I can’t believe that yesterday marked the third trimester! I’ve always thought that the trimesters are all messed up – 14 weeks for the first, 14 weeks for the second and then only 12 for the last!? Not to mention with a twin pregnancy, “full term” is 37 weeks, so my third trimester is expected to be only 9 weeks on average. I guess I’ll just look it as a bonus that what many consider the hardest trimester, especially for a twin pregnancy, is the shortest!
I love that I have this blog to look back at my prior pregnancy (you can read all about it here), and I was surprised when I was looking back at my workouts around this time last pregnancy to see that I’m actually running MORE miles per week now. I thought it’d be fun to compare the two. I actually don’t think that many of these differences have anything to do with being pregnant with one vs. two babies – it’s more just the way my workouts and schedule has changed over the last 2.5 years.
Some background for new readers or anyone who may have stumbled upon this post. With both pregnancies I had just finished an intense marathon training cycle immediately prior (CIM in 2014 and Mountains2Beach in 2017). With my singleton pregnancy, I worked full time and commuted about 30 minutes each way. With my twin pregnancy, I work part time, from home (as a fitness coach and digital marketing consultant). With my singleton pregnancy, I didn’t have any other kids. With my twin pregnancy, I have a 2 year old toddler who is very demanding but who goes to preschool two mornings a week and thankfully, takes very long afternoon naps.
Differences in Fitness Between My Twin Pregnancy and My Singleton Pregnancy
- Races. In my singleton pregnancy I ran more races. In fact, I ran five races total and trained for six. I ran two half marathons (and trained for a third which I didn’t run due to a stomach bug) and three 5ks. During my twin pregnancy I ran a trail half marathon at 12 weeks and a 10K at 19 weeks.
- Mileage. In my singleton pregnancy, I trained for a half marathon that I was supposed to run around week 22. Once I didn’t run that, my mileage dramatically dropped and I was only running about 18 miles per month. With my twin pregnancy, I ran a half marathon at 12 weeks and then reduced my mileage significantly afterward and then again after the 10K Turkey Trot at 19 weeks. But, because I have two running buddies who are willing to put up with my slowness and walk breaks, I’m still running 2-3 days a week with an average mileage of about 35-50 miles per month. Another factor I think contributed to my lower mileage with the last pregnancy was that it was a VERY hot summer. Right now I tend to run in the early mornings when it’s 40-50 degrees, which helps a ton!
- When I Stopped Running. At 28 weeks pregnant, I’m reaching the end of my “run” as a pregnant runner. I’d guess I have 1-2 more weeks in me (though I am considering signing up for the Cardiff Kook 5k next weekend because I love that race and will have FOMO if I don’t do it!). With my singleton pregnancy I ran my last run (which was more of a run/walk) at 33 weeks pregnant – however, when I ran that run I hadn’t run for 2 weeks prior, so you probably could say I stopped around 31 weeks.
- Frequency. I did WAY more yoga during my singleton pregnancy. I had a complimentary membership to FitN (similar to ClassPass) and was able to go to a ton of yoga studios. I did yoga at 7 different studios (including one prenatal class) and also practiced at home by doing P90X3 yoga and streaming free prenatal yoga flows from the internet. Because I didn’t have to figure out childcare, I had a lot more flexibility to get to studios at any time I wanted. This pregnancy I have occasionally done yoga from Beachbody on Demand using the Beachbody Yoga Studio but I recently purchased a 5 pack of prenatal yoga classes (and went to my first class this morning – it was just what I needed) and plan to do more BOD prenatal yoga now that my energy is lessening and I am having to modify regular workouts a lot more.
- Intensity. I do much higher intensity weight training this time than last time. Last time the only weight training I did was at barre class – which usually was body weight or very light (3 pound) weights for my arms. This time I’m doing 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, Shift Shop and a Little Obsessed workouts using nearly the same weights I was using before. I’ve had to start modifying the workouts more and more as my belly gets bigger but I’m still able to do them. I feel VERY strong this time and confident that my come-back to fitness will be better with all the muscle I’ve maintained or built under this extra layer of needed pregnancy fat.
- Pre-Natal. Last time I did not do any pre-natal strengthening workouts. This time I’m using the Beachbody on Demand prenatal workouts. I only recently started this but I really enjoy them because I don’t have to modify at all and it helps me connect with my babies more.
- Frequency. I walked and hiked A TON during my last pregnancy. That’s another big reason I ran less last time because I was really enjoying all my hiking! Sadly, I do a lot less walking this time. That’s not because I don’t want to, but more because I just don’t have the time anymore. Siena doesn’t love to be pushed in the stroller and the trails near our house are too steep and long for her to walk on her own. However, I have a feeling that I’ll be going for long walks a lot more soon since I’m going to stop running. In December I did a walk/run 1 mile a day challenge and was able to complete most of it, so that got me out more. I’ve walked a lot less in January!
- Squat Challenges. During my last pregnancy I did the 30 day squat challenge THREE times, even adding on 100 squats a day during one month. This time I’m still working my way through my first month of the squat challenge and it’s TBD if I’ll do it again in February. I was convinced the squatting would help me have a faster labor last time and it definitely wasn’t fast – but who knows, maybe it would have been even longer had I not squatted so much!?
- One big difference between my pregnancies is my general attitude about working out. Last time I set monthly fitness goals, tracked all my workouts and shared monthly recaps of them on my blog. This time I am hosting my monthly challenge groups and logging my workouts in there, but I’m not as meticulous about tracking anything. I have the perspective that the weight WILL come off this time. I’m honoring my body when it’s tried and recognizing that I’m making TWO babies. I take a ton more naps and overall I work out fewer hours because most of my workouts now are only 30 minutes, compared to the 1 hour classes I was taking last time (pretty sure I make up for it by chasing after Siena).
Moms, what has been or was your favorite prenatal exercise? If you’ve been pregnant more than once, who did your pregnancies differ?