Fruitfully Living

Running A Mud Run While Pregnant

Okay, so I know there are a few of you out there who are just a little bit crazy like me who would consider running a race while knowing you are pregnant.   I ran the Pennsylvania Spartan Sprint 2011 (4+ miles) when I was three months along.  Doesn’t compare to the women that have done it 5, 6, 7 months pregnant (amazing!) but this is how I did it and why I did it.

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I made sure I had the right conditioning.

First of all, if I had never done something like this before, I wouldn’t have tried it while pregnant. Pregnancy is not the first time you want to try something like this. Before I became pregnant, I was already running 8 miles comfortably with interval and weight training and I continued with that training through most of my pregnancy. I had done a Spartan race before so I knew what to expect.  It still wasn’t easy, but my body was conditioned for something like this. You are constantly exhausted the first trimester so that first two miles uphill during the race was even more painful than if I was not pregnant, but thankfully I had been previously been training for endurance.

I did it for fun, not to compete. 

When you are pregnant, you can’t really participate in a race to compete.  I couldn’t push my body that hard without putting my baby at risk. Even though I didn’t do it for time (next time!), it was still a blast!

 I stayed hydrated.

This was not optional for me.  I was pregnant and I could not afford to dehydrate myself so I carried plenty of water and made sure I started drinking plenty of water several days before race day.  I carried a a low -profile Camelbak like this one that you can order on Amazon. It was a little cumbersome but totally doable. (If you want more information on whether to use a Camelbak for a mud run and what is the best one to use, read my article, “The Best Camelbak for a Mud Run.”)

I ate a good breakfast before the race.

I had a bagel with peanut butter.  And even though the Spartan race was only 4+ miles, the first half was mostly uphill.  I wasn’t sure how my body was going to react so to be safe I carried a small granola bar in my Camelback as well just in case (and I did end up needing it!)

I ran the race with a partner. 

In case I would find myself in a difficult situation, I had someone that could help me and someone that could spot me when going over obstacles–that was hubby.  My husband stayed with me the whole time just in case I needed assistance.

I listened to my body. 

It is amazing how your body will tell you if you are pushing yourself too far.  I walked a couple of times because I had to.   People were already impressed that I was doing this while pregnant, so there was nothing to prove and no shame in walking (even if you are not pregnant).

I skipped the obstacles that I felt were too dangerous. 

I had to skip one of the obstacles and do the burpees instead (punishment for not completing an obstacle).  There was one obstacle where you had to jump from one log to the other.  The logs were muddy, very slippery, and very wide apart.  I have very short legs so I made the call to skip that one because the risk of falling on my stomach was pretty high.  And even though the baby is very well protected with ambiotic fluid, etc–I didn’t want to risk it.

I checked the weather. 

One of the biggest risks for the baby while doing long distance running is actually overheating.  If it had been scorching hot outside, I might have skipped the race altogether, but thank God the weather cooperated.

A lot of people thought I was crazy for doing this, but each of us have our own reasons why we would choose to do something like this while carrying a little one inside.  I ran the race for my students.  I was a youth group leader at the time with several teenage boys and one female who I was trying to motivate. Although some of them were in tip top shape and blew right through the course, there were others that were not.  I stayed behind (along with hubby) to make sure the last of my students made it through the entire race.   That one student never thought he could do something like this—but he finished. The look on his face when he crossed that finish line was priceless!

Next time it will be for time!!!

(Word of Caution: This is my experience and I am by no way endorsing that someone run a mud run while pregnant, especially if they are not in excellent shape to begin with. Follow your physicians guidelines and recommendations.)

Other articles that you may be interested in:

Minimalist Running Shoes: A Healthier Way to Run

Running Tips: Surviving a Long Run with a Toddler

Runner’s Diet for a Breastfeeding Mom

If you liked this article, please be so kind to share it (below)! 

9 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Good for you! There is absolutely nothing wrong with participating in workouts or athletic events while pregnant if it is something you have been doing since before pregnancy(and of course as long as you listen to your body). I completed Tough Mudder-12 miles, 25 obstacles- at 13 weeks with no problems and have a 5k mud run and regular 5k run in a few weeks at 24 and 25 weeks pregnant. I am not worried at all and actually feel better than pre pregnancy at the moment! Congrats to you for realizing pregnancy is not a disease 🙂

    Reply
  2. Luisa Rodriguez

    Thanks! Maybe one day I will do the Tough Mudder. I know I can handle just almost all of it but the electric shocks do terrify me. But yes, being pregnant is not a disease. The best part of being active and physically fit while pregnant is that it actually helps you have a much easier pregnancy and labor.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I did the tough mudder last year and was terrified of the electric shock. I got shocked twice at the finish line. It was awful but the kind of awful that makes you laugh. It’s really quick and the pain doesn’t linger if that helps with the fear. This year I’m pregnant and I’m doing the Armageddon Ambush… Tomorrow! I’m nervous because I didn’t work out in my first trimester and I hit the second trimester yeaterday. I worked out before I found out I was pregnant and I have two people running with me. I also bought a camel back and I’ll remember to bring granola bars!

      Reply
    2. Luisa Rodriguez

      Good luck with the Armageddon Ambush!!!

      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    This is awesome! I was worried about doing the mudrun I signed up for a few weeks ago. I just found out im about 7 wks along. I’ve been working out for the past couple of months, so it wont be too crazy for me to still participate in the mudrun! And its not for competition, so im good!! 🙂 Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Luisa Rodriguez

      No problem anonymous! Have fun and stay hydrated!

      Reply
  4. myminizoo

    Thanks so much! I had signed up for a mud run this summer, just found out I’m pregnant and will be 11 weeks along. I ran a Spartan last year and work out regularly. I wasn’t going to do it but after my doctor cleared me for any type of activity I was doing before as long as I don’t overdo it, I decided to go for it. But yes, people think you’re crazy! I plan to totally take it at my pace, skip obstacles Im not comfortably and just have fun!

    Reply
    1. Luisa Rodriguez

      I am glad I could encourage you. Have fun, take it easy, and stay hydrated!

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Running Tips: Surviving Long Runs with a Toddler • Fruitfully Living

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