Menstruation and performance in sports

Triathlon training

Menstruation and athletic performance - how the female menstrual cycle affects performance.

A woman’s performance is a rather complex topic. The hormonal situation plays a crucial role in relation to triathlon training planning. When a woman should best consider what in her triathlon training plan and how menstruation affects athletic performance is what the trainers and coaches at KickAss Sports deal with.

At KickAss Sports, triathlon training is adapted to the female menstrual cycle

The goal of KickAss Sports is to offer training that is geared towards the needs of age group female athletes who, in addition to high everyday stresses, want to leave their comfort zone and improve in a healthy and happy way. Here, the female menstrual cycle forms a basis for individualized training planning.

Women of all levels are welcome at KickAss Sports. From the beginner to the ambitious athlete. In addition to triathlon training planning, technique training in the sports of swimming, cycling and running plays a decisive role at KickAss Sports.

Performance during menstruation - what should you know and pay attention?

The hormonal fluctuations within the female menstrual cycle often influence the physical performance and thus also affect the triathlon training planning of an athlete. For this reason, it is important to adjust the training individually to the menstrual cycle.

 

In order to train specifically with the female cycle and not against it, one should consider the hormonal situation of the body. The only requirement for cycle-based triathlon training is a natural cycle that is not influenced by the hormonal administration of contraceptives.

Triathlon training during your period? The female menstrual cycle at a glance:

 

In general, the female menstrual cycle can be divided into 4 phases:

 

1st phase = menstrual phase

2nd phase = follicular phase

3rd phase = ovulation phase

4th phase = luteal phase

Training planning for women

Triathlon training during the period - menstrual phase

Each new menstrual cycle begins with the period. The first day of bleeding is therefore the beginning of the new cycle. Production of the hormone progesterone ceases and the body begins to shed the lining of the uterus, which can often trigger period pains. Many women feel exhausted and less able to perform during this phase. However, this is no reason not to include any exercise at all in your daily routine.  Loose, low-intensity triathlon and strength training should be the focus during menstruation.

Follicular phase: the perfect time for intense triathlon and strength training.

During this phase, the female body focuses on preparing for ovulation. The hormonal situation provides an excellent basis for intensive endurance and strength training. In the training plan, which includes swimming, cycling running and strength training sessions, intense interval training or training sessions that improve the maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) should be integrated at this time.

How do I exercise during ovulation?

As ovulation approaches, the concentration of hormones increases. These hormonal conditions are excellent for achieving training progress. However, with ovulation, the female body stops producing estradiol and starts producing progesterone, which should also cause a rethink in training planning at the same time. The energy level can first drop after ovulation and so the training intensity should also be reduced.

How do I design triathlon training in the luteal phase?

Due to the high progesterone level, you should shift down a gear in the fourth phase of the menstrual cycle. The early phase, i.e. just after ovulation, is ideal for longer training sessions, for example long runs and longer bike rides. Towards the end of the phase, the overall training volume should be reduced, with the focus on, for example, technique training and improving coordination skills.

The trainer of a triathlete should therefore always know exactly in which phase of the menstrual cycle the athlete is currently.

Questions & Answers

FAQ

We take into account the different hormonal phases of the female cycle, your personal experiences regarding your cycle, as well as the various interfering factors such as stress, environmental influences, nutrition, etc. that can have an impact on your performance. We provide you with a range of video materials and explain the functioning of the female body.

Absolutely! There is nothing more satisfying for a coach than watching the progress of his athletes, and even more so when you are there from the very beginning!

Absolutely not! There are many people who start training for an endurance sport, regardless of whether they are athletic or not.

Each sport requires different equipment. For swimming, you need access to a swimming pool or open water. For cycling, you need a bicycle. For running, you need running shoes. We recommend purchasing a heart rate monitor and smart watch (e.g. Garmin or Polar).

We offer three different programs. KickAss Individual, KickAss Individual Women and KickAss Basic. You can find out more about the individual offers here.KickAss Individual, KickAss Individual Women and KickAss Basic. You can find out more about the individual offers here.

Yes of course, we offer a 4-week trial plan. You can find all the information here.

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