The Pregnant Athlete: How to Stay in Your Best Shape Ever—Before, During, and After Pregnancy
So at age 33, Kikkan along with Jeff decided it was a good time for a short break from competition to start their family.
She was in Norway and Sweden training with her team. All was going well.
The Pregnant Athlete: How to Stay in Your Best Shape Ever--Before, During, and After Pregnancy
With the happy news and the blessings of her coach, team, and doctor, her focus changed from improving her race performance to having a healthy baby. To retain fitness, she maintained her normal training plan — without pushing it — through mid-winter, then tapered her efforts the last 6 weeks before her due date. The big surprise for Kikkan was that her pregnancy went so well.
Through most of her pregnancy, she felt great. Running at threshold felt good, even if she was breathing a bit harder. After seeing one of her racing peers suffer a hip injury after returning to racing shortly after giving birth, Kikkan took note. Her approach was to gradually ease back into an exercise regimen after the arrival of Breck and hold off on the racing.
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Kikkan used the first 6 weeks after delivery to ease back into exercise. She used this recovery window to fully enjoy the experience and be attentive to how things felt. Growing up in Alaska, with snow on the ground for half of the year, cross-country skiing is, understandably, pretty popular. By age 16, Kikkan was enthralled with the sport and committed to year-round training.
[PDF] The Pregnant Athlete: How to Stay in Your Best Shape Ever - Before, During, and After
She met with success early on. Her 6th place finish in the sprint at the Junior World Championships was the best ever result by an American woman. One of the things Kikkan notes about cross-country skiing compared to some of her other athletic activities is that you have to heavily rely on a heart rate monitor as a training tool — no power meters on those blades! Kikkan has used a heart rate monitor fairly addictively over the past 15 years, ever since her high school running coach introduced her to Polar.
Heart rate monitoring is vital in helping me track recovery. It really forces me to listen to my body and know when to back off. With a backlog of 15 years of Polar heart rate data, she and her coach have a lot of historical benchmarks to see how she is doing. She also said it was interesting to monitor her heart rate through her pregnancy.
She said the other gratifying thing to see was that her aerobic base remained strong throughout her pregnancy. After the —17 racing season, Kikkan will set her sights on the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It will be her 5th Olympics — an impressive feat all on its own — and serve as her grand finale to a year racing career before she retires. But not from sports. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.
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The Pregnant Athlete: How to Stay in Your Best Shape Ever--Before, Du…
Read how this ambitious runner used wrist-based running power and other features on the Polar Vantage V to run a sub-3 marathon. Core stability is the most important component for any movement, including running. Here are three balance-specific exercises to strengthen your core. Published on May 5, SlideShare Explore Search You.
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