How Does Pregnancy Impact Running and Nutrition?

There are few things in life as dramatically life-changing as getting pregnant.

Running Pregnancy

Everything from your health insurance to finances, job status, schedule, and even how much you’re able to sleep are changed forever.

Clearly, the effects of pregnancy are experienced more strongly among women. Almost everything changes:

  • Hormonal profiles are entirely new, impacting sleep, eating habits, and your ability to exercise
  • Bodily changes accommodate a growing child… including more weight gain than you’re ready for
  • Perspectives, outlooks, and priorities make a big shift as you now realize you’re about to have your first dependent!

I’ve previously shared how pregnancy impacted my wife’s running and our experience with many doctors, nurses, and midwives.

My goal was to bring you a new perspective on this topic – not one from a doctor, but from a runner and coach who’s going through many of the same issues that you are when it comes to running and kids.

This week, I want to bring you another view on this important aspect of running from a Registered Dietitian, ultra runner, and certified coach.

Claire Shorenstein on Running While Pregnant

Claire is no stranger to running long: she’s a Boston Marathon-qualifying runner, frequent triathlete, and multiple ultra marathon finisher.

Perhaps more importantly, she’s a Registered Dietitian and New York State Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist with a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. A certified Road Runner’s Club of America running coach, she works at several private practices to counsel athletes and non-athletes on their nutrition goals.

Her specialties include weight loss, sports nutrition, chronic disease prevention and management, and pre- and post-natal nutrition. Read more about Claire on her website, Eat for Endurance.

She is also very pregnant as of now!

Her work has been featured in places like Food & Wine, Competitor, Runner’s World, and Salon. And today, she agreed to add Strength Running to this impressive list of media credentials 😉

Episode 14 of The Strength Running Podcast features our conversation about how to run through pregnancy, specifically:

  • Do pregnant women really need to keep their heart rate below a certain threshold?
  • What types of exercise are off limits (if any)?
  • Can you strength train during pregnancy?
  • What nutrition guidelines do pregnant runners need to remember?
  • Does pregnancy increase your injury risk? How do you address this problem?
  • What are the extra calorie requirements of pregnancy?
  • What nutrition supplements are recommended for pregnant runners?

Please enjoy my conversation with Claire:

You can download this episode on iTunes or on Stitcher.

Links & Resources from Episode 14:

Please remember that neither Claire or myself (Jason…) are medical professionals nor do we play one on the internet.

Join me in giving Claire a big thank you for hanging out on the podcast. And of course, best of luck with the rest of her pregnancy and the wonderful first few months of having a newborn!

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  1. This is great. I’d love a series on postpartum running. I stopped running at 20 weeks and had my LO 2 1/2 weeks ago. I’m itching to get back to it after I get clearance from my doctor.

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Lindsey, and congratulations!! Wishing you a relatively easy journey back into running. I am sure it will be challenging – I will be facing the same thing very soon 🙂

  2. I think it’s wonderful when you’re in harmony with the pregnancy and going about your life. Yes, you’ll have to prepare for it, do a research, but it’s worth it. Too bad that some women rejects usual way of life when get pregnant

    • I couldn’t agree more, Eva! The days of women having to stop their lives and go on bed rest are certainly far behind us, thankfully. 🙂

      I actually just wrote about my whole experience of running through pregnancy and reaching 1,000 pregnant miles on my blog, in case you are interested in reading it!

  3. Great episode and congratulations, Claire! In my work with athletes, and during my 2016 pregnancy, I challenge folks to rethink our cultural beliefs about what is possible for the pregnant athlete. Rather than looking at pregnancy as a series of symptoms to be endured, the athlete can choose to view pregnancy as the only time in her life she gets to legally, naturally blood dope, increase the pump volume of her heart, AND incubate a healthy new human.

    I’ve written extensively about running my twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth ultras, climbing my hardest rock projects, guiding, and backcountry skiing while pregnant over on my blog – and soon to be compiled into a book. This material includes my analysis of the birth and postpartum experiences as an elite mountain athlete.

    Here’s hoping my experiences and research can add to the work you’re doing, Claire! Also, let me know if there’s anything I can do to support you in the postpartum period – it is often not as scary as other moms will tell you 🙂