Running during pregnancy is not without its challenges, and running during the third trimester is certainly not for the faint of heart. But...as with any exercise, as long as you are smart about it, listen to your body and are safe, it is really good for both baby and mom.
It goes without saying that you should listen to your body, but if you were running prior to becoming pregnant it can feel really limiting, and it's almost difficult to slow down your pace. What I have found works for me is to treat it like I am running for the first time. I downloaded the 5K Runner app again, and have started over at day1. Every time I run, I turn on the prompts and do a 1.5min/1min walk/run split. I'm still running, and I'm still pushing myself, but I at least have scheduled splits to follow so that I am not pushing my body too hard. A huge thank you to my doula, Jena, for suggesting this routine!
One thing that I absolutely cannot run without at this stage of my pregnancy is my belly support band.
There are many bands out there, and the one that works for me may not be the right one for you. Regardless....I picked up this black stretchy support band from Walmart (George brand, found in the maternity clothing section) and as you can see above, I fold it over two to three times, then sling it low across my belly for support. It really helps limit the bouncing on my lower belly, and I haven't had an issue with back pain (so far) so I haven't needed more support than the stretchy band.
It's also great since my running leggings are just regular leggings, with no belly panel. It helps my entire belly feel supported, which makes my run overall more enjoyable.
There will be days where you feel like your old non-pregnant self, and can do a longer run. There will be other days where you are completely gassed and do alot more walking than running. What matters is that you are out there, and you're doing something good to keep you and your baby healthy.
Lastly, hydrate. This is something that I'm not super great about, because I always feel like I'm going to pee my pants due to my weak pelvic floor muscles right now, but it is so important to hydrate your body, both for you and your baby. If possible, choose a running route with a bathroom, or do a few loops around your block so you can always circle back to your house a pit stop if needed!
At the end of the day, do what you can, when you can. I like to get out two or three times a week for a run, even if it is just 2km. Running is so amazing and I have really enjoyed my journey over the past year. It provides stress relief and mental clarity, weight loss and toning, and during pregnancy helps to set you up for an easier labour and delivery, as well as an easier postnatal recovery period.
Be smart, be safe.