Coach Tips: How Menstruation Affects Training

Your body actually recovers faster at this time of the month.

NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has an answer for all things training—even if the issue you’re confronting is technically out of your control.

Does menstruation affect my training (or am I just imagining it)?

No matter if you are a runner, swimmer, walker or yogi, exercising on your period can make you feel a little different than the other weeks of the month. Women have varying experiences when training on their period, but fatigue and cramps are the two most common symptoms that can affect training. When you are menstruating, your hormones are rising and falling, and this can impact the amount of energy that you have at your disposal. As the lining of the uterus sheds, cramping is also common, which can make you reluctant to go for a run. However, many women find that movement and activity help the discomfort from cramps to subside. While you may feel tired for a couple of days, your body is actually converting carbs to energy faster than it usually would when you’re on your period, since your reproductive parts aren’t focusing on preparing you for pregnancy. Translation: You can actually recover faster and have more power to pour into your running during these days!