Category Archives: Yoga

Running {and workouts} through pregnancy – second trimester

I realize I should kind of write these as time goes by instead of trying to remember after that fact (I’m just past 28 weeks/seven months). I did write some crib notes throughout the trimester, and I tracked all my workouts, so at least I can remember some of it properly!

The second trimester is from week 14-27. Man, does the beginning of that seem like a long time ago!

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I’ll keep the same outline as I did for the first trimester update. I’ll talk about running first and then the other exercise I kept up.

Of note, my longest run was 1:10 with most around 45 minutes. I haven’t used my Garmin since February, and that was just for holidays runs. Essentially I haven’t used it since Ironman Canada in summer 2013!

So needless to say I didn’t know my pace for a long time, which I think is the best way to run: by feel. On my treadmill runs as of late, I’ve definitely slowed but by less than expected.

What felt good?
In all honesty, not a lot felt good about running after week 19! I ran twice a week until week 17 and then dropped down to once a week, with some weeks of no running.

In week 17 I ran a 12km/7.5 mile trail race. I took it easy and barely breathed heavy. In retrospect, I’m sure I could’ve run a lot harder. But I wanted to play it safe with both the tripping factor and pushing it. I think my biggest success was that I didn’t stop to pee during the race 🙂 Although I didn’t run hard, I was still pretty fatigued the next day.

AnniversaryRace

The race fell on our anniversary, and I hope we can make it an annual event!

The other thing that fits the ‘feeling good’ category is my Gabrialla support belt. I got it in week 21 and noticed a huge difference in comfort of my belly. It completely supported it and just felt right. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is running while pregnant. (Of note, I got a sized up and it fits really well.)

What was different?
There isn’t really anything new to add to this column. I still pee a lot more than normal, am a lot thirstier during and after, and need to eat before a morning run. (My record high is six pees on a six mile treadmill run!)

What didn’t feel good?
Week 19 was where running started to fall apart for me. I would get really bad hip flexor/groin pain at the end of a long run. It would last for the remainder of the day. Kelly and I went for a long trail run during week 19 and I had to walk the last km, and then I couldn’t walk for the rest of the day without serious limping.

Two weeks later I successfully ran but afterwards had bad back pain, and the next day my groin/pelvic area was extremely sore.

This is kind of how it’s been going ever since. I should really stop running but the stubborn part of me doesn’t want to yet.

During week 22 I knew I couldn’t run after a couple minutes and then the next week felt good. During week 24 I had to stop after 10 minutes because of serious back cramps (something totally new to me).

Week 25 was another upswing. I ran two days in a row, which I haven’t done in a really long time! They were both on the trails, so I went nice and slow. Surprisingly, I felt a lot better on the uphill than the down!

Since then running has been touch and go. I’ve limited my max run distance to 5 miles/8 km and that seems to be a sweet spot. Nothing hurts while running, and afterwards, at that distance, my groin/pelvic area doesn’t hurt.

I *may* try running once a week until it acts up again. At that point, I think I should force myself to stop.

I don’t want to continue running to stay in shape or to bounce back into running faster afterwards. I just honestly love it and don’t want to go so long without it (the remainder of pregnancy and then however long afterwards). But, if it’ll do me more harm than good I need to stop.

Everything else
I biked a lot this trimester, all on my trainer. I don’t remember exactly when, but we propped a foam roller on my handlebars when it started to get uncomfortable to lean over.

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Awesome solution, and essentially free since we already had it!

I ride a steady pace, and I still do some interval workouts too. It feels good to breathe a little! My longest bike ride has been 45 minutes this trimester. And that’s more than enough!

Other than that, I’m keeping up my strength training, incorporating some strength/cardio circuits into my routine each week, and doing Tracey Andersen prenatal DVDs every couple of weeks.

I got in a few awesome hikes, mostly at the beginning of the trimester. One weekend we hiked over 20 miles but that was absolutely all I did that weekend!

Floe Lake

On the last true hike we went on, I really tired on the way down and despite wearing my support belt, my stomach was very heavy.

I continued with yoga once a week, and in the last few weeks I practiced 2-3 times a week.

I’ve also been lucky enough to cross-country ski a few times!

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Twice was on holidays and then I went once here at home. Unfortunately I started to feel the same pain as when I run, so I cut my last ski short.

Overall I’ve been keeping up my weekly workout sessions (five or six days a week) but they are much shorter and with a lot less intensity.

I can tell you that in the third trimester this will definitely decrease as time goes on. I’m starting to feel more fatigued (not sleeping well…at all). And I’m really starting to notice the extra weight. I don’t really know what I weighed when I got pregnant, but I would estimate I’ve gained 20 pounds already. That feels like quite a difference with everything except biking and yoga!

 If you worked out/ran through pregnancy, feel free to chime in with tips, suggestions, how you felt, etc! 

If you have any questions, let me know!

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Yoga for runners, part II

It has been almost a year since I last posted my favourite yoga poses. Since then I’ve attended more classes, tried more DVDs, and I still use my books and the Yoga Studio app.

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However, some of my original favourite poses still feel the best to me.

I am a workout at home gal, but I simply love the soothing energy the instructor provides at class, from her cues to her voice.

The most beneficial cue to me is when she reminds us to breath into a stretch. After she says it and I focus on doing so, it’s a lot more comfortable.

Here are five poses that I love now.

