Training Through the First Trimester…the Second Time Around!

I am currently 13 weeks expecting and entering into the second trimester of pregnancy.  Most women feel their second trimester of pregnancy is the best time because fatigue and nasuea subside and energy levels return; without being hampered by a large pregnancy bump...yet.   I was pretty lucky in my first trimester to have only a few bouts of nausea and a month of extreme fatigue!  I know other women who have experienced much more severe pregnancy symptoms.

I felt heading into this pregnancy, in some ways it was much easier for me because I had an idea of what to expect with how I would feel and how I should continue to exercise.  When I was eight weeks pregnant with my daughter, I had a couple of what I would call “pre-pregnancy” moderate training days.  This normally would be no big deal; however, I quickly learned how much I needed to back off during pregnancy!  I ended up on the couch for a day or two with barely any energy to move!  Instead of my typical three to five hour training days, my training was limited to a max of two hours.  In addition, I kept all my training aerobic and did not push myself.  I quickly learned that I was no longer “training”, but simply “exercising” and enjoying moving my body to what it could do for that day.


Having this prior experience from my previous pregnancy, this made my transition from training to exercise much easier in the fact I knew what was best for my body.  I remember last time being shocked that at eight weeks pregnant, I was nearly ten seconds per 100 slower in the pool with the same perceived exertion.  This time around, it was nice knowing that this was to be expected and I have felt less of a need to push myself at all in my exercise and simply enjoy it.  Some days I feel that I can push myself a little harder; while other days I have felt rough and have backed off exercise.  As athletes we are so great at listening to our bodies and I feel this is crucial to do while pregnant.   Sometimes I feel like I can go out and run 7 miles, no problem, while there have been a few days where I feel exhausted after a couple of miles to continue running much farther.  Days that I do feel tired, I don’t worry about it at all and simply enjoy walking and taking in the beauty of nature and trails around me (something I really never do when I am training and pushing my body to the limit!).


This time around I felt the extreme fatigue a bit earlier, but it seemed to get better around 10 weeks verses the 13 weeks last time around.  This pregnancy I have also cut back my working out to a max of around 90 minutes a day.  My typical week consists of: 2-3x 45 minute swims, 2x week strength training (modified from my normal), 3-4x week 4-7 miles running and 2x a week cycling for 60 to 90 min.  For the first trimester I was still comfortable to be riding outside on safe roads or on the trails, but next week I will resume to the trainer full time.  The timing with the weather worked out well, since the cold weather will start and I won’t want to ride outside anyway.  Last time around I remember feeling a bit lost and unsure of what to do with so much time on my hands, but this time around, I have a three year old to keep me company.  Caroline has started pre-school this year however; so this gives me plenty of time to get in some daily exercise.


Having spoken with other women during their pregnancies, I have learned that every one is so unique and individual.  For other pregnant women out there reading this blog, don’t expect to follow what I do or feel how I have felt during my pregnancy.  However, I feel that all women can learn from other women in sharing their own experiences.  I have talked to some women who don’t even know they are pregnant until 11 weeks, while other women are so tired they can’t exercise at all.  This is why I feel it’s so important to listen to your body and not judge.  Not to judge yourself from others, but most importantly, I mean to not judge yourself from yourself.  Don’t worry about what you can’t do, but focus on what you can and know that you are growing an incredible life inside you!  That takes a tremendous amount of energy and I feel it’s so important to respect that.

I wish everyone to enjoy the triathlon “off-season”, holiday festivities and cooler weather!

Best Wishes,


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