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Run with the Flow: Navigating Your Running Routine during Your Menstrual Cycle

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Women runner
Run with the Flow: Navigating Your Running Routine during Your Menstrual Cycle

Running is a passion and routine for many women, but it can sometimes be influenced by the physiological and psychological changes during the menstrual cycle. The key to managing this relationship is understanding your body's rhythm and adapting accordingly. This guide is designed to empower you with knowledge and strategies to run strong, regardless of the time of the month.

1. Learn the Rhythms of Your Cycle

Your menstrual cycle is more than just your period. It's a complex dance of hormones that can affect your energy levels, mood, and physical well-being. The first half of your cycle (follicular phase) often brings higher energy levels and peak performance. As ovulation occurs and you transition into the latter half (luteal phase), you may experience increased fatigue. Tailoring your training to these changes can help optimize your running routine.

2. Stay Hydrated, Stay Fueled

Menstruation can lead to increased water retention and bloating. Combat this by staying well-hydrated. Also, hormone fluctuations can increase your metabolic rate, making you feel hungrier. Fueling with nutrient-rich foods, particularly iron-rich ones, can help maintain energy levels and guard against menstrual-related anemia.

3. Adjust Your Training Intensity

Tune into your body's signals. Some days, you might feel ready for high-intensity intervals or a long run; other days, a gentle jog or rest day might be in order. It's okay to adjust your training intensity based on how you're feeling.

4. Prioritize Comfort and Support

Comfort is key during your period. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics to stay dry and comfortable. A supportive sports bra can help manage tenderness, and if you're comfortable using them, tampons or menstrual cups can make running on your period easier.

5. Seek Medical Advice When Necessary

If menstrual symptoms are severely affecting your running routine or quality of life, consider seeking advice from a healthcare provider. They can provide individualized strategies and treatments to help manage your symptoms.

With the right strategies in place, managing a regular running routine during your menstrual cycle can be seamless. By understanding your cycle, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and giving your body the rest it needs, you can continue to stride forward every day of the month.

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