I’ve always felt it important to set fitness goals no matter what stage you’re at with your training – whether starting out with exercise for the very first time, signing up for sessions at your local CrossFit box, aspiring to run a marathon or even just planning to run your first fun run. Fitness goals help us have something to aspire to in our training, something to work towards that keeps us focused and on track to achieving those goals. And nothing beats that sense of accomplishment when you do…
Pregnancy is no different for me in the sense that I’m still setting myself fitness milestones to nail. Some might find it an odd concept – setting fitness milestones whilst pregnant – as why would you, shouldn’t pregnancy be a time to “maintain” fitness, not improve on it with goals? And whilst I’d agree that yes, trying to break that PR you set in last year’s half-marathon, now that your 5 months pregnant, is not the smart or healthy way to go; for me personally, this present moment is the most important time for me to be setting myself fitness goals. Sure, they won’t be the same goals as they were last year and at the same intensity, but they’re still small fitness milestones I can look forward to trying to achieve during this incredible time of change within my body.
Pregnancy, without a doubt, is about being a healthy “you” so that you can bring a healthy, newborn life into this world however, all too often society forgets about the changes (both physical as well as emotional) that mum is experiencing along her journey to doing this. Working on maintaining a level of fitness that is both safe and healthy for you and for baby is not only incredibly beneficial for your body, but your emotional well being will thank you as well.
I know, from my own personal encounters to this point, that there are times where I experience many different emotions about my pregnancy, and not all of them always positive – shock horror! Like any woman, I am grateful for the gift I’ve been given to bring a new life into this world but being grateful doesn’t help me when I’m feeling down about the changes my body is experiencing, frustrated at the fact my moods keep fluctuating and anxious thinking about how I’m going to do this “mum” thing. It’s in moments like these that I find doing some meditation or breathing exercises works wonders, or as is more often the case: throwing on a pair of trainers to release some endorphins with a workout! Setting myself little fitness goals throughout my pregnancy is something that makes me feel happy and positive – achieving a sense of achievement that’s just for me – an achievement that’s unrelated to my pregnancy, and an accolade to the incredible phenomenon that is the female body.
So, in saying all of that, I thought I’d share with you the fitness goals I’ve set for myself during my pregnancy journey, starting from the point I’m at now: 19 weeks.
21 weeks – CrossFit Competition Day at my local box
22 weeks – Mother’s Day Classic Fun Run: 8 km
25 weeks – CrossFit Benchmark WOD “Helen” (scaled back)
27 weeks – ParkRun 5 km run
29 weeks – CrossFit Benchmark WOD “Fran” (scaled back)
32 weeks – Run Melbourne Fun Run: 5 km
35 weeks – CrossFit Benchmark WOD “Helen” (scaled back)
The goals I’ve set post my 7-month mark (week 29 onwards) are a little up in the air, as I really can’t anticipate how I’ll be feeling at that point in my pregnancy. Depending how my joints, muscles and energy levels are holding up, they may end up being adjusted!
Oh, and just to prove it’s never to late to set a fitness goal or try something new: my partner will be joining me for his first ever fun run and attempt at running any distance over 3km, on May 12th (my 22 week mark). That weekend we’ll both be running (jogging) in the Mother’s Day 8km Classic. Times will be slow and toilet stops will be frequent (the latter pertaining to myself!) but running a race for fun and not for competition, at 5 ½ months pregnant, AND with the love of my life; will definitely make it a fun run!