Workouts and running through pregnancy – third trimester

The third trimester goes from week 28 to technically 42. Baby Jasper was born at exactly 38 weeks, so my third trimester ended early.

This could also be called the trimester it fell apart for me! I was really sick for almost two weeks and did zero activity. Here’s a rundown (in a bit of a different format from the first and second trimester updates) of how everything else felt…

I ran once in week 28 and once in week 29, both five miles and both on the treadmill since I didn’t want to risk running outside and slipping or having to walk home in the cold if I had to stop. I was surprised at a relatively good pace (in the 8:40s) considering I wasn’t out of breath or pushing the pace!

I was sick for a couple weeks and it felt fabulous to sweat and run in week 31 (another five miler in the 8:40s).

31 weeks and four days

31 weeks and four days

Sadly I had to break up with running after this. I celebrated my 31st birthday the following week and aimed to run 3.1 miles (5km). After a mile it just did not feel right so I stopped and walked, shed a tear, and said farewell until I’m ready to get back into it post-baby.

Although I greatly missed running, I felt really good about my decision and wasn’t upset like I get when I can’t run due to injury.

What felt good?
Throughout the entire third trimester, I felt great strength training- this included both weights for the upper body and body weight exercises for the lower body.

37 weeks

37 weeks

(photo taken after a 40 minute strength workout…as you can see…the strength workouts kicked my butt!)

On average, I strength trained four times a week. Sometimes it was all I did and other times I did a short session after a bike. Some days it was part of a higher intensity circuit, which I’ve really started to love!

I also continued do A LOT of hip work, which I read is really important throughout pregnancy and afterwards.

What was different?
I still kept up my biking on the trainer two to three times a week, but at some point (that I don’t remember and didn’t write down) it got pretty uncomfortable to even lean onto my foam roller. I don’t think baby loved it either, as his bum would really pop out in my upper ribs! So, I basically rode sitting straight up and then it felt fine.

Some days I rode steady and some days I added in a few faster intervals. The maximum time I rode for was 45 minutes. 

What didn’t feel good?
Running stopped feeling good, so I stopped. If something didn’t feel good on any day, I didn’t do it.

I was hoping to walk a lot once I couldn’t run anymore. However, that nagging pelvic pain I’d feel when I ran reared its head when I walked, too. So I never walked for exercise, and would just go when it was warm enough (and not slippery) to take Harold.

Lastly, I still followed along with some of the Tracy Anderson prenatal DVDs (there’s a DVD for each month of pregnancy and they’re split into arms and legs/hips/butt). I loved her arm workouts but towards the end the lower bodywork hurt my hips so I stopped that portion. 

Everything else
I kept up with prenatal yoga at least once a week, but some weeks I’d practice up to three times. I mostly used a Shiva Rea DVD. I remember when I followed it in the first trimester it was a breeze. By the end, I got quite fatigued doing it!

I cross-country skied nice and easy twice at the beginning of the trimester. It felt awesome since it’s so easy on the joints and it’s easy enough to go slowly! After that, I felt too off-balance to do it anymore.

I was happy to workout basically right up until the end of pregnancy. (I took a few days off beforehand to conserve energy for labour.)

Would’ve I liked to have ran more and for longer? Most definitely. Did I miss tough sessions and really sweating? Heck yes. Did I fall into the comparison trap sometimes and see what other pregnant women were doing/running/etc. on social media? Of course.

Do I regret how I played it? Not in the least. I wrote a post about learning to listen to my body, and I really think I did a good job of listening to it, and honouring it, throughout these 10 months.

I also loved the comments I received from moms on other posts who were so encouraging about running through pregnancy and afterwards. The blogging community really is a great one!

Thanks for following along. I hope to write a few posts about post-partum fitness once I’m there. I’m going to just go on easy walks and do some easy physio exercises to help prepare my body until I’m cleared for exercise (hopefully) at my six week follow-up appointment.

Any questions? Let me know in the comments or send me an email!

14 responses to “Workouts and running through pregnancy – third trimester

  1. WOW – look at that baby bump. You really were ALL baby in week 37. You look tiny. I can’t even imagine the way I am going to look when I get to that point. This post was really helpful because I have been considering more strength/yoga type activities and really need to structure it into my day. The DVD recommendations were really helpful – I am going to look into both of these. I imagine that there will come a time when running and physical activity begin to really slow down for me – it’s smart to listen to your body. Thank you for these amazing posts – they have been super helpful and the timing could not be better. 😉

    • It’s funny because you think you’re big at the beginning and then you really pop!
      I couldn’t find the Shiva Rea one I used anywhere online, but I’m sure any of her prenatal videos would be great!
      Hope you are feeling good!

  2. You were smart to stop running when it didn’t feel right – such a temporary thing to go through!!! Glad that you were able to figure out a way to keep riding your trainer and to do strength work – I’m sure it paid off when it came time for labor!!!

  3. thanks for sharing your journey with us! You did an incredible job of balancing what is right for baby and your body with your desire to train and sweat! I’m sure it’s hard to put your needs second but before you know it you’ll be back to training and pushing yourself hard again! And of course we all know jasper is worth it 🙂


  4. Great work!! I know running is your favorite thing. I think you did it right and listened to your body! You will be back on the trails in a matter of time!! 🙂

  5. I love that you have been posting these for each trimester. This could be so helpful to so many people! You did everything exactly the way you should have listening to your body and stopping when things needed to be stopped. I still can’t believe you were running at an 8:40 pace at 30 weeks and all that strength training too! You’re amazing and such an inspiration to moms everywhere!

  6. That sounds perfect! I love that you listened to your body so much!

  7. You are a ROCK STAR! Great job, momma!

  8. I love that you kept us updated on how you managed working out during your pregnancy. Everyone is different but it shows it’s possible. Also, I would be happy to follow your journey back “into the game” 😉

  9. you did amazing! i love that you kept up with strength. I bet that helped your body with delivery. and um… CONGRATS!!

  10. Good job on listening to your body and to quit running when your body told you to. I’ve had several clients that had to switch over to biking as well, often with sciatic nerve pain.

  11. Pingback: Getting high – my first run back and post-partum exercise | Change of Pace

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