Once upon a time, before I was a running mama-to-be, going out for my evening or weekend run in the summer was as simple as lacing up my favorite running shoes and getting outside. Oh, those were the days! These days, there is so much more care in getting myself ready for a run, but as much as I love the sport, its completely worth it. Everyday my baby belly is getting bigger and bigger which means I’m getting slower and slower, but at the end of the day, getting out there and trying and doing my best to keep me and my little one healthy is the most important thing. Over the years, I’ve spent what feels like millions on running gear, always trying to find the next coolest thing. To be honest, most of it was fluff, but every now and then you come across some really fantastic items. For the running mama-to-be, here are my summertime “must have” favorites:
BodyGlide. For the love of Pete, invest in BodyGlide. It will save your feet from blisters, and it will save that super sensitive inner thigh area from chafing. I think I would bathe in this stuff if I could. The deodorant-like packaging makes application easy and it isn’t greasy and doesn’t feel strange. Rub it on the arches of your feet to save you from blisters or between your thighs to keep away the chafing! Your skin will thank you!
MomBodFitness FITsplint. Now that my 28 week baby belly is…well, OUT THERE, I have need a little assistance in keeping it jiggle-free. Ladies, don’t kid yourself. I don’t care if you were rocking the most awesome 6-pack abs pre-pregnancy. When that belly starts growing, your abdominal and back muscles need all the help they can get. The FITsplint helps keeps your belly still and helps your posture…which are so important when trying to maintain good running form. I wear mine with one band across the belly and one band situated below to hold me both in and up. The material is fantastic and I love that I can wear it discreetly under my running clothes. (Shown here outside my clothes for display purposes.)
Sunscreen. Pregnant women are typically more susceptible to sunburn, so during these summer months, it is even more important to make sure you protect your skin. My go-to sunscreen is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55. It is really light and again, not greasy at all. I put it on about half an hour before heading outdoors. Once I get a good sweat worked up, it does start to get slightly runny, but not nearly as much as other brands.
Rockin’ Tunes. Okay, so I’ll admit it, I totally admire those “naked runners”…you know, the ones who run with no watch, no GPS, no iPod, etc. Not this girl. I love my gadgets and I have a really tough time finding my running rhythm without good tunes. I mix it up a lot and I’m always looking for new songs to put into my playlist. I have been “collecting” running/workout songs for what seems like decades. If you need some ideas to add to your mix, check out my list here!
For Two Fitness “Running for Two” tank. Once that belly starts growing, you will quickly realize that all those cute fitted running tanks you used to wear are tight, binding, or just plain uncomfortable. Never fear, the Running for Two tank is the perfect option! The elastic ruching on the side is super comfortable and allows plenty of room to grow into. The racerback design feels great and keeps the straps from falling off your shoulders (I hate that!). Besides, now that your sporting that beautiful mama belly, is there really any better way to show it off? The design is adorable and I love letting my fellow runners know that just because I’m pregnant, that doesn’t mean I’m totally sidelined from the sport I love! Plus, every time I wear it, random people come up to me and start talking about their kids, running, etc. It is definitely a conversation starter!
Hand-held hydration. Right now I am LOVING my 20oz Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Pocket water bottle. Staying hydrated is insanely important for everyone during the summertime, but even more so for mamas-to-be. Dehydration during pregnancy can cause a host of issues like physical deformities and pre-term labor. Drinking water is important! This bottle fits great in your hand and has a pocket that is roomy enough to hold your house or car key and even your phone (keep that phone close in case of emergency!).
Running Partners in Crime. In addition to having the right gear, it is necessary to have the right moral support to help keep you motivated. Before I was pregnant, I had no trouble at all getting myself outside and pounding the pavement. These days, with the summer heat setting in, it is getting tougher. Having a great group of running friends to help pull me off the couch on days where I feel unmotivated is a true necessity. If you don’t have running buddies, hit up your local running store, fitness center (womens’ fitness centers are great to places to ask), 5k races, or even Twitter. Ask around! You’d be amazed at how many other runners also want people to keep them company on their runs! Running buddies offer a level of accountability and will help encourage you to maintain your fitness level throughout your pregnancy! Plus, there is always safety in numbers. In this summer heat, you just never know how your body will react and it is always safer to have a friend nearby in case anything happens or you start feeling ill. Be smart! I have group/social runs or rides (I also cycle!) several times a week to keep me motivated and moving!
I hope this helps get you some good basics to keep you rocking that baby bump through your runs! Happy running, mamas (and mamas-to-be)!