Pregnant and following a plan

Im currently pregnant in week 28 and started to use TrainerRoad this week.
Im wondering if any other women has experiences of this? What plan on TrainerRoad to follow, what kind of training that might be benificial while being pregnant or just any advice?

Ive put my first A-race in beginning of July 2021 (no idea if thats possible after giving birth etc) and was planning on to follow the calendar of a loong base phase until the start of 2021 (when I hope the kid will arrive). As Ive heard that I should try to keep my heart rate not higher than at 90% of my maximum, and this works well with sweet spot intervals.

Ive been super lucky until now (soon in third semester) and have been able to ride about about 10 hrs per week during my pregnancy so far. Mainly Im doing it just because it makes me feel so much better and eventually I also hope not to loose so much of my form ( my FTP was about (260W/60kg) 4 w/kg when I got pregnant, and now Ive dropped to about 230 w in actual numbers in FTP, and thats not too bad. But Ive also gained about 10 kgs so the w/kg-ratio is not that good anymore but it doesnt matter as far as I can keep on riding :slight_smile: ) .

Happy for any kind of advice on this :slight_smile: .

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Welcome

It was covered a little bit on one of the podcasts

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Paging @runriderandi and @SonyaLooney!

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Checkout episode 57 of the Zwift PowerUp Podcast where they talk directly about this

Zwift has also released some training plans which are target at pregnant women so they might be worth checking out if you have a subscription.

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First off congratulations! And daaaaaaang, you strong!

Oy, this is tough for me as I found it way too stressful to adhere to a plan when I was first pregnant. That first trimester hit me hard. My FTP went from 230 to 210 in like a week it seemed, as I had such a hard time even holding 80% for longer than 15 minutes. But it was summer in my garage in SoCal. Nonetheless, it’s not like I physically dropped that low–I just mentally could not do it. So at like 12 weeks pregnant I just tapped out of all structured training and just rode whatever felt good.

Once I got well into the second trimester I started to feel a little more normal and began a plan again, doing sweet spot and was able to get back to 8+ hours/week. But I would have good days and bad days, and my type A personality wouldn’t let me just take a scheduled day off without feeling guilty. So back to just riding for fun again. I ended up doing tons of group rides and races on Zwift, which I was so thankful for! I never cared about how high my heart rate got once I could feel her bouncing around in there. And before I knew I was pregnant I did a killer road race where my HR averaged 190+bpm for an hour, so I think the little fetus knew what to expect :sweat_smile:

Reflecting back on my riding from when I was pregnant I did a ton of low sweet spot training (unstructured). And man, once the baby was out my endurance was freaking amazing! Not to mention the increased blood volume and immediate increase in lung capacity!

I rode up to 2 days after she was due (7-8 hours a week), which was 2 days before she finally decided to come. At which point I had calculated my FTP to be around 180. I was back on the bike 12 days after giving birth (but this is hugely variable!). I started to feel like a normal human and could really start training and digging deep at 3-4 months PP. I’m 7 months PP (FTP at 205 and kg lighter than when I got pregnant) and am still waiting for the full me to be back; however, I breastfeed and I feel like that just plays with my hormones too much for me to really feel like myself just yet.

Please don’t hesitate to DM me if you want! :v:

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Hi and thank you so much for your answear :).
So glad that you wanted to share your experiences and it seems like you have handeled the pregnancy and the PP best way as possible.

I might be a bit optimistic trying to following a plan right now, but I just really like to know whats on the schedule for the week (even though Ive after just one week into the plan changed both the workouts and the intensity of them). Dont think it gives me too much stress.

Thanks again for your answear and Im excited to see how your journey goes in the future :slight_smile:

If you like having the schedule and it doesn’t affect you to change it up or reduce intensity then you should absolutely keep doing that!!!

Sweet spot was the real money maker I think, because ftp and vo2 were out of the question when it came to intensity. And sweet spot isn’t too fatiguing where you need all that many days at Z2.

On another note…I have this mild sense of hopelessness as we are likely going to try for one more around October of next year. So I get these moments where I’m like “why should I even try if I’m going to wreck it all again anyway” :joy: then I realize it makes me feel good and having the best starting point will make the whole process that much better!

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Yes I also feel like sweet spot is kind of the only structured way of training that works. Going above my FTP is way harder than before, and Ive always been a “diesel” and not a sprinter so I have never found anaerobic training easy :sweat_smile: .

Just before I got pregnant I was in a very good shape as I was supposed to race Cape Epic (7 days stage race MTB), and I had this goal in mind during training for a year or so. Then it got cancelled 2 days before tha start and I got pregnant just 4 weeks laterThe contrast to loosing a big training goal + fitness when I got pregnant was huge. I hade some weeks feeling completly empty but now again Ive some way found motivation to train hard (or as hard as I can) without having any idea when I might have to race/peform on the bike again. Superhappy about this and I just try to hang on as long as possible :slight_smile: .

