Racing for Two-Controversy on the Track

Last Thursday a woman laced up her shoes and ran. Lots of women probably laced up their shoes and ran, including myself. This particular woman, Alysia Montano is 34 weeks pregnant. And it wasn't just any run, she ran the 800m at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, CA. There's been quite a bit of chatter surrounding what she did both in national media CNN and ESPN (among others) and on social media (check out Flotrack's IG feed HERE.). Some are incredibly supportive of what she did, others have criticized her decision to race and criticized running through pregnancy as a whole.

I've talked a lot on my blog about my experience running while pregnant and while mine has not been the most positive (I talk about my regrets HERE.), I know that that is not the case for all women. Running through pregnancy is perfectly acceptable and beneficial with the proper knowledge. In this context I think what Alysia did is more worthy of praise than it is of criticism. What many people forget is that Alysia has an entire team of professionals behind her, not just her coach and doctor but probably a physical therapist and trainer. So in this instance her decision to train and race through pregnancy is closely monitored by the people who have her best interest (and subsequently the interest of her child) in mind. And if you watch her run she looks completely relaxed and at ease, she's clearly not straining for top performance. She is out there doing what she loves to do, run. (You can watch her finish HERE.)

When it comes to running during pregnancy there is not blanket answer, no prescriptive guideline. Everyone's body is different, with different strengths and weakness. It's important to be informed about the weaknesses in your own body so that you're aware of potential injury. Talk to your doctor, surround yourself with a team of professionals who have your best interest in mind. And you too could be running across a finish line with a big belly and a big smile on your face. What do you think of racing during pregnancy? Do you applaud Montano or think she made an unwise decision?

--Sarah

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