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Running through Pregnancy

The start of my appreciation for treadmill running can be traced back to my first pregnancy back in 2017. I was much younger, lived in London, ran a marathon at 20 weeks, run-commuted and track trained all the way through pregnancy until the day my waters broke. I rarely ran indoors.

After the birth of my first child, my very perceptive husband guessed that I might get itchy feet and be prone to rushing back to running. He found me a decent second hand treadmill to use so that I could return to running in a controlled and logistically more simple manner. That treadmill was my gateway to later owning a NoblePro and has been a key part of my running life ever since. There was no going back…

Running through Pregnancy

Ultra-Runner Beth Pascall put it perfectly when she said that pregnancy is a ‘heterogeneous’ experience. I may have had to get out my dictionary in order to agree with her, but she’s right – pregnancy is made up of widely varying experiences from day to day. There is no guarantee that how you feel doing the same thing from one day to the next will have any resemblance to the previous experience. What’s more, just because you’ve been through pregnancy once doesn’t mean you have any idea how it’ll be the second time around.

In 2023, I found myself pregnant again. This time, based in the Midlands where the majority of running is pavement-less country roads and without regular tube stop get-out-clauses. I was also returning from injury earlier in the year.

This double whammy meant that the treadmill was again my saviour. In the early days, I managed to combine the treadmill with longer outdoor runs and hit my target of doing a marathon again at 20 weeks, which I actually won! However, soon after that, the size of the bump, darker mornings and requirement to be vigilant of my pelvic floor, meant that it felt irresponsible to do much on the uneven roads.

When I couldn’t risk being 5 miles away from home. I could still run 10 miles on the treadmill knowing that I didn’t NEED to make the turnaround. Pregnancy was generally harder this time around too. Nausea was ever present but unpredictable. In most instances getting my body moving really helped relieve the discomfort but it wasn’t always the case and in those instances I could just hit the off button and head off to chug flat ginger ale.

Intervals set up on Kinni felt much more achievable than dealing with the undulations of our local roads and with hormones all over the place, being able to control the temperature of my environment or nip to the loo was a godsend!

Return to running after a C-Section

Having the treadmill around and ready to use gives a feeling of freedom. Just knowing that it’s there and I can jump on when I’m ready to is comforting.

An emergency C Section has meant that gentle walks are important but also need to be carefully managed. Walking on the treadmill has enabled me to work on scar mobility in a setup where I can focus on good posture (rather than pushing a pram) and step off the moment I feel any discomfort.
Gradually being able to increase the incline is also good way to gently start to challenge the pelvic floor muscles and build glute strength in preparation for getting back to running.

With two children in the mix, I can set my alarm for whichever window is available to me and know that the option is there. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be getting back to swimming and spin and hitting the roads over the summer too in whatever way I safely can, but I can certainly say that the treadmill and I are going to stay best friends.


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