Running during pregnancy: Third Trimester - Women's Running

Running during pregnancy: Third Trimester

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  August 25, 2021

Congratulations, you’re now entering the home straight!

How to adapt your running and exercise

If running still feels great, there’s no reason to stop completely. But, as Emma Brockwell cautions, if you are experiencing heaviness or dragging in the vaginal area, leaking urine or inability to control bowel movements, pelvic or back pain which gets worse after a run, or just general discomfort, now is the time to switch to lower impact workouts.

If running still feels great, there’s no reason to stop completely. But, as Emma Brockwell cautions, if you are experiencing heaviness or dragging in the vaginal area, leaking urine or inability to control bowel movements, pelvic or back pain which gets worse after a run, or just general discomfort, now is the time to switch to lower impact workouts.

Anything else?

For many of us, it’s not just the running we miss during pregnancy, but the sense of community from our club or running group. It’s a great chance to give back by marshalling at a race or supporting club members. Many race organisers, for example Centurion Running, will give future places to those who volunteer – meaning you can start filling in your postpartum target race calendar!

Every pregnancy is different, so resist the urge to compare yourself to others. Stopping running earlier in pregnancy does not necessarily mean it will take you longer to get back afterwards; what’s important is to enjoy what you’re doing and remain active where possible for your physical and mental health. It’s a good time to get yourself strong and healthy for the ultramarathon that is motherhood.

Third trimester training kit


Natal Active maternity cycling shorts
The wide band on these shorts gives great support to your bump, back and hips – so much that I sometimes wore them without my belt. They come in black, grey, blue and pink and can also be worn rolled down after you’re given birth or for more hip support.
£40 natalactive.com

Fitta Mamma Ultimate Maternity Sportswear top
This vest gives great support for boobs, bump and hips during pregnancy, as well as in the early days postpartum. I found the fabric thick for harder indoor workouts but it came into its own for running outside.
£59.99 fittamamma.com

Speedbump maternity leggings
Unlike most maternity leggings, these are made with performance fabric and have mesh inserts. Lighter compression over the bump meant that, towards the end of pregnancy, I paired mine with my support belt. Although pricey when not in the sale, after three pregnancies mine are as good as new and I’ll be passing them on to friends. £84 speedbumpactivewear.com

Want to know more? Check out our Runner’s Guide to Pregnancy or our Pregnancy Facts for Runners.

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 sophiepower.com/blog 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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