10 Ways Marathon Training Is A Lot Like Being Pregnant


Welcome to back to our Wild Workout Wednesday link up! Each week I link up with Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced , Sarah at Creating Better Tomorrow and Michelle at Fruition Fitness to bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us for a wild workout each week by reading along or grab the button and link up if you have a fitness or healthy living post to share!

10 Ways Marathon Training Is A Lot Like Being Pregnant #WildWorkoutWednesday


Let’s be clear- no, I’m not pregnant. But I have been pregnant twice and while I wasn’t a runner before or during my pregnancies, now that I am (a runner, that is), I’ve noticed a few correlations. 

1.  You have no clue what you’re in for. 

Much like when you decide to take the big step of getting pregnant, there are feelings of excitement when you register for your first marathon.  You know this will change your life but you just don’t really grasp how it will change your life. You are nervous, scared, really excited but in the back of your head, you’re thinking “this is crazy”.  Ps.  You’re right, it is. 😉  

2. Hunger beyond control. 

It’s no secret that pregnant women are hungry women, as they should be- they are growing another human inside of them that is sucking every last ounce of energy they have.  While I wasn’t one of those pregnant women that went balls to the walls at meal time, I did enjoy my carbs.  On those days that nausea struck, carbs were the answer.  Now that I’m marathon training, carbs seem to be the cure to everything as well: pre-race fuel, post-run hanger, whenever I need them- carbs are there for me.  Speaking of…

3. Food entitlement. 

Not that pregnant women don’t need extra calories (they do) but it’s a lot less than they think (like only 300) still, when you’re pregnant you get this sense of food entitlement…ice cream? fries? pizza? The baby needs it.  When you’re marathon training it’s easy to get caught up in the food entitlement trap as well- heck, you just ran 15 miles and burned 1500 calories…pass me the wine and fries please, they’re well deserved 😉 

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4.  Lack of sleep. 

When you’re pregnant you get very little sleep.  You’re uncomfortable, you’re up to pee in the middle of the night and you’re randomly being kicked from the insides.  When you’re marathon training, sleep is a very rare thing as well.  Skipping your runs isn’t an option and if you want to beat the heat or have a life, waking up at the crack of dawn is the answer.  Aside from setting your alarm for 4:45, you might also suffer from race day or long run anxiety dreams that, much like a kicking fetus, will limit your number of Zzzz’s. 

5.  Body parts hurt that you didn’t know existed.

As your baby belly expands, you suddenly find yourself complaining about aches and pains in places you never felt before.  Boobs, hips, butt, pelvis, toes….you name it, it hurts.  The same goes for marathon training.  As your mileage increases so does do the aches and pains especially after long runs- which brings me to number 6.  

6. Walking (up stairs) is a struggle. 

When you’re pregnant, you get out of breath easily and just the thought of going up stairs is like a ride on the struggle bus. Same goes for marathon training except you’re on the struggle bus because you just destroyed your quads with 20 miles.  Either way, the stairs on not your friend. 

7. You make sacrifices. 

When you’re pregnant, you make sacrifices.  You give up alcohol, sushi, deli meat, 18 years of your life…all the fun things.  When you’re marathon training you have to make sacrifices too.  You trade Saturday night parties for Sunday long runs, sleep for time on the road and pretty much 20 weeks of weekends in a row. 

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8. It seems to last forever. 

Okay, so obviously pregnancy lasts a lot longer than marathon training but honestly, there are days that they both seem to last forever.  The days when you’re exhausted, hungry, hot, sweaty and just want to be done- it doesn’t matter. You still have to keep cookin’ the baby and when you’re dying 5 miles into a 15 mile run, you have to keep going. 

9.  You endure pain in order to reach your goal.  

Theres no getting around it, once you get pregnant, the baby has to come out somehow.  Whether it be by natural birth, induction or c-section- some type of pain is inevitable.  When you’re marathon training, you suffer through black toenails, shin splints, aching muscles, chafing and exhaustion. BUT….

10. Nothing is more rewarding than when it’s finally over. 

Seriously.  In both cases, you labor for hours.  Push yourself past pain you didn’t know you could endure.  You want to give up.  You question why you put yourself in this situation. You swear to yourself you’ll never do this again.  You beg to higher powers to just. let. it. be. over.  Then, it is and it’s one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done.  

Well, at least that’s what I’ve heard- I still have yet to get to the finish line but if it’s anything like giving birth then the pain is worth the reward- and contrary to my better judgment and pain driven promises, I’ll probably do it again 😉 

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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!


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