Int J Sports Med 1999; 20(6): 415-418
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-971155
Orthopedics and Clinical Science

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Intensive Training During a Twin Pregnancy. A Case Report

B. Davies1 , D. M. Bailey1 , R. Budgett2 , D. C. Sanderson3 , D. Griffin4
  • 1School of Applied Sciences, (University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, S. Wales, UK
  • 2British Olympic Medical Centre, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, London, UK
  • 3Sema Croup PLC, Regal House, Covent Garden, London, UK
  • 4Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Watford General Hospital, Watford, London, UK
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
09 March 2007 (online)

This case study reports the clinical and physiological changes of a 33 year old elite marathoner undertaking intensive endurance training during and following a twin pregnancy. Prior to conception, the subject ran 155 km·week-1 at an intensity equivalent to 140 - 180 b·min-1 which following consultation decreased to 107±19 km·week-1 at an intensity equivalent to 130 - 140 b·min-1 during pregnancy. Physical exercise ceased 3 days prior to an elective Caesarean section following a 36 week gestation period and recommenced 8 days following the birth of healthy twins. Medical assessments conducted ante/ post partum indicated that both the twins and mother were healtlhy. A field based test demonstrated that running velocity at a steady state HR of 140 b·min-1, 150 b·min-1 and 160 b·min-1 decreased by 20 %, 15 % and 13 % respectively between weeks 1 and 32 antepartum. Whole blood lactate ([La-]B), oxygen uptake (VO2), ventilatory equivalent for oxygen (VE/VO2), HR and Borg rating of perceived exertion (RPE) increased during a laboratory-based submaximal treadmill test at 29 weeks antepartum in comparison to a test conducted 10 weeks post partum. These data clearly demonstrate that it is possible for an elite endurance athlete to maintain a high level of cardiovascular fitness during pregnancy with no apparent adverse effects on maternal or fetal health. This will facilitate an earlier return to international competition.