Race ready despite 2nd half of the cycle
Fia • 28. August 2021 • 3 Min.
The competition season has finally arrived in Europe a few weeks ago. The highlight of the season is perhaps just around the corner for some of you. We have already covered many training kilometers on the bike and numerous running kilometers in our legs. We feel well prepared, fit and finally want to get a taste of competition again. But a look at the cycle calendar might dampen the anticipation a bit: the competition is in an “unfavorable” cycle phase! What should a woman do now?
Of course, you can not always plan the competitions according to the cycle.
And that’s not even necessary. Work, family, vacation planning, training camps, etc. are hard enough to coordinate.
Basically, you can say that you can perform both in the first and second half of the cycle. However, the body has a few special demands in the second half of the cycle that need to be taken into account. However, this is only true if you have a natural cycle. If you are not yet familiar with the different phases of the cycle, please read on here.
Below I would like to give you a few tips on how to support your body if your competition is in the second half of your cycle or maybe even just before your period and you are struggling with PMS.
The most important thing is probably the mindset:
- Even if you are in the 2nd half of the cycle, you can still perform excellently! So don’t bury your head in the sand before the competition.
- Especially in endurance sports, the differences in performance are very small. There are hardly any disadvantages to be feared for a middle or even long distance. Why? In the second half of the cycle, our fat metabolism works extremely well. A super prerequisite for a long competition.
How can I support my body in competition:
- The calorie requirement increases by about 200 kcal per day in the second half of the cycle. So you may have to eat a little more than usual.
- In the second half of the cycle, we women find it more difficult to thermoregulate. This is because our body temperature is about 0.5 degrees higher than at the beginning of the cycle. So make sure you cool down well during the race when it’s hot.
Before the competition, you can adjust the following settings:
- Nutrition is the be-all and end-all in the second half of the cycle. Pay particular attention to a sufficient protein intake. The easiest way to do this is probably in the form of protein shakes. Drink a shake after every intense workout. In addition, your main meals should also contain plenty of protein.
- Food during training sessions is essential. Avoid “running on empty.” You will find that this also prevents PMS.
- In the high-hormone phase, as the second half of the cycle is also called because of the high estrogen and progesterone levels, there is, among other things, an increased need for zinc and magnesium, which is why it makes sense to supplement here during this time to prevent a deficiency in competition or in an intense training phase.
- Kinesio tapes are said to have a circulation-promoting and pain-relieving effect. After my own research and application, I have had very positive experiences with them and my abdominal pain has been significantly alleviated. However, the effect of kinesio tapes is not scientifically proven. On YouTube you can find instructions on where and how to apply the tapes on the lower abdomen and lower back.
Hopefully nothing stands in the way of a successful raceday.
In this sense, good luck and #kickass!