With my due date being just a few weeks away, I have seen drastic changes in my body. My belly is now resting on my thighs comfortably also known as "lightening" and it takes a whole lot more work to keep my body upright. Thank goodness for the back exercises I have been doing to keep my back strong for this exact moment (when I have become belly heavy). My pelvic bones are definitely experiencing the magic of the relaxin hormone. It now aches a bit to go faster than a shuffle pace, so I don't push it and I walk/shuffle my way through some cardio days. Days like those I feel like mentally I am running, when in reality... well, in reality, my husband is walking leisurely next to me, so that should say what my reality looks like. Although there have been random days where I felt like my lil bud has shifted allowing my pelvic region relief. But now I am sure that where the baby has placed itself, it's there for the long haul. SO now... NOW... I am officially slooooooow. It's crazy just what a difference the position of the baby can make.
My "training" has shifted from keeping up with runs, to training for my main event this year, NO... not the 800 meters... LABOR!!! Think about it, people train for marathons, Ironman's, 10k's, you name it, but when it comes to the most crazy physically demanding transformation a body will go through, people don't really consider training for it!? Labor is an athletic event, it is not only emotionally demanding, but it is highly physically demanding.
Many women have been able to run everyday up until their due date. I, however have had to modify my routine a bit in the last week, and it includes less running... My training bud really needs to pull his/her own weight here, especially because we are gaining half a pound each week! Instead of maintaining a running regimen I have devised a plan to keep up high intensity cardio workouts, using the ElliptiGO, but modifying it's use by putting it on a stationary trainer. I also incorporated hill walk/shuffles either outdoors or on my treadmill. Additionally I included weight and strength circuits, swimming and hikes... and kegel exercises.
Above is the ElliptiGO (Google it!) It's awesome, can't wait to take this baby for a spin off of the stationary trainer post delivery!
Louis and I headed for a swim
While I know you can only plan so much with these sort of things, I still think it is important to make a plan and to adjust accordingly and as neccesary. Here is my plan on how I plan to stay physically fit for labor.
Not to be neglected are the amazing people that I get body work from. My PT, Nina Patterson at SOL PT and Cyrus Poitier at Elite Pro Sports Massage. I see these two once a week to keep my body in line and operating as efficiently as possible. With my changing body, my team of specialists also help me to detect any imbalances I might be creating.
My goals in preparation for my little one's arrival are;
1. To maintain cardiovascular strength to endure labor more easily ( I said more easily)
2. To maintain strength in my abdominal and leg muscles. As I understand the transverse abdominis muscles and obliques help push the baby out and many women rely on varying squatting positions to help facilitate the baby's entrance in a more comfortable manner.
3. To practice waves of intervals, as I know that when women go through labor contractions come in waves and I feel like interval training can help prepare me mentally for that. It's not the same pain, but mentally I feel like it will help me understand my responses to physical demands.
4. To continue working as a team with my BFF. Mine just happens to be my husband Louis, but I think that everyone needs someone to support them physically, mentally or otherwise. I understand every situation is different, but if you can find a friend or a loved one that can share a dream or help you through life's journeys, you will find yourself grateful. Humans are innately social we are most often better off with support to help us through the most demanding events of our life.
I am certainly happy to have my husband supporting me and helping get through these workouts in such a very fun and bonding way!
Here is the my other training buddy/husband/ man of many hats, Louis, crushing it on treadmill and waiting for me to take my spot beside him on the ElliptiGO! He's easy on the eyes too... ; )
Alysia Montaño, The Flying Flower