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Information on periods

Welcome to information on The Menstrual Cycle

This section provides information on ‘periods’, the women’s menstrual cycle presented under the women’s section’– Cassandra Davis


Running Red Days

Does your period affect your running?

Running Red DaysOne of the biggest concerns facing women in sport is the effect of the menstrual cycle on performance. This stems from the time when girls were excused from school sports during their periods because it was considered bad for their health and unhygienic. In fact the increase in the number of women who are physically active has helped scientists understand the interaction between exercise and the menstrual cycle much better than ever before and allows coaches to base their advice on fact rather than old-wives tales. Nowadays it is not considered a taboo to run during a period and top distance runners and sprinters schedule their training around their monthly cycles.

As each woman’s period or pattern of menstruation is different, t he effects of menstruation on the individual person vary enormously and therefore will effect running differently. Some women experience no apparent inconvenience; whilst for others, this time of the month can cause them considerable incapacity. However, most women are more affected by the premenstrual period, than when the onset of bleeding begins.

The main inconvenience of the period on running is bleeding (discomfort of running with sanitary wear) and period pains. Running will not increase period flow per se (n ote that the average blood loss during menstruation is 35 millilitres with 10-80 mL considered normal). Running and physical activity in general, have shown to actually help women to cope with the physiological changes during their periods more easily, because running lifts the mood and slothful state that sometimes overcomes one with a period. It will stop menstrual cravings such as bingeing on chocolates and get you out the door and distract you from thinking about your physical state. Running has also been shown to alleviate the symptoms of period pain whilst running, however it should be noted that these may reappear after you stop. Some women feel heavy with their periods and may actually have weight gain which is associated with water retention, and is clearly a handicap for the endurance athlete. Running and sweating it out can only help to alleviate this problem.

So the bottom line is stop feeling sorry for yourself when it’s that time of the month again, get out of the door and go for a run!

Other articles in this section related to the Women’s menstrual cycle:

Who is Cassandra Davis head of the Women’s section ? | Cass |


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