Interview Series / Pregnant Athletes

UMR’s Interview Series: Stephanie Tang

Eighth in our interview series is Stephanie Tang from New York, NY. Stephanie was 26 weeks pregnant (expected due late July) at the time of the interview and was on-course to complete her 16th marathon-plus event, the 3rd benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training. Stephanie has also completed the JFK 50-Mile Ultramarathon in 2012, her first ultra, in 10:44:14, and has also completed Ironman Mont Tremblant in 2013, her first Ironman, in 14:03:10.

StephanieTang

“Like the marathon, life can sometimes be difficult, challenging and present obstacles, however if you believe in your dreams and never ever give up, things will turn out for the best.” -Meb Keflezighi

Before becoming pregnant, what was your life as an athlete like? I own Sacred Sounds Yoga, a yoga studio in New York City where you’d find me on weekdays for work and yoga practice, and I was training 6 days a week for my first Ironman, so I’d often wake up at 4:30am on weekdays to training in the morning, and then again in the afternoon or evening as well as 6:00am on weekends to get in a long ride and long run.

How is training going while pregnant? Training has been going well. I’m running the Delaware Marathon on May 11th, during which I’ll be 29 weeks pregnant. I’ve been able to train throughout my pregnancy so far, despite a few pregnancy related pains and ailments along the way.
More Magazine  Fitness Magazine Women's Half Marathon, 25 weeks, with pregnant friend Karen Lee who was 30 weeks pregnant post-race

Stephanie at the More Magazine Fitness Magazine Women’s Half Marathon at 25 weeks with her friend Karen Lee, who was 30 weeks pregnant

What has been the biggest change you’ve experienced running while pregnant? The biggest change has definitely been my pace.  I ran my long runs at an 8:45 pace per mile before being pregnant, and completed a 20-miler this past Saturday at 10:15 per mile.

With your pace slowing down as pregnancy progresses, how is that effecting your weekly mileage? Are you finding your weekly mileage going down or are you allotting more time to run in order to maintain your desired mileage?  The pregnancy has definitely affect my weekly mileage, as a whole. Pre-pregnancy, I ran up to 60 miles per week for marathon training, typically running 4-5 times per week, with easy runs usually 6-8 miles and at least three 20-mile long runs.  During this pregnancy, I’ve run up to 35 miles per week, typically running 3-4 times per week, with easy runs usually 5 miles and only one 20-mile long run.  I trained using Jack Daniels’ program last fall, and he believes in running based on time rather than distance, as impact and training time contribute to overuse injury–I’m spending a lot more time on my feet for a long run of a given distance now than I did pre-pregnancy, and three 20-miles aren’t necessary.

What has motivated you to continue running through pregnancy? Running is my moving meditation. As long as my doctor says my pregnancy is going well and I feel good, I’ll continue to run!

Toughman Tupper Lake Tinman Half Ironman (during which I ran the half marathon course), 35 weeks, with husband Raymond Tang

Toughman Tupper Lake Tinman Half Ironman during which Stephanie ran the half marathon course at 35 weeks, with her husband Raymond Tang

What are your current training/racing ambitions for 2014? My goal is to complete the Delaware Marathon feeling strong, continue to run half marathons until I’m due July 27th, and then recover post-partum to finally qualify for Boston next year. [Note: Since the interview Stephanie did complete her goal of completing the Delaware Marathon. Check out the recap here!]

Any advice you have for other pregnant runners trying to balance it all? Listen to your body. Also, learn to hydrate and fuel well, as you’ll likely need to pay closer attention during your pregnancy.

Stephanie’s Blog: http://pregnantathlete.wordpress.com/

Interested in sharing your experience for our Athlete-Mom Interview Series? Contact Lacy at ubermotherrunner@gmail.com

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