  • Fire log pose
    My hips are a constant hassle, so I try to take care of them focussing on exercises to help them out. In turn, they need some work to stretch them. This pose opens my hips up so nicely. It also helps to stretch the groin.
  • Wide-legged forward bend
    I’ve been battling super tight hamstrings, my left in particular. This pose feels awesome on them, and if I shift slightly it reaches even deeper or focuses on one side.
  • Warrior two
    I like this pose for the sole reason that it makes me feel fierce and strong, which I suppose is why it’s called warrior and named after an incarnation of Shiva, a fierce warrior!
  • Runner’s lunge, toes down
    from the athlete's pocket guide to yoga by sage rountree

    from the athlete’s pocket guide to yoga by sage rountree

    The first time I did this, the stretch was too intense in my tibialis anterior muscles (beside the shin). I worked into it, and now it’s not painful but man is it good!

  • Thread the needle
    This feels so good on my shoulders during a lunch hour class when I’ve been working at a desk all morning.

I am still very much a beginner at yoga but hope to continue practicing and learn more poses.

What’s your favourite pose? 

How often do you practice?

Thanks for reading! I scheduled a few posts to go up while I’m cruising the California coast with my family. I don’t expect to be online much, so I won’t be commenting on blogs or writing trip updates on here. However, I hope to post to my Instagram feed (thechangeofpace) when the mood strikes!

What’s up with my workouts?

I realize I haven’t posted much about my preparation for Ironman Canada this time around. Partly because my workouts haven’t been very scheduled, and they haven’t been that inspiring!

We took Harold for a hair appointment a couple nights ago (he looks very handsome and smells like coconut lime!) so were by the river valley. I ran the trails and Kelly biked alongside me on his mountain bike, doing a few out and backs.

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My knee hurt a little, even on the soft trails. My legs were dead, so I cut it short. But it was so great to have company to keep me moving!

EdTrails

I haven’t mentioned it yet, but Kelly isn’t going to participate in Ironman Canada. He made the decision a few weeks ago, but I’ve been hoping he’ll change his mind!

He’s tired out after bike racing and Ironman Coeur d’Alene and just wasn’t in to structured training. Instead, he’s loving mountain biking and running when he wants. I’ve been loving his company on some rides and runs.  His unstructured active schedule gives me more flexibility to train and gets me out of some housework!

Back to training… Since my legs have been so tired I decided to take extra rest days the past couple weeks and took a restorative yoga class the other day. Even during yoga I had to pull out of some poses early to rest my weary legs!

But it was heaven on my tight hips, glutes, and IT band.

Here’s to hoping the taper kicks in and these legs get some snap back!

Do you take extra rest days when your body asks for them, or do you follow your schedule regardless?

Yoga for runners

I’ve had poor flexibility for as long as I can remember. I took my first yoga class years ago (like 15 years) and the instructor openly mocked me. I was by far the youngest person in the class, didn’t know anyone, and was mortified.

Obviously, I didn’t go back.

Yoga has been practiced for centuries. There are countless benefits: physical (flexibility, strength, posture), mental, psychological, neurological, and it just plain old feels good!

It’s easy to focus on your main sport and tough to find time for any other activity…triathletes already have three sports to practice. Who has time for strength training and yoga, too? If you’re a runner, why should you do anything other than run and incorporate the odd cross-training day?

Well, yoga immensely benefits runners. It aids in symmetry, alignment, and helps muscle imbalances.

Those imbalances that you don’t really notice are there until it’s too late are what cause many injuries, including most of my knee pain for the last couple years.

In the last few years I’ve finally started to incorporate a little yoga into my life.

Kelly bought me a couple books. Then I started to go to a class every few weeks. Then Kelly started to practice with me. We got a few DVDs and another book.

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Even though I don’t like resolutions, I said I’d like to practice yoga twice a week in 2013. It’s actually going alright so far.

Here are my five favourite poses.  I think most runners, cyclists, or swimmers would enjoy them, too.

  • Cow face pose (gomukhasana) – I find it stretches my hips like nothing else, although it also stretches many other body parts. According to some sources, it says that combined with hamstring and glute stretches it can relieve chronic knee pain.
  • Reclining big toe pose (supta padangusthasana) with variations – Nothing stretches my hamstrings as well as this pose with a strap. However, my favourite part of it is when I cross the leg over my torso. (See Variations below the steps.) It really stretches my glutes and hips nicely.
  • Knees down supine twist (parivartanasana) – I can feel serious stretch in my supraspinatus, which I had issues with last summer. I love it because it stretches that problem area nicely and my back and glutes feel amazing once I’ve finished.
supinetwist1

Taken from my Athlete’s Guide to Yoga book

  • Revolved triangle (parivrtta trikonasana) – This pose stretches your legs, opens your hips, and provides a twist through your torso. It’s in my top five and is Kelly’s favourite.
Taken from my Yoga Anatomy book

Taken from my Yoga Anatomy book

  • Cat/dogI like doing cat/dog as part of my pre-workout routine. It warms up the back, shoulders, and neck. If my lower back is stiff, it does wonders.

We’re hoping to take at least one yoga class while we’re in Thailand! Once we get back and get into Ironman training, I hope to continue practicing yoga. My body and mind will need it!

Do you practice yoga? What is your favourite kind? What is your favourite pose?
(I scheduled this post to publish so won’t be responding for a while!)