Pregnant Marathon Runners, Know the Risks

Pregnant Marathon Runners

Many women feel that too much physical activity can be harmful to the baby, with the proper precautions it can actually be quite healthy for mom and baby.

There are all kinds of exercise classes for tailored to pregnant women. In fact,  there are even pregnant women who run marathons! Women who plan to run a marathon while pregnant should begin first by consulting with their doctor. It is important to note that women who run marathons while pregnant are most likely passionate runners. This will not be their first marathon. They are disciplined in their exercise and train often, even before becoming pregnant.  Running a marathon while pregnant should not be attempted by an amateur  runner.

However, if a woman has any complications during pregnancy, the marathon should wait. If the woman experiences any of the following symptoms during training/running the marathon, she should stop immediately:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Uneven heartbeat
  • Uterine contractions after continued rest
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Decreased fetal movement


Know the Risks

There are several risks women should know about when exercising while pregnant:

  • The hormones that are stimulated during exercise could cause premature contractions.
  • Exercise can cause the blood to be redistributed from internal organs to skeletal muscles, thereby reducing oxygen and nutrients to the placenta.
  • Overheating should be avoided, especially during the first tri-mester. During pregnancy it is harder for women to control thermoregulation. Because of this, vigorous exercise in a high temperature environment should be avoided.

Be Smart

If you want to complete a marathon while you are pregnant, be sure to know your limits. Consult with your doctor and have them help you map out a training program. In between doctor visits you can check out apps like My Pregnancy Today, for those smaller day-to-day questions. Check out this Care Club article about the app here!


Read this article about Amy Keil; a woman who ran the Boston Marathon at 34 weeks pregnant!

Pin It

Leave a Reply