Thoughts on Training Especially for Women

I’m not sure if I am the minority with this practice, especially in the “running” category. Most runners I met/knew have a certain drive about them. Otherwise, why would anyone woke up earlier on a off-day/weekend to, like, run 8 miles? So, when I first got into half marathon training a year ago, I suspect that it may be an un-orthodox to (wait for it…) NOT TO TRAIN during menstrual cycle. 

(Yes, I did mention, this is mostly a lady’s topic) 

I suspect this does not even come up in the same conversation with best fueling/hydration options, awesome new trail shoes, or the latest “diet”. It’s one of those non-issues. You just go train. Period (no pun intended here). With my background and philosophy of alternative/Chinese medicine, I understand that there is a balance to everything. I practice this in all the training/running I do. Therefore, it has been my practice to take it easy during my menstrual cycle. 

Over time, I learned that during my cycle, I just wanted to rest. Mind you, I’m fortunate enough to not have any significant issues like cramping or headaches. I still want to rest. To some runners, it may be mind-boggling to take a detour based on this. However, in my experience, there is an ebb and flow to my energy level throughout the cycle. I learn to leverage it for quality training as opposed to quantity and just “brazen” through it. 

For example, during the period, I absolutely rest. And rest days as most will agree are actually important and should be part of the training plan. Then the two weeks following the period, I find most energy where I can push for track work out training for speed and performance. The week before the period, I find the decline in energy, but still good enough to train for long run and endurance. Few days before the period, I tend to have some bloating, which makes it a slight drag to train. Nevertheless, I go out and run the best I can. This is the time for easy runs. 

This is a personal choice. I don’t have a way to compare and contrast or experiment if this practice overall improves performance. For sure, it helps with my “happiness points” I find it easier on my body, especially, running is really a hobby and a passion and not a competition for me. I am not looking to break any records, except those of my own. 

The only “down” side is that I have to alter running “around” the menstrual cycle. But, it is no big deal as we all have other obligations that running “revolve” around anyway. The important thing is to continue training and keep moving! 

I’m just REALLY curious if there is any other lady who practice something along the same lines as I do… Again, this isn’t a cocktail conversation but more of a personal choice. As I come to realize, the best thing about running is that it’s so highly customizable to each individual. There isn’t a team I have to account for (or be accountable for). Just me and my running shoes. Ah, one more reason to love running 🙂 

Happy Almost End-0f-Summer … Hello Autumn Nice-Weather Training time 🙂 

 

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