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. πŸ˜‰  

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 πŸ˜‰ 

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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 πŸ˜‰ 

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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. Β  She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor. Β  Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!


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Reply August 12, 2015

I wrote a post almost like this when I was pregnant...it is SOOOO TRUE!!! hungry, tired, achy, rewarding :) pregnancy and running!
sarah@creatingbettertomorrow recently posted...Fitting In ExerciseMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Haha that is funny- it really is so true! :)

jill conyers
Reply August 12, 2015

This is awesome and the best part? It's so true! Thanks for starting my day with a laugh. I admit it. I thought you were going to say you're pregnant :)

Sharing the laughs!
jill conyers recently posted...Very Berry Smoothie BowlMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    No way- not sure I can handle more than two ;)

Reply August 12, 2015

Haha Annmarie this is great! I've never been pregnant but I'm in training for marathon #4 so I feel ya! And I'm so guilty of food entitlement!

    Reply August 13, 2015

    I swear I have eaten more while marathon training than while I was pregnant :P

Lucie Palka
Reply August 12, 2015

Although I have yet to run a marathon, just reached 10 Km this year, your comparison of running and pregnancy are bang on!

    Reply August 13, 2015

    I think running is a lot like pregnancy when you're in training mode no matter the distance!

Reply August 12, 2015

Sooooo true! I also thought we were in for an announcement, so thanks for clearing it up quickly!
Michelle recently posted...Ultimate Marathon Cross Training ToolMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Haha yes, don't want any rumors to get started :P

Janelle @ Run With No Regrets
Reply August 12, 2015

I love this!! I have never been pregnant and have trained up to the half marathon, but you sum everything up so well!
Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted...Philly 10K Training Week 3 RecapMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Haha well now you know what you're in for if you ever do get pregnant ;)

Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Reply August 12, 2015

I've never been pregnant, but this all totally makes sense! Marathon Training took over my life!

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Well now you have an idea of what you're in for if you ever do get pregnant, haha.

Susie @ SuzLyfe
Reply August 12, 2015

Food rub demands are valid. You will need compression. And if they don't feed you during your labor, you will cut a bitch.

    Reply August 13, 2015

    I am pretty sure I threatened to kill the doctors if they didn't feed me immediately after my c sections, haha!

Crystal Bissonnette
Reply August 12, 2015

I have never done a marathon yet have done a few Half's. This is great and so spot on! The hunger, early runs (I have been getting up early to sneak in some miles too) and pain all sound like a long pregnancy to me! Great post...as always! :)
Crystal Bissonnette recently posted...Back To The Bus StopMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Thank you!!! :)

Reply August 12, 2015

So true. Love this analogy! I never thought of it that way, it makes perfect sense :)
Autumn recently posted...3 Amazing Do-It-Yourself Fitness TestsMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Haha, it really is!

Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
Reply August 12, 2015

I have never run a marathon or been pregnant, so I can't relate to either. But I imagine that they are similar in the fact that you can only prepare yourself so much.

    Reply August 13, 2015

    So true!

Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home
Reply August 12, 2015

Haha! I've often compared running a marathon to giving birth! When you're done, you say never again. But over time, amnesia sets in, and before you know it, you're doing it again!
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted...InitiativeMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Haha YES! I am sure my amnesia will set in after the marathon...fortunately, I have two kids to remind me that I don't want anymore, haha!

Jessi Haynes
Reply August 12, 2015

Hey there, visiting you from Blog Love! This is so true - I haven't been pregnant, but seeing it all listed out here I can totally see the parallels! Haha!

    Reply August 13, 2015

    It really is very similar- haha! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
Reply August 12, 2015

Ha love it so true! Then you immediately sign up for another race!
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted...Taking InitiativeMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Exactly! :P

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply August 12, 2015

This is such a great comparison! As you know, I've never been pregnant, but I know all of these things to be true of marathon training. I think mother's should get medals after giving birth, though. I know the baby is the biggest reward, but some bling would be nice, too ;-P
Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted...4 Stretches Every Runner NeedsMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Oh girl you better believe I asked for some bling in addition to my bundle of joy! ;)

Reply August 12, 2015

Haha this is so funny and as someone in the midst of her 3rd marathon training cycle-so true! Especially the hunger & lack of sleep!

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Ugh- I am literally hungry ALL THE TIME!

Reply August 12, 2015

Awesome post!! All are so true! You were spot on for each point! Great comparisons! :)
Sharon recently posted...Brooklyn RnR Half Marathon Training Week 4: Exciting News & Weekend Wrap 8/3-8/9My Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Thank you! :P

Pragati // Simple Medicine
Reply August 12, 2015

"it seems to last forever" made me laugh out loud! Great list! :)
Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted...Lemon + Mint Sugar ScrubMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Thanks! :D

Angelena Marie
Reply August 12, 2015

This is so funny Annmarie! I have never trained for a marathon, but I have been pregnant and I can totally see the correlation! :-)
Angelena Marie recently posted...The Ultimate Fitness, Fashion & Football Giveaway + A Game Time WorkoutMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Haha well now you know what to expect if you ever do train for a long distance race ;)

Beverley @ sweaty&fit
Reply August 12, 2015

I love this post!! although i've never been pregnant OR ran a marathon, i definitely know what to expect now haha.
Beverley @ sweaty&fit recently posted...What I Ate Wednesday: #WIAW Virginity TakenMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Haha yes! You've been warned ;)

Reply August 12, 2015

My first thought was, "Wait! what?!" Then I saw this: "Let’s be clear- no, I’m not pregnant. "

I have never trained for a big race but I get the comparisons... spot on my firend! Too funny.

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Haha thanks! And yeah, no more babies for me ;)

Reply August 12, 2015

the struggle seems real. i feel this way if i run or lift too much...i give you so many props for being a MAMA and running marathons, my leg day seems incomparable to child bearing!
Amber recently posted...How to Cook Kale - Easy Meal Prep MethodMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Haha nooo it is just a different kind of pain!

Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
Reply August 12, 2015

Such a cute and funny idea for a post.
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted...Periscope 101: How to Be a Rocking ViewerMy Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Thanks! :)

Sam @ Pancakewarriors
Reply August 12, 2015

Ok I'm cracking up. Food entitlement is a real thing though. I swear my half marathon training was just like this. I can't imagine training for a full. Id be out of control hungry! Blocked this it made me laugh!!

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Haha thanks!! Yeah, I am pretty much eating all day long...it's kinda disgusting but oh well!

Reply August 13, 2015

Haha this is awesome! I've never been pregnant or ran a marathon, but this is a great insight into what I'll be in for once I do!
Kristen recently posted...Ragnar Colorado Recap: Part 1My Profile

    Reply August 13, 2015

    Haha yes it is! :P

Mary Beth Jackson
Reply August 13, 2015

great post! you made me chuckle! are you going to eat ALL of those fries? yes, yes I am :)
Mary Beth Jackson recently posted...The Climb- Tour de Fox!My Profile

Jess @hellotofit
Reply August 14, 2015

This was such a fun post to read! I'm not pregnant (yet...and probably for at least a couple years), but enjoyed reading through your experiences! Thanks for adding my link ;). Long day...didn't get a chance to. Sorry!
Jess @hellotofit recently posted...Try This Thursday – Freekeh, the ancient grainMy Profile

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