Skip to main site content.
Sarah Brown running while pregnant. (@sarahmb15/Instagram)

Positive message

U.S. runner trains throughout pregnancy for Olympic Trials

March 11, 2016

Sarah Brown, a professional American middle distance runner, gave birth last Friday after training throughout her pregnancy, and is now set to compete at the Olympic Trials in July. Brown, 29, was on the pace for the best season of her career by early summer last year when she became pregnant, in spite of being on an intrauterine device for birth control. After being assured by doctors that exercise would not harm her child, Brown resumed her training. “There was a theme: ‘You’ll know if you’re doing too much’ and I never felt like I was putting myself in a position that I was doing that,” says Brown. Asked about doing sprints in her third trimester, she compared the feeling to running with “a bowling ball on my stomach.”

Sarah Brown training. (@sarahmb15/Instagram)
Sarah Brown training. (@sarahmb15/Instagram)

In the early 1980s, conventional wisdom dictated women should be as sedentary as possible and eat as much as they wanted, according to Dr. Raul Artal, a professor and chair emeritus at Saint Louis University’s Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Women’s Health. Artal wrote the first guidelines for exercise and pregnancy in 1982 on behalf of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, but recent studies led by Artal have found that physical activity during pregnancy is not only not bad for mothers, but beneficial. “I think it’s a positive message,” said Artal. “Women with uncomplicated pregnancies should be encouraged to engage in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises.”

View this post on Instagram

@thedarrenbrown kicked off my 37th week of #pregnancy with a REMIX (Random Endurance MIX) #workout today. Let me be clear though, there's nothing "random" about it. He's incredibly calculated. However, I never quite know what I'm going to get with one of these sessions. Sometimes I think he does it just to test my #mentalstrength … Wait a second!?!? 😜 Today's session called for: 2mi warm-up 2mi Track Tempo .5mi jog to "the hill" 6x250m hill loops .5mi jog back to the track 4×400 2mi cool down The first twist in the day came before the #workout even started. I usually do a longer warm-up, but as we were about to pass the #track to finish out the "usual loop", Darren motioned me up onto the track and said we are going to start the workout with a 2mi Tempo. Sometimes outside circumstances cause things to be less than "usual" or ideal on race-day. We do things like this occasionally to prepare for those UNusual moments. If you have a coach or workout partner, have them test you from time to time with little things. Unknown intervals, misplaced water bottle (if it's not too hot!), "lost" watch (causing you to run by feel), late start/early start etc. While it will be tough in the moment, it'll help you to stay composed and dismiss the little (or big) things that may happen on #race day. Despite the truncated workout, unknown interval structure and mixed track/road/hill session, I definitely considered today a #success … mentally AND physically! @nbrunning @newbalance #36weeks #road2trio #bteam #fitpregnancy #momtobe #preggo

A post shared by Sarah Brown (@sarahmb15) on

Read the full story at The Washington Post.