Perhaps one of the most essential parts of my prenatal health regimen is training! Swimming is my primary sport, but I also lift a few times throughout the week and throw in yoga or stretching sessions on occasion too.
Currently, I’m swimming 6 days a week for 90 minutes per practice. I train with my team and plan to do so throughout my entire pregnancy.
As soon as I find out that I’m pregnant, my coach and I will sit down to adjust the level of intensity for my training sessions. I think that I’ll be able to train as usual for the first few weeks of pregnancy, but you really don’t know what it’s going to be like until you’re actually in the moment – so we’ll see!
Regardless, my swimming will remain aerobic-focussed with a few anaerobic sets thrown in throughout the week over the course of the next year or longer. I will also plan to compete for the first few months of pregnancy until my belly keeps me from doing flip turns and starts off the block properly.
We generally train around 4,000 – 5,000 yards per practice, which really isn’t too crazy, and can definitely be maintained for quite some time as I’m still trying to become pregnant. Most of our practices consist of longer warm-ups that are mid-distance (think sets of 200 – 500 yds, etc.) followed by short, sprint-based work (25s, 50s, 100s) along with technique and race-focused drills.
In addition to swimming, I also try to lift 1-2 times per week as I adore strength training and feel that it is crucial for developing the strength necessary for natural birth. (i.e. I finally have to start doing my squats again…) I took a short hiatus from the gym for about a month due to begin sick but I’m slowly returning and trying to stick to basics for now, like pull-ups, bent-over row, bench press, squats, and the like.
Finally, as someone who is actively pursuing the natural birth route, I’d like to tie in a modified yoga practice with hypnobirthing sessions at least once a week and gradually increase sessions as I get closer to birth. Right now, I haven’t done a darn thing towards this part of my training but I will most certainly start in the upcoming weeks.