It’s the year of the triathlon baby with several top athletes out of competition while expecting currently.
TMC spoke to Olympic gold medallist Gwen Jorgensen, who announced her pregnancy earlier this year, about her specific swim, bike and run training and she shared her tips for other women who want to maintain their multisport training while pregnant. While she isn’t following a specific training plan right now –“Jamie [Turner, her coach] is not giving me workouts during this time because we have no races this year. Instead, every day is dictated to me and how I feel” — she has developed her own general guidelines for exercising based on how she feels each day. “I have had to adjust my expectations on efforts as I am a lot slower,” she added.
Her number one piece of advice for pregnant triathletes?
“Do what makes you feel best. Everyone’s body reacts differently to being pregnant so listen to your body and do what works for you.”
For Jorgensen, that’s been mostly running. She explained that it’s the discipline she can best push herself in currently, adding “In the first trimester, my runs were often the only part of my day when I felt halfway normal.”
“Some days I can’t run faster than 9 min per mile, other days I’m on the track trying to do some efforts. I plan to continue to listen to my body throughout the process and adjust as necessary,” she says.
With swimming, it’s been more difficult. “When I push off the wall too fast or try to do an effort I get a sharp pain in my stomach, so most of my swimming is just easy and recovery,” she says.
Jorgensen emphasizes the importance of separating “training” from “exercising”, and being easy on yourself about what you can and can’t accomplish.
“With the added weight, I am a lot slower than normal and I have lost a lot of my pop,” she says.
“I think the biggest thing to I had to change during pregnancy was my expectations. I have no races on the calendar so there is no need to do hard workouts,” she says. “I am trying to stay relatively active and fit throughout my pregnancy in hopes of a quicker return and because I feel better when I workout. My training volume and intensity is way lower than if I was racing. My energy levels are lower as well. I take each day as it comes and modify based on how I feel.
Jorgensen says the biggest misconception she’s encountered when it comes to training and pregnancy “is that training or exercising is bad for the baby.”
She adds, “Exercising is great for both mom and baby so get out there and enjoy it.”