Making my blood boil via Currently Running while Pregnant (@le_diable)
I have seen a NY Time fitness blog posted many, many times on Facebook over the last couple days and it’s making my blood boil. It’s essentially about how a woman’s stride changes after pregnancy. it studied “a handful” of women. The example it uses was a woman that they studied starting at six months pregnant through six months post pregnant, at which point she had increased her mileage to a whopping 15 miles per week. They found her pelvis to have more sway post-pregnancy than in-pregnancy, and to still have a remaining tilt. Of course, we know nothing about her stride pre-pregnancy, so I am not sure what they are actually proving.
But here is what is making my blood boil: the entire article had an implication that being pregnant is detrimental to running. The comments under the article fall in-line with that tone, with people suggesting that running during pregnancy is exacerbating the issue.
Personally, I look to all the women who have great running careers post pregnancy, even better than pre-pregnancy – Serena Burla, Sara Vaughn, Clara Peterson just to name a few.
There are proven benefits to running post-pregnancy. Running is all about stress and adaptation. The first thing that happens when you get pregnant, is that your blood volume increases. Following delivery, blood volume stays increased for several weeks, but not a huge amount of time. However, just as professional dopers will do EPO during their training cycle, and not during their racing cycle, a pregnant woman has just spent nearly a year in this state and has made many adaptations to support the weight and another life.
This is followed by a quick drop in body weight, assisted by breast feeding, in which many women find themselves leaner than they were before getting pregnant. A quick drop in body weight is beneficial to your Vo2 max. A post-pregnancy woman reaps similar benefits to those women who have stellar seasons upon the discovery of an eating disorder (do not try this!).
Anyway, I am not a scientist or doctor, so don’t trust anything I say.
But my no-brainer response to that NY Time piece is this: do core work, get therapy for injuries and acknowledge that you might have small changes in your stride. And then move on and reap the benefits of of all that stress you just put your body through.