Now that I’m 15 weeks (with a tiny bump that looks more like I ate one too many burritos), I’m officially a wee bit into my second trimester. They say that between 13-14 weeks is when you officially hit the second tri, which differs from the 12 weeks that many people think of being 3 months.
Taken last weekend… the bump has definitely grown since then!
Anyway, the first trimester is full of many different emotions, symptoms, feelings, and experiences — none of which I was really prepared for as this is my first pregnancy. Sure, I’ve heard about morning sickness and first trimester exhaustion, but it’s difficult to really imagine these things until you’ve been through them!
Today I want to talk a little bit about how I felt overall throughout my first tri, how my training was affected, how my nutrition changed, etc. Enjoy!
I want to start off by saying that I feel very lucky with the relatively mild symptoms that I had during the first tri. I know for many women, this is a time of severe nausea, vomiting, food aversions, etc. but for me it was just kind of uncomfortable for the most part. I did have nausea, but it mostly came in waves and usually in the evening, which meant that I could get through my workday pretty easily most days. There were certainly some days that were much worse than others, but I think I got off pretty easy on this front compared to some.
What did hit me hard was (and still is) the exhaustion/fatigue. It has certainly gotten better over the past week or so, but for a while there I was hardly able to keep my eyes open past 8 pm most nights — which can be an issue when I regularly work until 8 or 9! Thankfully this has eased up a little bit, and as long as I’m careful to get enough sleep I’m feeling pretty good with a decent amount of energy.
I haven’t had any crazy cravings or food aversions yet, which probably goes along with the relatively mild nausea. I have constantly been wanting oranges and green grapes, but other than that my food tastes have stayed pretty much the same so far! Here’s hoping I don’t start craving crazy things like pickles dipped in ice cream, but I guess you never know. For now I’ll appreciate my healthy fruit cravings and hope for the best moving forward.
Training has probably been the biggest (and most frustrating) change for me. I’m someone who is used to training hard 4-5 days per week, sometimes 6. I’m used to pushing my limits, not letting up, and really working to make myself better, but that has all taken a back seat since becoming pregnant. My cardiovascular capacity is way down, which means that frequent breaks are needed while running. That, combined with the fact that I’m supposed to keep myself at a “conversational” level while working out means that I really have to pay attention to my body and give myself plenty of recovery intervals when necessary.
This became extremely apparent while I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago. I got up early almost every day to run, but even in those early morning hours the humidity was more than I’m used to. I had to take a short break about every 1/2 mile during my 3 mile runs, which is both humbling and frustrating to someone who hasn’t had to take breaks like that before.
As far as lifting goes, I am still lifting heavy weights, just not quite as heavy as before. I think of myself right now as lifting to maintain strength rather than to build it, which means I haven’t even come close to maxing out during the past few months. I have continued with my big lifts, including dead lifting, just at a lower intensity than before.
For instance, instead of training at around 190-205 lb for a normal DL day, I’ll now lift around 155 lb for a few more reps. I’m maintaining strength (although probably losing a little bit), but also maintaining a base of movement patterns and for my muscles without pushing too hard. If you go online you’ll find some old fashioned advice that women shouldn’t lift more than 30 pounds when pregnant, but I personally think that’s bull shit. Especially when you consider that many pregnant women have toddlers running around who weigh more than that and they need to be picked up regularly!
I’m of the strong belief (and so is my doctor) that you can safely continue doing whatever physical activity you were doing before pregnancy, whether it be running, weight training, cycling etc. Avoiding contact sports and avoiding pushing your body too hard are musts, but other than that I’m not the fragile flower that some people seem to think I am!
My main goals right now are to maintain a strength base to keep my body nice and strong when it comes to delivery time. I listen to my body and take rest breaks/rest days when I need them, and make sure to stay hydrated as well. For the past few weeks, a typical training week has looked something like the following:
Monday – Spin workout + KB swings and core work
Tuesday – Full body lift (heavier)
Wednesday – Off/rest
Thursday – Spin workout or run + core work
Friday – Full Body Lift (lighter)
Saturday/Sunday – Off and/or active rest such as long walks, hill walks, or yoga.
Does anyone have any questions for me? Any details about training changes that you would like to know?
Have a great weekend everyone!