Society says to rest lots and eat lots – don’t listen! There are many misperceptions about pregnancy out there (like you shouldn’t really eat for two). I raced all summer (1st trimester for me), which also means that I trained all summer long. I started my triathlon season with an Olympic distance race at the beginning of June, and right before I became pregnant. Because of this, I had already been training long and hard in preparation and built up a solid fitness base. I had done a couple 5K’s and a 10K already as well. I was running every day. Typically I would run 5 days all just at an easy pace. One day would be a longer run (at easy pace – most times), and one day was some speed work with mile repeats or something similar. I would bike 3-4 days a week, with my longer rides around 30 miles or so in distance (at the beginning of the season). I was also in the pool 3 days a week doing swim workouts. I also did strength training 2 days a week on top of all that.
I was able to maintain and gradually build on my training load throughout the summer, adding on more miles (I did my longest ride ever in July - 50 miles) and some open water swims. Another thing I added – more food and sports drinks! While the baby did not need much at that point, I needed to make sure and fuel my body and hydrate. I had talked to my doctor about my activities, and he said that each of the three sports were okay for me to continue doing. The guidelines he did give me for working out was that my heart rate should not exceed 140 bpm for more than 20 minutes at a time. He didn’t care how much over 140 it went, whether it was 141 or 170, just so long as I would bring it back down for a period of time before letting it rise again. He said I could run all day long even if I wanted so long as I monitored myself. Different medical professionals may tell you different things, and your personal needs may require something more, like if you have high blood pressure for example.
I did not have a heart rate monitor to use, so I continued to assess myself based on my perception of how my body was feeling. Most of my running was at an easy pace, and the intervals on the bike were 20 minutes in length or less for the high intensity parts. The main set of swim workouts was also completed in about 20 minutes time. You can try to keep your heart rate lower by staying cooler (dress very cool and avoid the midday heat by working out morning and/or evening), regulating your breathing, and staying hydrated (always have plenty of water with you). Make sure and have two bottles of water and/or sports drink on the bike, and pay attention to the weather (temperature, humidity, etc). Bring food or snacks along with you as well, which will help keep the nausea better under control. Going too long without eating something was the only time I would feel nauseous. Be attentive to your body.
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