Are female runners affected each month?

I am intrigued as to whether you find your perfromance alters/slows down when that time comes round each month?

I have been keeping an eye on myself, and I am pretty sure it does have an affect on my recovery and length of time I can run etc... Quite noticable! I am far more sluggish... Although this may be to do with food I eat, lots of carbs? (too many!) image


  • funny you should post this, I was just thinking about it on my run. I find that just after my period I feel like I am running really well. I don't notice a difference during though to be honest. I'd be interested to know if there's any sciencey correlation type graph thingy....

    check out the link.. it shows a correlation between period and exercise..image

  • crikey, a bit scientific! Not to mention a bit scary. I am going to carry on plodding regarless. I am trying to get up the duff at the mo but I've read numerous reports saying that running is ok. Paula Radcliffe managed it! 
  • haha!! Good for you!! image
  • How spooky! I was thinking of hormones & stuff the other day!

    Im sluggish & tired when I'm due & when im on! In fact yest was 'day 1' & I had no energy! I ran anyway & ended up walking 3 times! Annoyingly, if I hadnt walked, it would have been my fastest time!

  • I have only just joined the site and its because i think that i could be effected 'pre-menstrually'.  My run today was sluggish, and more painful...burst into tears afterwards!!  The pain in my calves seemed that much more excruciating.

     Shortstop, i had to stop today too!! Its so frustrating and deflating.  I can empathise.

  • Definitely more sluggish, lower pain threshold and need more recovery. image
  • bless you Zoe, hope you're okay? I think it is safe to say that we must take it much easier when due/on period... It can have all different effects.. although i know exercise is quite good for stomach pians apparently...

    Shortstuff - i am always sluggish when due/on! lol... All good that your run was quite fast!

  • Aw Charlotte, I'm fine thankyou.  Damn Hormones!!! lol.  It is such a relief that i can i can blame it on being a women and not being unfit.  Thankyou for setting up this forum.  I dont' feel quite so down on myselfimage.  Just want to get back out there and starte running again!
  • yes do! i get them 'low' days whereby i feel rubbish at running sometimes, but get back to it slowly but surely x
  • So does anyone work they period around key races?

    I'm dreadful a few days before... weepy/negative, low pain threshold, poorer endurance...  I'm thinking of taking 2 pill packs in a row to shift the dates so that TOTM isn't interfering with Ironman in a few months.

  • I'm affected more before I come on than during, I feel sluggish, eat more (bad stuff too), and can't seem to get as far or go as fast.

    I haven't done a race yet but I'm doing RFL in June and even though that's only 5k (seems like a marathon to me) I'll be backing up my pill packets to make sure I'm at my best

  • i definitely feel heavier and more tired week leading upt to my period - durig and after i feel great. -
  • Yes it makes a difference

    No problem with doing that Nam

  • I'm definitely worse the week before.  It's that week I'd like to avoid.  As some of you said, once it's there it's ok.

    Dr Barking thanks for confirming. image

  • I have no energy or stamina in the week leading upto my period. On day one I always feel totally sh***y - really tired, 'heavy' head, shakey and occasionally light headed.

     Another downside is I become more clumsy than usual (and I'm quite clumsy!). Last week I dropped and broke a mug. image  

  • I've been told the time of the month apparently makes us more sensitive to pain, so it's only normal that any training should be more heavy going.

     I'm not sure what to think of that weblink.  If runners stay relaxed and maintain a healthy diet with plenty of calcium there should be little impact unless you let your weight dip below the healthy range.    Of course if you are suddenly killing yourself after years of non exercise then it will have a knock on effect on your health. 

  • I went back to running today (due day) and did a small 4/5km run.  It really helped.  It wasn't too much and i felt that i actually still did enough....good timesimage.  I think 'taking it easy' may be the key as us lady folk need a break every now and again
  • I'm doi ng FLM on Sunday and my period is due on that day!!! Great!!!image
  • Good Luck Nikster!!! I am so jealous. I have always wanted to do FLM.  I am sure the adrenaline will take over and you will lose yourself in the race.
  • I usually do really well the day before, maybe its pmt rage as i normally become a bit grumpy anyway!! Once the stomach bloating appears on day one though, thats when the sluggishness hits and its a couple of days til i'm back to normal, i suppose you just do what you feel like you can manage and if it coincides with a race try a good sports drink for an energy booster.
  • I normally feel a bit tired before / first day or so and it would definely affect my performance. I'd use the pill to ensure i didn't have it for a race.

     Running is good to relieve any PMS symptoms though, so i definiely wouldn't let it get in way of my training.

  • I def feel more tired, sluggish & slower a day or two leading up to TOM, and then for a couple of days during.image

    The week after though I feel great & feel as if I'm running really good image

  • Last Thursday, which was the first day of my period I managed an amazing running feat of clumsiness. Within about 400m of the end of a 4.5mile off-road run I managed to trip over whilst going downhill and did an amazing Superman impersonation until gravity took hold and I landed on the ground and continued moving  once I hit the ground... Luckily I suffered no more than a lot of (very sore) grazes.image
  • the week before I'm due I become incredibly clumsy (dropping EVERYTHING for no reason), and all I want to do is sleep (lots) and eat (lots more). I also tend to get quite dizzy. However, I always forget about these facts every single month and always wonder what's wrong with me...

    Running wise i tend to suffer - i get light headed and generally feel heavy and sluggish.

    And bloaty like a little baby whale. 

  • What worries me more than the PMT negativity/random sluggishness is a randomly sluggish day that turns out not to be down to PMT. image

    Since I've been running, by and large, I've had much less period pain and have perceived my periods to be lighter/less disruptive to life in general. I often seek out a short run on the first day if I haven't got one planned.

    The only thing that I do find affects me is period-related-overheating. Especially at this time of the year, it can be hard going when you're much sweatier than you'd usually be....

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