Running during pregnancy: Second Trimester - Women's Running

Running during pregnancy: Second Trimester

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  August 25, 2021

We all know that pregnancy does not mean the end of your running career: but it needn’t mean a long pause either. Sophie Power tells us how to train sensibly during each trimester

The second trimester can be the sweet spot of pregnancy, when tiredness and nausea have lifted and the bump is still a manageable size.

How to adapt your running and exercise

Most women find they have additional energy going into the second trimester. With rapid changes in your body, it’s important to listen to it carefully – some exercises may not feel right one week but will be comfortable the next. Changing hormones and a changing centre of gravity (that bump) can make us more likely to fall and injure, so it’s worth switching to less technical or flatter terrain.

During my second trimester, I reduced the impact of my running to protect my pelvic floor, as I was concerned about leaking. I found running first thing in the morning, when it was less tired, and taking a day to let it recover between runs helped me avoid mid-run pee stops.

Ways to reduce the impact of running

• Switch from concrete to softer surfaces like trail and grass

• Avoid running downhill – change to flatter routes or walk the downhills

• Run on a treadmill on a 3-10% incline

• Increase the amount of cushioning in your shoes

Anything else?

With your growing bump, some of your kit may no longer be comfortable – but you don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe. Why not ask around if any running friends have larger kit you can borrow? ReRun clothing ( has pre-loved running gear –I bought a few pairs of leggings for my pregnancy (typically £5) and I’m about to send them back to be re-loved.

Second trimester training kit

Gabrialla Active Mom Maternity Support Belt
This is the ultimate support belt for your bump. In the second trimester, it can be worn lower to stabilise your hips and, during your third trimester, it supports your back and lifts your bump, giving some pelvic floor relief. I used it for weight training from 5 months pregnant, and from 7 months I wouldn’t leave the house without it, even for a short walk. Make sure you adjust the smaller straps at the same time so support is equal both sides.

HOKA Clifton Edge
The extended heel gave me much more stability during pregnancy, especially on downhills, and the maximal cushioning made running low impact on my body.

EVB Shorts
I’ve waxed lyrical about EVB shorts ever since they got me back to running after my first pregnancy. They’re a support short for your pelvis and pelvic floor (also they come in capris and leggings). I’ve used them throughout my pregnancies (going up two sizes by the end) to prevent leaking while running – and continued to race in them between pregnancies. My standard-sized pairs have each lasted over 2,000 miles, which justifies the price tag.

Latched Pre & Postnatal leggings
These comfy leggings are so versatile – I wore them my entire pregnancy and they are now part of my day-to-day wardrobe. The waistband sits high, supporting your bump during pregnancy, and is flattering postpartum. Having pockets on both sides has also proved invaluable to carry things around hands-free. I find them a bit too thick to wear running but they are perfect for quick strength or stretch workouts during the day.

About the author

Sophie is an ultrarunner and mother of three. In 2018, a picture of her breastfeeding her three-month-old son during the 106-mile UTMB mountain race went viral around the world. Since then she has become a passionate advocate for women in sport.

Sophie recently released a short documentary following her third pregnancy and return to running afterwards. Pregnancy to Performance can be found on the Hoka One One YouTube channel. She also wrote a full account of her pregnancy training which can be found on and on Instagram @ultra_sophie

Women's Running Magazine

NMA’s 2020 Lifestyle Magazine of the Year, Women’s Running provides expert advice on gear and training, motivation from your favourite runners and the latest running news.

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