a serious injury. However during pregnancy, if my body just didn't feel up to it, we would walk, or just rest.

Safety was a major issue. I would never head out for a run unless my husband was with me. Being a podiatrist, I ensured that we were training in risk-free locations to avoid injury. Primarily, stability was important and risk of falling had to be minimal. We achieved this through footwear, good surface locations and ensuring I continued exercises to improve stability and balance.

I am so glad I maintained a level of exercise for my happiness throughout the pregnancy, and I am totally unsure how I would have survived delivering Henry naturally after having 24 hours of labour.

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