question for girls only!

I know its abit of a wierd question but I wondered if anyone can tell me about running on your period. I wondered if it affects your performance or if you should take it easy. I tried to ask friends who run but most avoid the question (so might not know either) or are on the injection. I know its abit gross but I just cant find info anywhere!


  • for most women, exercise is good, cramps ease off and you feel much better. Elite athletes can't avoid competition just because of a period.
  • It's not gross.

    It doesn't affect me apart from makes me feel a bit more lightheaded than usual (I suffer from hypotension, or is it hypertension LOL I can never remember. Low blood pressure anyway which makes me sometimes feel dizzy). Other than that, no, no problem. However everyone's different aren't they, so if it does affect you, just take rest days, or swim or something - whatever you can do.

    Paula set the world marathon record at Chicago after waking up that morning to find that she come on early. She said it was hardly ideal but just went out and saw what happened. ;-)

  • I imagine it's different for all of us. I sometimes feel sluggish and uncomfortable when I run. I always try to take on more Iron before and during my period, but I'm not sure it makes much difference.

    Fortunately I've yet to run a race while on, but I'm sure I will sooner or later so always continue to train regardless.

    I never to let this get in the way of life.
  • I find the week before more of a problem, and have actually PBd on the day I've come on

    I'd say try it, if it makes you feel a bit wobbly take it easy, if not, plod on :-)
  • I always run on my period but the first day my legs feel heavy and I feelreally wiped out but exercise helps with stomach Cramps.
    I have raced on the first day and it was not a PB but i did equal my previous time.
    So I expect slower times and it does not always pan out that way.
    I did 800m reps on first day and I was no slower but no faster either which suprised me.

    I refuse for it to effect my training schedule just go easy on myself if a workout seems tougher or I am slower.
    Live each day as if it was your last  give it all you have to reap the rewards.
  • Agree with the above.

    I can get a bit dizzy so I don't go too mental but I certainly don't stay at home.
  • Tbh I've never noticed any difference. I think the only thing is to see how you go.
  • I have run 3 races when I have my period on the day and have run great on all 3 occasions - got 2 PBs! Training through my period really helps me too as I dont tend to get cramps or get ratty but I do tend to get a bot emotional for no reason and running seems to get it out of me.
  • The week before is always a problem for me-generally struggle more than usual.During the period(bar the first day) no different.
  • The only day i can't run is the day it actually starts. From day 2 onwards i'm fine.

    I think everyone is different.
  • The only problem I had was sometimes got hormonal migraines which wiped me out for a few days. (now got the Mirena so no periods yeeeeehaaaaa) was cramp. Sometimes felt a bit sluggish when I started my run but by time I finished felt a lot better. (oh and sometimes got a bit chaffed but I will leave that to the imagination.
  • Usually felt a bit sluggish and wanted to go home but as I run with my dog that is never an option. Always more of an effort but always feel better afterwards.
  • very sluggish the week before

    it wouldnt stop me running a race though
  • Depo Provera works for me. It's an implant contraceptive that stops your periods. I haven't had pains or mood swings for about 8 years now and have noticed no other side effects, other than not having to carry tampons around with me!

    Before then I used to swim competitively and had to train and race whatever time of the month it was. I found that swimming did help easy the pains and also that I needed to feed my cravings to maintain my energy levels. I used to eat more chocolate around my periods and if I didn't have it I felt worse. Eventually I realised that the craving for chocolate was because my body was needing iron so I started taking iron tablets around the time fo my period and it helped ease the cramps and boosted my energy levels!
  • It happens to 50% of the population every month; we cope!
    For me there's no real difference. Don't get PMT or cramps but feel bit more sleepy the day before. I'm lucky mine are very short and light.
    Def think it's linked to physical activity, when I had a normal sit down job I suffered more cramps than I do now having an active one.
  • Not much fun the week before but run lots of races during the week and been fine

    Dont let it stop you
  • Ditto most of the above. I get a bit sluggish the week before, but it has never caused any problems during a race/run. If it's heavy I'll cut the run back accordingly.

    I would say just listen to your own body and act accordingly. Even if you decide to not run at all - it's only a few days!
  • Hi all,
    i find it really hard to run on the first day of my peroid, the cramps get really bad for me and i feel as though my stomach is dropping out (now that is what you call grose) I always struggle through though and have to run much slower. After day 3 im fine and find i have really good training sessions and am full of energy
  • I only have slight discomfort the morning I come on and after a few sly ibuprofen am fine to run. If I know I'll be racing on my period I run my pill together so I don't get it. I'm sure it wouldn't hamper my performance that much but I need all the help I can get!!
  • Peahead...

    I'm going to make an enormous sweeping assumption that you are under 20. This is not a prejudice or criticism, just that you sound youngish (lucky you!), and hence I'm replying...

