Runners World Guide to Running and Pregnancy: How to Stay Fit, Keep Safe, and Have a Healthy Baby

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This affordable and reliable armband provides a better combination of comfort, stability, and ease of use than any other armband we tested.


The Tune Belt Sport Armband had a straightforward design and was intuitive to use. More expensive and a bit less comfortable, but it lets you mount your phone on your arm, in your car, on your bike, or almost anywhere else. The Quad Lock Run Kit consists of a phone case and an array of available mounts—it includes a solid iPhone case and an armband, and the kit lets you quickly move the phone between the armband and optional mounts for your bike, car, desk, or any flat surface.

The case is nice enough and slim enough that you can use it as your everyday case. This tracker records a wide range of activities automatically and accurately. We conducted research, surveyed readers, interviewed industry and exercise-physiology experts, walked, ran and ran some more , slept, grocery-shopped, jumping-jacked, swung kettlebells, analyzed user experience, and got many a curious look from passersby.

After all that activity, we determined that the Fitbit Charge 3 is the simplest fitness tracker to use and among the most accurate for measuring steps and heart rate. The Charge 3 checks off nearly all of the boxes: It reliably senses, correctly identifies, and begins to record your workouts—running, walking, biking—after about 10 minutes of movement. The user-friendly app links you to a robust network of other Fitbit wearers who can help motivate you. In addition, you can use that app to choose which smartphone notifications to receive, so that only the ones you want will buzz on your wrist.

The Charge 3 also tracks how long and how well you sleep at night, and it can even detect naps, unlike many of its competitors. Check out our full review of fitness trackers for more information on the Charge 3 , as well as some alternative picks for other uses. Feature-loaded, a joy to wear and use, and accurate when measuring heart rate from the wrist, this is everything most runners want in a GPS watch. In particular, its exceptionally accurate wrist-based heart-rate tracking makes it the only watch we feel confident using for heart-rate-based training without a separate strap.

Check out our full review of GPS running watches for more information on the Forerunner , as well as some alternative picks for other uses. Blisters and dangling toenails are common reasons for runners to see a podiatrist after running Along with a well-fitting pair of shoes, training and racing in running-specific socks will help prevent problems and keep your feet healthy. Softer and tougher than anything else and backed by an unconditional lifetime warranty.

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After having eight university distance runners help test four of the top running socks, we recommend the Darn Tough Tab No Show Light Cushion for men and women. They have an unparalleled reputation for durability that makes them a favorite among Pacific Crest Trail backpackers. Made from a blend of merino wool and nylon, which is an ideal running-clothing material , these sweat-wicking socks keep feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

They also keep feet dry, which is crucial for blister prevention. Merino blends cost a bit more than other fabrics but wick better than cotton and resist odor better than synthetic—both of which are highly desirable traits in a running sock. Testers preferred the comfort and fit of the Darn Tough socks over that of the competition because of the softer feel and less prominent seams.

In comparison, they found the seam on the top portion of the Icebreaker Multisport Cushion Micro socks to be more coarse and irritating. A few runners testing the Patagonia Lightweight Merino Run Anklet socks reported issues with seams rubbing on the outside of the big and little toes. Though we haven't performed controlled durability testing on these socks, Wirecutter editor Michael Zhao has had three pairs of No Show Light Cushion socks for one and a half years, and they still look and feel brand-new. He notes that Smartwool socks he's used in the past tend to reach threadbare condition at the heel or toe or both after about a year.

Overall, the comfortable fit, moisture management, durability, and odor resistance of the Darn Tough Tab No Show Light Cushion socks make them well worth the premium over synthetic and cotton counterparts, which you can find for half the price.

The research

Because feet come in a variety of sizes and shapes, having a single pick for the best running shoe is nearly impossible. Jim is a podiatrist, a distance-running coach at McGill University in Montreal, and a former employee at a running specialty store who is familiar with how difficult getting the right shoes can be.

Try on a bunch of shoes, then go back to the couple of pairs that seemed most comfortable. This shoe received high marks for fit and comfort. The Wave Rider is a workhorse trainer that should please most runners. For our running shoe guides for men and women , our testers ran more than 4, miles. We found that the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 for men and the Brooks Ghost 11 for women are the best neutral running shoes.

A proper-fitting sports bra can significantly reduce breast discomfort during high-impact exercise. After putting in more than 40 hours of research and testing, talking to eight experts over three years, comparing hundreds of bras, and evaluating feedback from a total of 20 testers, we know that there is no one-size-fits-all sports bra. This encapsulation bra with underwire offers full coverage and extra lift, as well as deeper cups and wide and comfortable straps.

This underwire encapsulation bra offers additional support and has easy-to-adjust straps. The Elomi comes in 61 sizes, has deeper cups, and comes up higher on the chest and sides than the Panache, making it a full-coverage bra that should help prevent any spillage during a vigorous workout. The Panache comes in 66 sizes and the underwire offers additional support.

A high-support combination bra with a comfortable, seamless, sweat-wicking design. Its straps adjust in the front with Velcro, letting runners make mid-run fit modifications.

Running While Pregnant - Everything You Need to Know

The supersmooth, breathable material and seamless inner lining make this bra one of the most comfortable we looked at; with firm straps and band, it offers ample support without underwire or excess hardware that digs into skin. The Spot Comfort has cup definition to prevent the uniboob look, and ample side and front coverage still keep larger breasts secure while running.

With padded, adjustable, vertical straps and a back clasp, the Spot Comfort is easy to put on and take off compared with a traditional pull-on racerback. This medium-support compression bra for smaller cup and band sizes is comfortable and supportive, and has a sturdy band that is unlikely to ride up. Your choice will come down to personal preference, but after three years of research and testing, we think this is the best way to break down these categories to provide the most support and comfort to as many people as possible.

