It’s Called a Cycle for a Reason
Dr. Robin Barrett, OB-GYN chair at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Ore., says the biggest misconception women have regarding their if their period affects their running is that their bodies are only affected around that time of the month. In fact, your body is continually experiencing symptoms of spiking and decreasing hormone levels. Some runners notice the highest level of fatigue during ovulation (around day 14), others have severe cramping one day before their period, while some have no trouble at all. Barrett says, “Journals are really great for knowing when you’re having which symptoms.” She recommends using an app on your phone like iPeriod (free, itunes.com) to better understand your body.
It’s not uncommon for runners to stop bleeding while training for a big race. Barrett says this can be due to a decrease in BMI—or not: “People’s weight may not look too low, but if they are exercising enough, they can still miss their period and it’s a bit of a question as to why.” One month? Don’t sweat it. Two? You’re probably okay. Three? It’s best to see a doctor. Barrett says over time, skipping periods can lead to bone thinning, fertility issues and pre-cancerous changes in the uterus.