    Your question sort of implies that you have a hard time when your periods start, continuing to run. Is this because your periods are very heavy, or you get very bad pains? If so, there are a couple of things you can do about it.

    Most (another awful generalisation?!) of the women on here are probably taking some kind of contraception. As well as the obvious benefit of preventing unwanted pregnancies, contraception often has the added bonuses of a) making your periods a LOT more predictable and b) making your periods lighter and shorter. Doesnt work for everyone, but for many this is true. If you have heavy, painful periods, something like the combined pill may be helpful. To some extent you can also manipulate your periods (miss one out) which means if you have a hugely important race, you can simply "not bother" with one that month!

    Contraception (which may help with periods) comes in numerous forms, including daily pills, 3-monthly injections and 3-yearly implants.

    If you dont want the contraception aspect, are worried about the implications of taking contraception (assumptions being that you need it not for period control), dont want to take hormones before you "need" to (for birth control later on) or want to reduce the years you take it and hence avoid the (slightly) elevated risk of breast cancer (if there is a history of this in your close family) there are other options. If pain is preventing you running, and loosening up/ warming up does not allieviate this, there are medications you can take. Mefanamic acid is one such medication which specifically targets period pains - on a completely different level to simply taking lots of ibruprofen or paracetamol and far better for your liver!

    My advice - if any of this is applicable to you - is to talk to your doctor about the various options. No-one else (eg parents) need to know. Beware that some GPs may assume you have a "hidden agenda" and are too shy to ask outright for the Pill - if this isnt what you want, insist on being told about other options.

    Last but not least - dont let it stop you doing what you love! You have to put up with it for many years to come!
  • Mines worse the week before. I'm all hormonal & cr8p! I tend to want to eat junk more too.
    I feel abit sluggish also. However, I never let it stop me exercising & just listen to my body and slow down if I feel yucky.
  • Me too Shortstop, i feel the same a week before,its almost asthough i feel as if im comingdown with something but as soon as day 1 of my cycle comes all symptoms disappear.
  • The week before is also when im most tired - although it never stops me running!
    I run really well the first couple of days of my period and mentally it helps to know your beating the water retention

    I thought i was going to have a nightmare with my 3 hour runs and the need for a shall we say 'comfort stop' but exercise seems to slow the flow - sorry just being honest
  • Little Miss....have you thought about the implant? It's about the size of a hairpin (couple of centimeters) that a trained nurse or doctor (only) will put in under a local anaesthetic, into the corner of your arm (inner elbow sort of area). It lasts 3 years but you can have it taken out before then if you want to get pregnant or dont like any side effects.

    Alternatively, go for "hormone free" methods, like a diaphragm or coil.

    Best your practice nurse or the NHS hotline: 0845 4647
    (I know thats not many numbers, but thats what it says!)
  • SlugstaSlugsta ✭✭✭
    LMSAH, not much new in the way of non-hormonal methods.

    this website might give you some info
  • LMSAH think the best form is probably copper coil, non hormonal method, less hassel and once its in place you can just forget about it for few years!
  • I get a bit sluggish for a couple of days while on my period so if I have a race around that time, I lower my expectations (having said that, I don't notice an obvious slowing down!)
  • LMSH, much sympathy. if you had those problems with the pill and injection, then the implant probably wouldn't be a good idea. but as flyaway says, go talk to the practice nurse. there are non hormonal options available (I can't take the pill either, or use the coil)

    back to the topic... :o)

    contrary to other people, day 1 isn't so bad for me, but days 2 and 3 I am popping huge amounts of pills (yep, mefanamic acid, marvellous stuff, lightens blood flow too). I have PB'd a couple of times on day 1. and by about day 4 or 5 I have stacks of energy and put good times in again.

    but exercise is absolutely the best thing for period pains for me - it can halve the amount of painkillers I need. I just make sure I have enough carbs and fluids so I don't get dizzy.
  • if you don't want contraception, then taking norethisterone (prescription from docs) for a few days before a big race to avoid your period starting works too. haven't noticed any side-effects - it just feels like being mid-cycle.

    I usually run slower the week before, if i run at all, 'cos i'm usually too busy crying, eating chocolate, and wondering whether to kill myself, or wipe out the population of Planet Earth first.
    I'm OK once its started though - not too much pain & running's a lot better, just as well 'cos mine usually last 8 days :¬(
  • LOL, Duck

    I just had an email conversation where I did actually wonder whether there more stupid people crossing my path than normal today and how much they were infuriating me.

    a grab bag of salt n vinegar crisps (my PMT craving) and I feel so much better. but yes, the week before is a nightmare. very clumsy too.

    and I would love my cycle to be predictable enough to take that - variance of 10 days is normal for me.

    might be worth trying the mefenamic acid? it has shortened my periods (and, more importantly, lightened them)
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