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Hi, a little late to the convo but I would be very interested to hear how you are getting on! My husband and I were also supposed to do the Cape Epic this year. We originally deferred to 2021 after the cancellation but then decided to take the option to roll over to 2022 and try to get pregnant. I am now 15 weeks and haven’t been able to face training much for the last couple of months because I felt so rubbish but now feeling better and want to get back into it. I was also at around 60kg/260w FTP before the Epic but then lost a lot of motivation when the race was cancelled and decided to have hip surgery I had been been putting off for years in August. Fell pregnant soon after recovering from that so I haven’t been doing any structured training for several months! I have manually set my FTP to 200 and have been doing some easy stuff, but missing having a plan. Thinking of giving sweet spot base a go - so would love to know if that worked for you? Did you do any ramp tests while pregnant, or just guess/manually set your FTP?
Thanks for any help or advice!

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Hi, great to hear from you and congrats to your pregnancy ! Ive also moved my spot for Cape Epic to 2022. So lets hope we will meet there and that South Africa is a safe place to travel to by then :slight_smile: .

I did sweet spot training from when I wrote my post (week 28) until just a copule of days ago, Im now 2 days from being due (hopefully!). I tried to do a ramp test in week 28, but what Ive felt all through my pregnancy is that every time I go above my (lowered) FTP, my body just tells me to stop. I think Ive got my FTP calculated to about 200 W with the (failed) ramp test that I did. But I had my FTP set to about 220-230 W during the last 12 weeks. I felt like I could spend a lot of time around 200 W (ie sweet spot training).

Ive bee super happy about all the time Ive been able to train. But I also have to admit that its not super fun to repeat the same sort of intervals again and agan and also to see how my wattage gets lower and lower. So what Ive done to entertain myself is to play around a bit with the cadence, as Ive always had a hard time to get my cadence higher than around 85 RPM. I think that this has given me some improvement, even though I lately have found that my heart rate goes up a lot at 90 RPM + . I can reach around the HR for my FTP at 180 W at 90 RPM, as I have the same HR at 210 W at a cadence around 60-70 RPM. So for the last couple of weeks, Ive just been riding indooors (until week 35 I rode 2-3 h outdoors as well, but now I dont wanna take the risk of falling etc) and mainly at lower cadences just to be able to get the hours in.

Good luck, hope I could give you some advice :slight_smile: . I can also tell you that the body tells you when to stop, right now I dont feel like riding my bike for the first time during my pregnancy. So Im listening to it even thouugh I really miss the endorphins …!

Hope to see you at Cape Epic next year :smiley: all the best!

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Ah , thank you so much for this - it is extremely helpful! I’ve started out with sweet spot base this week, so will see how it goes. Best of luck with the baby - please keep us posted after he or she arrives (if they haven’t already!) Hopefully we can share the post-partum training journey and see each other at the Epic! :grinning:

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Hi!

An update from me , or now it’s actually us! I gave birth to a little boy 2 weeks ago ! He arrived on due date and it all went super-well. I was able to ride my trainer 5 days before he arrived , and at that ride I really felt that something was going on with the body. Such a cool feeling.

I started to do some easy cross country skiing one week ago just to get some fresh air (felt better than walking). And then I was back on the trainer for 40 min yesterday! It felt great but my heart rate was super high so I have to make my “come back” nice and slow. Any advice about this is highly appreciated :slight_smile: .

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No advice to offer, just massive congratulations! :tada::tada::tada:

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Ah, that is wonderful news - many congratulations!!! I hope all goes well getting back into full training.

Congrats, you have an extra engine now!

Maybe a tandem attached to the trainer will allow you squeeze a few watts out of the little one. :innocent:

We need to get @ambermalika involved in this thread now!

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It’s so reassuring to see that pregnant athletes have been able to maintain fitness during pregnancy,

2 weeks ago my FTP increased to 4.3w/kg I did 3 races - my strongest yet and I had started to consider real world races& goals for this year. But yesterday, I found out I am pregnant (early days of 5weeks) - super exciting as we didn’t think it was possible and had stopped trying. But, unfortunately my mum and sister now are voicing their opinion of me riding & telling me to get off my bike & stop training. … I can’t do that! I’m a triathlete, used to training 15hrs a week and racing at AG GB level and also elite.

I know I can train and I understand the 90% threshold… is this from trimester 2 or from now?

Any advice is appreciated

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This came up on one of my youtube subscriptions recently so putting it here in case it is useful for others.

Can’t offer any advice on intensity. If you are doing strength training I think that the recommendation is to cut back on abdominal core work.

Congrats and kudos for keeping the training up :+1:.

Congrats to your pregnancy!

I also really wanted to have numbers on how hard I could train when I got pregnant. But it’s super hard to say in general . Every day is different. The only thing I was making sure was to not go over 90% of my maximum heart rate. But looking back I think my body always told me how hard I could go. Or I couldn’t push it to any limits. Happy to answer any more questions :slight_smile: . Good luck !