When should I stop running in pregnancy?

As you’re used to running, it’s fine to carry on during your pregnancy as long as you feel comfortable.

Pregnant woman running on treadmill.

Make sure you warm up beforehand and cool down afterwards and drink plenty of water. You should aim to stay as fit as you were rather than over-exerting yourself or trying to achieve peak fitness. Use the ‘talk test’ to make sure you’re not overdoing it – you shouldn’t be so out of breath that you can’t hold a conversation.

Once your bump starts to show, running may become uncomfortable. This is partly due to the hormone relaxin, which loosens your ligaments and means that there’s less support for your knees, ankles and back.

You might also feel uncomfortable because of pressure on your pelvic floor, so it’s important to exercise your pelvic floor muscles regularly. After the pregnancy you may also like to return to running and a strong pelvic floor will be helpful in allowing you to get back to running comfortably after the birth.

As your pregnancy develops, your breasts could become tender and heavy, so wear a good, supportive sports bra.

As your bump gets bigger, you might find it’s more comfortable to change to low-impact exercise, such as walking or swimming, but be guided by what feels comfortable for you - some women find that they are happy running right up until their due date.

If you’re an elite athlete, get specialist advice – the aim of exercise in pregnancy should be to stay fit rather than break records!

Read more about running in pregnancy

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  1. RCOG (2006) Exercise in Pregnancy: Statement No. 4, London, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/statements/statement-no-4.pdf 
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Last reviewed on February 1st, 2015. Next review date February 1st, 2018.

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