Running & Your Period

⁉️QUESTION FOR FEMALE ATHLETES: Who feels like they need to get a better understanding of their menstrual cycle and how it affects your training⁉️🙋‍♀️

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♥️ We are loving the book Roar by @drstacysims and want to continue to destigmatize and demystify the female menstrual cycle as it relates to optimizing training. No matter how much or how little your cycle affects your performance, it is an important topic to discuss and one that is not discussed enough❗️


✅ The AVERAGE menstrual cycle is 28 days long

✅ Your cycle is broken up into two 14-day phases (low- and high-hormone phases)

✅ The low-hormone phase of your cycle is days 1-14 (During your period & right after)

✅ The high-hormone phase of your cycle is days 15-28 (PMS)

✅ Your cycle starts on the FIRST day of your period (day 1 of the 28 day cycle)


❗️The BEST day to race during the month is the first day of your period

❗️You are your strongest and most physiologically “like a male” on your period

❗️You are less likely to feel pain and more likely to recover faster during your period

During this low-hormone phase, the energy your body thought it was going to use to create a human can now be used for performance! 💪


❌You will likely feel less fit the week before your period comes

❌It is harder to build muscle during this time

❌Your blood plasma volume decreases, meaning your blood is thicker and therefore harder to pump through your body

This doesn’t mean that you should never race or train hard during the high-hormone phase of your cycle because many markers of fitness remain unchanged throughout the month (i.e. your VO2max and lactate threshold) 🏃‍♀️


😴Schedule cutback/recovery weeks during this time

🥛Take in 5-7 grams of protein (leucine & branched-chain amino acids) before exercise and 20-25 grams 30 minutes after exercise to decrease the hormone effect on your central nervous system fatigue & promote recovery

🥖Consume more carbs per hour DURING exercise

💊In the 5-7 days leading up to your period, take in 250 mg magnesium, 45 mg of zinc, 1 g of omega-3 fatty acids, and 80 mg of baby aspirin (not ibruprofen) each day to reduce cramping and GI distress

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