A 28-year-old pregnant woman who ran a mile in less than six minutes is showing that pregnancy has no limits.
Makenna Myler, who runs with the Valor Track Club in Orange County, California, ran one mile last week in five minutes and 25 seconds, and she did it while nine months pregnant.
Her husband, Mike, captured the feat on video and shared it on TikTok, where it has gone viral with tens of thousands of likes, comments and shares.
"I think pregnancy is a beautiful thing and it’s not an injury or a sickness, that you’re still really capable," Myler, who ran track at Brigham Young University, told "Good Morning America." "I think a lot of women are showing that, that women are capable and that’s what matters."
Myler said she and her husband, whom she describes as her biggest supporter, jokingly bet each other $100 that she would not finish the mile in under eight minutes, a bet Myler clearly won.
Myler, whose due date was Oct. 19, said that while her sub-six minute mile is getting attention, she doesn't want other women to think her training during pregnancy has been a breeze.
"The first trimester I didn’t have that extra weight but I was exhausted and I was probably running slower than I am now," she said. "I’ve had to listen to my body and really let myself recover and get a workout in if I can, if my body is feeling it, but they’re definitely few and far between."
Myler added of her approach to workouts, "When people say, ‘What are you going to run this time?’ I say, ‘Whatever my body wants.' If I don’t want to do it, I’m not going to do it, because pregnancy and my health obviously comes first."
And while most women will not run nearly five-minute miles, the workout done by Myler, who has dreams of representing the United States in the Olympics, is a safe one, experts say.
"For my patients, in general, I tell them that they can continue doing anything that they were doing before pregnancy as long as it remains comfortable and doesn’t cause any pain," said Dr. Danielle Jones, a board-certified OBGYN in College Station, Texas, who is not involved in Myler's treatment. "You don’t see it a lot because most people get uncomfortable by the third trimester and aren’t wanting to run a five-minute mile, but there’s definitely people out there who can comfortably continue that in their pregnancy."
Jones stressed that there are conditions that prevent women from exercising during pregnancy and that women should always consult with their doctors throughout their pregnancies and keep them informed of their exercise routine.
For pregnant women who are able to exercise, doing so offers many benefits, according to Jones.
"Maintaining a healthy exercise routine in pregnancy, just basically continuing the pregnancy routine that you had prior to pregnancy, is associated with shorter labors and a lower risk of c-sections because it helps with endurance, which labor and delivery is kind of like a marathon in itself," she said. "It also helps with recovery after delivery as well, so whether the patient has a vaginal delivery or a c-section, they’re going to get back to feeling better and like themselves faster if they’ve maintained a healthy and active pregnancy."
Myler said she has been under a doctor's supervision throughout her pregnancy and has used her training as an elite athlete to make sure she is getting the proper rest and nutrition to keep her baby healthy.
"I’ve been spending the last 10 or so years [as an athlete] listening to my body and hearing what it needs," she said. "[Other women] should not expect to run five-minute miles or compare themselves."
And while she plans to continue training after giving birth, Myler said she has no plans to "bounce back" into shape.
"I hate the term bounce back because I want to be a different person and I want to change," said Myler, who will be a first-time mom. "I hope this baby brings a lot of growth and change."