Q+ A: Running While Pregnant

Mia Myers found out she was pregnant in the midst of training for the Chicago Marathon. An enthusiastic runner, Myers had no intention of letting her pregnancy prevent her from continuing her rigorous training. On October 8, Myers crossed the finish line of Chicago's 26.2-mile course in 3:35:25. Now more than halfway through her pregnancy, she is still logging miles and competing in smaller-scale races! Here, she answers a few of the most common questions related to running while pregnant:

What were some of your fears about training so vigorously while pregnant, if you had any?

In the beginning I was worried about training in the heat and humidity. I knew that regulating my body temperature was critical for the baby's health. (If I got too hot, the baby could as well.) Other than that I didn't really have any fears; I knew that exercise was beneficial during pregnancy and with the running base I had, as long as I listened to my body, marathon training wouldn't cause any harm.

You mentioned exercise being beneficial to pregnancy. Many women argue otherwise. Would you say this is a misconception, and what are a few other misunderstandings about pregnancy in relation to fitness that you'd like to address? 

I think there are a lot of misconceptions about pregnancy and fitness. Many people think that once you become pregnant you need to limit your exercise. However, even my doctor agrees that it's the opposite. Exercise is wholly beneficial to you and your baby! You don't really need to limit yourself until your body is sending you negative signals, or unless your doctor has directed you to do so. I plan to run all the way up until I deliver my child, as long as my pregnancy continues to be healthy and running agrees with my ever-changing body. I have already had to limit myself to body-weight exercises and definitely can't do as deep of squats as I did pre-pregnancy. But I'm still exercising which is the most important part.

What has been the hardest part about running while pregnant? Any tips?

I have been blessed with an incredibly easy and healthy pregnancy thus far. The hardest part for me, so far, has been experiencing back aches. I fairly recently started running with a belly band for added support in my lower back, which has been really helpful. Other than that, thankfully I've had no real issues. If morning sickness is an issue for someone, I would say still try and get out to do what you can exercise-wise because (hopefully) the nausea/vomiting will pass, and it's going to be harder to exercise when you've been inactive for so long. Any type of exercise base you can keep from the start will make it easier to continue exercising further into pregnancy, and afterwards!

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