Training and your Menstrual Cycle

Do you track your menstrual cycle along with your training?

Regardless if you have a period, or take any form of conception like the pill, implant, or a Mirena. You should be tracking your symptoms with your training.

Men’s hormones cycle reset every 24 hours. While for women, our hormone cycles reset on average every 28 days. This means we have to train very differently from men because of the changes in our hormones in our cycles.

The Four Phases of the Menstrual Cycle

  1. Menstruation
  2. Follicular Phase
  3. Ovulation
  4. Luteal Phase

I like to think of the different stages of my menstrual cycle like the seasons.

  1. Winter – Menstruation
  2. Spring – Follicular Phase
  3. Summer – Ovulation
  4. Autumn – Luteal Phase

If you have ever read Lucy Peach’s Period Queen, she breaks down the phases even further into “Dream, Do, Give, Take”. Also, check out her five-part podcast Period Queen wherever you download your podcasts.

The reason that I like to think of our phases like the seasons, is that in each season we are able to do different activities based on the weather.

The weather aka our hormones is going to affect what we can and can’t do.

Knowing this, we can hack our period and match our training to our performance goals.

Period & Training

Knowing your period and the ins and outs of your cycle is a game changer when it comes to your training.

By knowing your phases, you will know when you can go hard, and when you need to back off.

Summer aka Ovulation

This is the stage where you can go hard.

Schedule those hard intervals. Go for a PB in the gym.

Autumn aka Luteal Phase

You will notice a drop in your hormones, as your body prepares for menstruation.

This is not the week, to schedule hard sessions.

Schedule less intense sessions, you may even have a drop in performance.

Winter aka Menstruation

There have been two events that I have done while on my period. Both were ultras with the Surf Coast 50k, and Lumberjack 50k.

Having a period and running an event, shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing, if anything use it as your superpower.

Some women may find training difficult, while others will find there is no effect.

Spring aka Follicular Phase

In spring there is growth. With spring you will see an increase in your energy.

Now is the time to build on your strength and endurance, leading you back into summer.

Is there an app for that?

Apps like Clue (free & paid), are great for tracking your period symptoms.

While apps like Wild (free & paid), track your training, sleep and lifestyle load.

I like to use both to track my training and my period.

Let’s lessen the shame of having a period, and instead make it our superpower.

When we understand the different phases of our cycle training for your race goals will be so much easier.

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