How to train for Spartan Race during pregnancy
by Helga Borza • May 29th, 2023

Training during pregnancy - or how does a Spartan expectant mother prepare for the biggest ultra of her life so far?

Spartan is more than a sport. Lifestyle, community, passion. Every year since 2018, a spartan ultra has been one of the highlights of my competition calendar, and I am also preparing for long-distance cross-country ultras. It wouldn't have been any different this year, however, as soon as I found out that I don't have to prepare for a spartan ultra in the fall, but for the arrival of my baby, the plan changed. :)

At the first CEU spartan competition of the year, the Nagymaros Winter Sprint and Trail weekend, we already won the two age group gold medals together, but I didn't know about it yet. However, the situation changed from February, and my "preparation" took a different direction.

For someone who has been constantly competing all his life, starting with sprint numbers in athletics, then looking for bigger and bigger challenges with various competitions in Spartan and long-distance cross-country running, sport is clearly an essential part of his existence, and this is certainly the case with most of you. The good news is that if the doctor allows it - and this is the case in most cases - it is possible to continue playing sports.

Sport is also useful during pregnancy, it helps prevent gestational diabetes, maintaining an ideal body weight, and its effect on our health is also clearly visible in this case. Sport helps a lot to make this period easier. For those who would like to start playing sports during this period, it is not recommended to start with running now, yoga, swimming and maternity gymnastics may be the preferred forms of exercise. However, if running and strengthening are part of your life as a Spartan, you don't have to give it up now either, you can continue to exercise after consulting your doctor. It is important to emphasize that you should always consult your doctor regarding exercise.

Since I ran an average of 70-80km per week, I did strength training several times and competed regularly, so I don't have to give up running as long as it feels good. What came up as a problem for me is that it is important to have breakfast and to eat at certain intervals in order to avoid feeling sick and to ensure adequate energy replenishment. My personal example, which of course can vary from person to person and from pregnancy to pregnancy, is that I have roughly 1-hour runs 3-4 times a week, where I regularly walk, as it is necessary to constantly monitor the heart rate so that it does not rise. It's best to do this in the fresh air, in the forest, but even if it's not easy running, the uneven ground can be dangerous, so I prefer to hike or walk in mountainous terrain, because I can't risk a fall. In addition, when my energy and time allow, I do specific strength training for expectant mothers, I walk a lot, but yoga is also a good option for easier movement. I pay special attention to when and how well all of this goes well in terms of movement and nutrition, the number one thing is that the movement is now an experience, the competitive self is resting, as it now has to prepare for another challenge, it is doing the most beautiful thing that only a woman can do possible, make a new life.

Exercising is important and useful, but there are golden rules that must be followed:

1. It is important to emphasize that you should always consult your doctor regarding exercise.

2. Pay attention to your vitamin and mineral intake, healthy eating, and increase your fluid intake.

3. Let go of competition, both with yourself and with others.

4. As a general rule, do not let your heart rate rise to 140 bpm.

5. Stay in the community, even volunteer at competitions if your time and energy allow.

6. Exercise in nature, in the fresh air, in any case the training should be relaxed

7. Know that the most important thing now is the two of you, so always listen to your feelings, only lightly!

Since you are expecting a baby, you can still enjoy the joy of moving in nature and be part of your former communities. Go to your friends' competitions, cheer, help the other side of the competition, collect experiences, recharge. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy this wonderful time and take care of your future little spartans!:)

Spartan Training

Borza Helga____text in bold - Spartan Brand Ambassador Hungary

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