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The Pregnancy Training Plan

The weekend I conceived, I did two back-to-back triathlons.

I’ll admit it – this admission makes me sound much tougher than I actually am; they were two very short sprint triathlons (recapped on my personal blog here and here). But still – I was out there, kicking butt and having fun.  It felt awesome.

And then… first trimester exhaustion set in, and I went from five to six days a week of exercise to two or three.  That’s if I could muster the energy to move at all.

I had my good weeks, though.  I continued to run, sometimes hitting 12 miles in a week, and I kept up with my favorite form of exercise – swimming.  But overall, it was hard to stay focused on my workouts.  A large part of me was totally comfortable staying on the couch – after all, my body was pretty busy with babymaking, even if I wasn’t truly exercising – but a small part of me was not pleased.  I want to stay active through my pregnancy.  I want to get back into triathlon shape as soon as realistically and safely possible after delivery. But without a goal (like a race) to train for, I felt lost and unmotivated.  

Now that I’m in my second trimester, I’m starting to feel like I have this active pregnancy thing figured out.  The key for me was creating a pregnancy training plan.  Like a regular training plan for a 5K or Half Marathon, this plan set weekly goals.  But instead of striving to hit mileage goals every week, I aimed for something more attainable:  simply moving my body at least three times a week.

Instead of dictating what workouts I should do each day, the plan was blank.  Yup – blank. I could run, I could dance, I could simply go for a walk.  How I work out – and when I work out – should depend on how I’m feeling, not what a piece of plan says.  My goal is only to fill in three (or four, if I’m feeling especially fabulous) of those blank spaces each week.

During Week 10, I taped my blank training plan up on the fridge and have been staring at it ever since..  And you know what?  It’s working!

Since creating my pregnancy training plan, I’ve been kicking butt on my workouts.  I love, love, LOVE filling in the blank spaces with a workout, and keeping the plan in a highly visible location holds me accountable.

What mental tricks have you used to motivate you to stay active during pregnancy?

 

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