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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    184

    Racing while pregnant?

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    I just found out I'm pregnant yesterday and figure I'm maybe 3 weeks max. I've been CX racing since early September- should I stop racing immediately? Cata 1-2 races are pretty intense.

    I thought I'd ask here to see what others have done.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    2,521
    I have never been pregnant and raced, nor for that matter, been pregnant at all! However, I have had several friends who were bike riders who rode throughout most of the pregnancy (they did not race); most of them told me that their doctors told them to keep their heart rates below a certain level; so I would guess that racing might be out.

    It makes sense that since you are supporting another little growing body that you would want some of the nutrients, blood, oxygen going there?

    Anyway, I would ask a doctor - but as usual, hopefully, you know one that exercises a bit cause you could probably get some very divergent views from different doctors.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    If racing and that level of effort is NORMAL for you, which it sounds like it is, then it should be fine--but you should consult your doctor first. I raced and continued my normal training up to 5 months pregnant. Then I had to back off the racing and continue with less intense workouts. I actually did an 8-hour adventure race in 14 degrees, in the middle of a blizzard when I was just over 5 months pregnant. I had to mountain bike 10 miles in several inches of snow on single track. Canoe 4 miles (in a blizzard!!!! sitting in an aluminum canoe--BRRRRR!!!!). And trail run/hike for 5ish miles. And I'm not near as tough as it sounds.

    CX Racing is doable. Your baby will never be in a safer place than in your womb

    My advice is to pay very close attention to your body, stay well hydrated and do not get overheated. Don't do anything you aren't comfortable doing.

    Good luck and congratulations!!!!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    curious to hear what you decided. when I was having babies the rule of thumb seemed to be - exercise in moderation, watch the heart rate and not get overheated. My thought would be, why risk causing harm to the baby. There will be time for racing again in the future.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    For CX I'd worry about joint injuries too, since pregnancy affects your ligaments. Ask your doctor ... and if your doctor is the sort who thinks no one should ever exercise, maybe find another one...
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    566
    When I last went to my OBGYN, I told her that me and DH were going to try for baby, and I was a little concerned about all the exercise restrictions once pregnant.

    "Oh, you can absolutely exercise!"

    "OK, cool, anything I should avoid?"

    "Not that I can think of. Just whatever feels right at the time."

    "So I can scuba dive?"

    She rolled her eyes at me, "No, I'd say no scuba diving."

    "Alright, then, mountain biking?"

    She sized me up a bit. Sighed. Explained that first trimester MAYBE, since everything is still pretty well protected by the pelvis bones. After that, things get sticking out and more vulnerable. "But trust me, you may not even want to do anything. How about nothing that you're likely to crash with, ok?"

    -- gnat! (Roller Derby is probably out, too, then. )
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    184
    So I decided not to race I have to remember that even at this early stage, it's not about me anymore. It's simply not worth the risk! Cyclocross racing isn't going away any time soon, and when I make my 2013 comeback I'll have extra red blood cells to power me, right? And I can start out in the master's group because I'll be old enough by then.

    This was technically a no-brainer decision, but racing is a huge part of my life so I was second-guessing myself. I've already been peppered with questions about why I'm not doing the race-pace rides and or event this weekend. I want to keep this under wraps until the 12-week mark but I think everyone's going to catch on pretty quick. Anyone got a good excuse? Burned out? Bum wrist? LOL I'd love to go out and cheer but I don't want to deal with all the questions. Ugh.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    Quote Originally Posted by Drtgirl View Post
    Anyone got a good excuse? Burned out? Bum wrist? LOL I'd love to go out and cheer but I don't want to deal with all the questions. Ugh.
    One of my teammates had "allergies acting up really bad" keeping her off the weekly hill rides
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1
    Congratulations! I realized I was pregnant in the middle of a criterium. I just knew and pulled out. I decided not to race while pregnant because of the elevated heart rates during racing but rode through my 8th month. Do what is comfortable and normal for you, listen to your body. Hopefully your doctor understands athletes!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    Drtgirl, at least bike around even into your last trimester if you're comfortable walking around, etc. There are cycling women bloggers who blog about their pregnancy while cycling around town....a ton of evidence of cycling pregnant mothers on the 'Net.