Our full guide outlines the pros and cons of many worthy bras. As the temperatures begin to fall, you can best keep your hands warm and dry with liner gloves. If temps get really cold, you can always add a shell or a mitten. We like merino liners because all of the natural sweat-wicking, odor-resisting characteristics that make the material great for socks apply to gloves as well. After having 10 collegiate track runners, both men and women, test five pairs of merino liner gloves, we recommend Smartwool Liner Gloves , which offer the best combination of durability, touchscreen sensitivity on the thumb and index finger, and warmth.

In our tests, Outdoor Research Biosensor Liners also worked great with touchscreens but lacked the durability of the Smartwool gloves. Activities other than running will cause them to wear out more quickly. They also tend to stick and snag on Velcro. So if your skin is sensitive to wool, these gloves may not be for you. Not great for touchscreen use, but the softer and more durable material is a nice upgrade if comfort is your priority. These gloves, made with a less coarse merino wool fabric as opposed to a knit material , have a softer, less itchy feel than our main pick; in fact, a couple of our testers were surprised to find out that a glove this soft could really be wool.

Both tapping and pinching to zoom are extremely frustrating. As one tester put it, "They feel great but are pretty much useless if I want to use my phone. Although in our tests the Icebreaker Quantum Gloves were slightly better for touchscreen use, we found that the capacitive material on the thumb and index fingers was stiffer than the glove material—we almost had to fight against the glove to maintain a clenched fist.

If you need to interact with a touchscreen, stick with the Smartwool gloves. A solid beanie with enough material to keep your ears covered and warm.

Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running

The right winter running gear can help you stay warm, comfortable, and motivated to get outside. A running beanie helps to protect your head and ears from the elements. It also fits well on a variety of head shapes and sizes. These tights are warmer, more comfortable, and more stretchable that is, the fabric can tolerate pulling without tearing or losing form than any other pair we tested. These tights proved the warmest and most comfortable of the bunch, and all our testers commended them for their flattering fit and shape.

Our tests gave this pair the edge in warmth the most important factor. But accidents and medical events can happen without warning. A dedicated identification band can take care of that. This band puts all of your important medical info on your wrist in plain writing, where first responders who always check your pulse are most likely to see it. This adjustable identification band displays personal and health information on a replaceable stainless-steel tag that you wear right where first responders are most likely to notice it.

In our tests, runners also liked the comfort, fit, and low-profile design. When our testers wore the Wrist ID Sport in conjunction with some other running gear for this guide, a couple of them completely forgot that they had it on. While the prospect of a shoelace-mounted ID sounds convenient, a bracelet will be more visible, according to Dr. John Sillery, assistant medical director of the emergency department at Highlands Medical Center.

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If you run with a GPS watch or a fitness tracker, consider the 1BandID , which is an adjustable neoprene and Velcro sleeve that attaches to the band of a watch or tracker. While the 1BandID does add bit of bulk, runners with a watch or a tracker may prefer using this accessory instead of wearing a wristband-style ID band. Vests are highly visible from any angle and versatile for all conditions, and this model is more visible and adjustable than the competition. During our testing, we found that nothing attracted more attention than reflective materials around the feet and ankles; we also discovered that products with large amounts of reflective area outperformed the competition, and that items designed for use in variable weather conditions or without daily washing are more versatile.

After extensive testing by a crew of three runners and an automobile driver on two dark stretches of pavement, we found that the single most useful piece of reflective running gear is the Amphipod Xinglet. Although you can get away with just a set of ankle bands and be quite visible, our experts agreed that adding more reflective material on your torso or hands is a smart choice. Our testers, which included a 6-foot-2 man and a 5-foot-4 woman, found the vest simple to adjust for different height and waist sizes. With that in mind, we also tested reflective running gear in numerous categories, including hats, jackets, shirts, tights, socks, and laces.

In addition, many of the products were less versatile pieces useful only in certain weather conditions, or items like shirts and socks, which require a wash after every use. Bright, durable, and long-running, the Spot offers the best mix of the most important features at an attainable price. This updated guide is written specifically for women runners who are looking for advice about the challenges and problems faced by women when running, from clothing, injuries, safety, and nutrition to running during pregnancy and menopause.

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It includes expert advice on nutrition, weight loss, body image, and more for women of all fitness levels. Acclaimed coaches and best-selling authors Bob Glover and Shelly-Lynn Florence Glover give runners everything they need to take their running to the next level. The Competitive Runner's Handbook includes training schedules for all different distances and levels of runners, a speed-training section as well as information on weight training, stretching, proper nutrition and hydration, cross-training and treadmill running.

The book also covers the mental aspects of competitive running: goal-setting, motivation, race day preparation and race strategies. Ultramarathoner Danny Dreyer shares his secrets for running techniques that help you heal and prevent injuries, as well as run faster, farther and with much less effort at any age. Beginning runners or seasoned competitors can benefit from the book's step-by-step program of ChiRunning, which uses the core muscles of the trunk and focuses on harnessing our "chi", or inner energy.

Need some running inspiration? This book of quotes will help runners get through their toughest workouts or races. The Quotable Runner is full of inspirational, practical and humorous quotes about running. John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield, authors of the popular Marathoning for Mortals , explain how beginning-level runners can easily implement running in their lives. Their book covers topics, such as starting a running habit, proper nutrition and hydration, and training for speed and endurance.

If the female runner in your life is a Mom-to-be, she'll definitely welcome this encouraging and informative book about how to stay fit, be safe and have a healthy baby. For runners looking for a competitive edge, this book provides an in-depth look at the physiological and psychological aspects of running, with strategies and tools for maximizing the mental side of performance. At Verywell Fit, our Expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family.

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