View Full Version : Long rides & pregnant?

08-17-2006, 07:10 PM
Hey women,

Thanks for all the info on this board. Very helpful.

I am now 8 weeks pregnant..and have been doing a lot of research about exercise and pregnancy. I have Clapp's book and have read through the forums here. I know that I can keep riding but shouldn't get too hot, go anaerobic, get dehydrated, or get fatigued.

The question that I still have is about long rides. I'm used to riding for 3-4 hours, around 50-65 miles. I am hoping to do one of those rides this weekend, but want to make sure it is safe. Is there someone out there who can confirm that they have done these kinds of rides while pregnant? I read some past threads, but a little present reassurance would set me at ease.


08-17-2006, 07:37 PM
I also did longer rides for years before becoming pregnant. I stopped mainly because I couldn't get any direct advice from a medical professional beyond the basics. I'm now 21 weeks along and anything beyond 2-2.5 hours feels like more than enough. But many say that whatever you've been doing routinely is safe to do while pregnant. You'll read in Clapp's book (and probably already know) that the most important things to keep in mind are consuming enough calories and fluids before during and after the ride, and getting enough rest depending on how long you work out. The longer you exercise, the more time you should set aside that day to take it easy, and if you feel like collapsing on your bed the minute you complete your ride you've probably worked too hard.
I cancelled two back to back 70 mile rides and an overnight stay in between with some friends the weekend I found out I was pg and I still wonder if it was necessary to do so. I was only 5 weeks along and felt great, and I was certainly running and riding at my regular levels before I tested positive... sigh. The minor sacrifices in the face of uncertainty are worth it I figure...
One of my colleagues trained for and ran the NYC marathon in her 14th week, so those epic workouts during pregnancy are possible. I know she followed the basic advice from Clapp's book mentioned above, but she had direct guidance from her OB as well. That really makes a difference.
You may want to search your community for a prenatal fitness specialist if your OB has only limited advice.
Good luck and congratulations!

08-18-2006, 07:44 AM
Thanks Vigg! I feel better now...and hope you'll stay in touch about how you're feeling and what you're able to do.
What was so interesting to me about Clapp's book was the significant health benefits of continuing to exercise throughout one's pregnancy. I definitely started out fit--I think this kid was conceived the night before I competed in the NYC triathlon!
But it has been hard to stay motivated to run or bike with the tiredness and nausea..although the day after I work out, I feel those side effects much less.
So it's that challenge of backing off a bit (probably can't bike with my regular bike buddies any more, they make me go anaerobic..) but also getting out there consistently.

08-18-2006, 08:02 AM
Congrats on your pregnancy! Isn't it fun, especuially if you feel well. I am almost 9 weeks pregnant and I have not cut my miles by a even a bit. I also play a lot of tennis and past Friday and sunday I spent 4 hours on the court. Yes, you should be careful not to fall. With time your balance will change. But you should simply listen to your body and it will tell you when to slow down. My doctor is laughing at me for having a road rash on my arm but completely supports me being active. Keep on riding and enjoy your pregnancy!

Hey there are three preggies on the board. How fun!

08-21-2006, 04:45 AM
Oh to have an OB who wasn't worried to death about falling!
Now that my belly is protruding falling or crashing is definitely becoming more of a concern. My balance is still fine, and I predict it won't be an issue for a while, if ever (I've adapted to overpacked touring bikes vs light responsive racing frames with no problem... Perhaps pregnancy won't be much different??). My real concern is that the fetus is much more vulnerable in an accident now. There are so many women who ride up to their 9th month, and it still feels great for me, just not sure what I'll do over the next few months. I know placental abruption is a possible serious consequence, but I've heard it only happens as a result of pretty severe crashes. If that's the case I can certainly give up pacelines (I too have given up on most group rides as I inevitably push it too hard) and screaming down hills for the time being. Have either of you heard opinions about the impact a crash could have on a fetus?

08-21-2006, 05:04 AM
As the unfortunate veteran of many miscarriages, I can tell you, when a baby is determined to stick, it takes something pretty extreme to knock him or her loose, and when a baby is not going to stick there is pretty much not too much that can be done to keep him or her around. The human body (all mammals in fact) have evolved remarkable adaptations to ensure the continuation of the species. A bike ride, a tennis match - this is nothing compared to the women who need to toil sunup to sundown in the fields, women who get pg in times of famine, etc. And yet, babies continue to get born.

Most doctors, even infertility specialists, if pushed will admit that most of the precautions they give women are for their own (the woman's) peace of mind. If you lie still in the office for an hour after an insemination and do no heavy lifting for 72 hours thereafter, if you keep your heartrate below 120 and do no exercise more strenuous than a brisk walk, then if you miscarry you are less likely to blame yourself.

08-23-2006, 02:56 PM
Obviously you need to have this conversaton with your doctor, but with that being said, I was very active throughout both my pregnancies. The advice I was given was to just do what I was already trained to do, but to be careful of over-heating (and avoid saunas and hot tubs, etc). We didn't measure our heart rates in those days, but nowadays I think it means just keeping your heart rate in the moderate versus high intensity zone. Congrats on the baby! An active preganancy leads to an easier birthing experience!