    You will be grateful to at least cycle around daily with baby in womb. Nothing wrong with that. And you will be fitter than if you didn't do any exercise. Cycling at your own pace, but not racing, while visibily pregnant is not going to happen often in life, so enjoy it and treasure those few months.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,648
    This is a very individual, personal decision. Talk to your doctor and listen to your body. Some women are able to keep up a great deal of activity until late in their pregnancies. I did Pilates until 38-39 weeks. But I couldn't do a whole lot of cardio early on in my 2nd tri.

    I decided at around 15 weeks that my bike was going to spend the rest of my pregnancy on the trainer. I had nearly passed out just walking through an airport - elevated heart rate and difficulty breathing. Since I mostly cycle alone, I decided it wasn't worth the risk of getting stranded somewhere without backup (DH was working abroad at the time) or worse, passing out while in motion.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Denver Metro
    Posts
    844
    Congrats

    On an excuse for the race pace group rides: your coach said it is off season and not the time of year to be riding so hard- base season (works perfectly for this time of year)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Bulgaria
    Posts
    271
    Congratulations!
    I would continue riding but mountain biking and racing is out of the question because you can get injured.
    Last year I punctured mu stomach with the brake lever and I was not even in a race. So I would recommend only flat easy trails, ride with caution and enjoy your pregnancy while keeping fit but in moderation. There will be time for racing afterwards.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Quote Originally Posted by Drtgirl View Post
    So I decided not to race I have to remember that even at this early stage, it's not about me anymore. It's simply not worth the risk! Cyclocross racing isn't going away any time soon, and when I make my 2013 comeback I'll have extra red blood cells to power me, right? And I can start out in the master's group because I'll be old enough by then.

    This was technically a no-brainer decision, but racing is a huge part of my life so I was second-guessing myself. I've already been peppered with questions about why I'm not doing the race-pace rides and or event this weekend. I want to keep this under wraps until the 12-week mark but I think everyone's going to catch on pretty quick. Anyone got a good excuse? Burned out? Bum wrist? LOL I'd love to go out and cheer but I don't want to deal with all the questions. Ugh.
    I think you are correct. The increased possibility of injury is what makes it risky, not cycling itself.

    Are there any low car-traffic areas you can explore? Certainly cycling is great exercise. And if you don't ride at all, a huge decrease in exercise won't be physically or psychologically good for you.

    Reasons why you aren't training hard:
    I don't want helmet hair.
    I have PMS.
    I have a 'cramp.'
    I'm dizzy lately.
    I feel nauseous.
    I didn't drink last night. (Hint).
    I broke a nail.
    My saddle hurts.
    My shoes are too tight.
    I lost my favorite cycling socks.
    This helmet doesn't match my cycling shorts.
    I've decided to cross-train with more core work lately, I'm going to need it!
    I lost a cleat screw.
    I've decided to give it a rest, you guys smell.



    Congrats on the baby! And yeah, not a good idea to tell everyone, yet. I guess you actually could say you want to avoid aggrevating your SI joints.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 10-22-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    566
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Reasons why you aren't training hard...
    Totally going to start using some of these.

    -- gnat! (not pregnant. yet.)
    Windsor: 2010 S-Works Ruby
    Pantysgawn: 2011 S-Works Stumpjumper 29er
    Whiz!: 2013 S-Works Crux (Singlespeed)
    Boucheron: 2009 S-Works Tricross
    Haloumi: 2013 Tern P7i
    Kraft: 2009 Singlecross
    Gouda: 2005 Electra Betty
    Roquefort: 1974 Stella SX-73

 

 

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