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Exercise and Pregnancy

Question:

“What are your opinions about running and pregnancy. Does it affect it does it hurt the baby in the beginning trimester? Does it affect trying to get pregnant? There are so many myths out there. I have been training for a half marathon for the past year and have a good base of ten miles and have run 3 half marathons, everyone tells me to stop if I want to get pregnant, but I feel like I already have a good base so its not like I am overworking myself to the point of exhaustion. Any tips you have I’d love them.”

Answer:

As a rule, pregnant women are encouraged to engage in regular, moderate intensity physical activity. You are correct, however, in that there are many myths surrounding exercise and pregnancy. This is partly due to the scarcity of data on the subject and the ever changing positions from the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology over the years. Some of the original concerns were theoretical. These included a fear that rising a woman’s body temperature, as occurs with exercise, can cause birth defects in the developing baby particularly in the first 3 months (first trimester). This concern was based on studies done in mice in which increases in body temperature resulted in deformed or miscarried babies. This has never been proven in humans although, as you can imagine, such a study would be difficult to find volunteers. Body temperatures between 102 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit can be reached in normal modest to intense exercise under normal conditions without harm to a developing baby. Another myth associated with exercise was the fear that active muscles demand increased blood flow, blood flow that could be taken away from or stolen from the baby and placenta. This also has never been proven under typical exercise conditions. Lastly, is the fear that the excess jostling that occurs with exercise could be harmful to the baby. This may be true for situations in which the mother is exposed to major trauma e.g. motor vehicle accidents or falls, but is not true for typical non-contact exercise in an otherwise normal and uncomplicated pregnancy.

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by on Aug.17, 2011, under Training

Beginner Running Question

Question:

“I just started running…. what do you recommend for me to get started…. as started I mean I ran 2 miles up my road… I had to stop and walk some of it, and my lungs hurt so I think I need to work on my breathing… any advice would help…”

Answer:

We would recommend taking a look at the following articles a few of our Experts have already written. Let us know if you have any further questions.

Getting started: How to Start and Beginning Runner Training
Breathing: Pre-Exercise Ventilation

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Beginning Runner Training

Expert Panel Questions???

“I have never been a runner I am out of shape and attempting to train for a half marathon I am just now starting should I focus on keeping up a faster pace for shorter time or go for distance with a slower pace?”

(ask your questions to the UtahRunning.com Experts)

Answer!!!

If you’re just starting out as a first-time runner, you should make the establishment of a consistent training program your first priority. Find thirty minutes each day (six days each week, if possible) to set aside for your training. Don’t worry about pace or distance at first. In fact, you may need to do a combination of walking and running in order to get through thirty minutes. Before long, if you are consistent, you’ll be able to run comfortably for thirty minutes each day. As that begins to feel easy, add time to some (not all) of your weekly runs and see how your body responds to the increased workload.

Try not to skip days unless you need to recover from an injury. Instead, learn to listen to your body, running faster on days that you feel good and easy on days that you need to recover. Not every day should be a hard day. Besides keeping you healthy, this is important for your enjoyment of the sport. If you begin to dread the difficulty of a normal run, you’re working too hard.

If you’re a beginning runner training for a half marathon, you’ll eventually want to work a long run into your schedule once each week. This long run should be about 10-12 miles and should constitute about 20-25% of your weekly mileage. For example, if you run 10 miles on Saturday morning, you should average at least six miles each of the other five days for a total weekly mileage of 40.

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Calf Pain

Expert Panel Question???

“What could be the cause of medial calf pain? I strained my left foot about a year ago and when I started running again my right calf hurt. It went away in about a month; now it is back. Is there something I can do to ease the pain and make it go away?”

Answer!!!

Calf pain is not an uncommon problem in runners because the muscles included in the calf are key to propelling us forward. The calf actually comprises 5 muscles with 2 of these in one “compartment” (a compartment is a bundle containing one or more different muscles) and 3 in another. It is important to know which specific muscle or muscles are injured in order to determine the best treatment options.

The most commonly injured muscles are the two in the compartment closest to the surface – the gastrocnemius and its deeper partner the soleus. These are the “foot to the accelerator” muscles. They are the main muscles working when a runner gets up on his or her toes to push off, run up hills or sprint. As a result, they are most commonly injured during interval, hill or faster paced workouts. The typical injury involves a tear (known as a strain) of the muscle. Strains are often graded on a scale of 1-3 with a 1 being a severe stretch of the muscle fibers, a 2 being a partial tear and a 3 a complete tear.

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Should I run a half marathon before a marathon?

Expert Panel Question???

Question:

“I’m planning on running the Ogden Marathon this May and am wondering about racing beforehand. Particularly, I’m wondering if I should do a 1/2 marathon race 6 weeks before the marathon or just use that half marathon as a training run?”

(ask your questions to the UtahRunning.com Experts here)

Answers!!!

The amount of time it takes to recover from racing is different for everyone. Some bounce back relatively quickly, while others recover more slowly. The general rule is that it takes about one day to recover for every mile that you race. So, it will take almost two weeks for you to be fully recovered from a half marathon.

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