Women's Running: Health Q&A

Read an exclusive preview from the new Runner's World Complete Guide to Women's Running

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How does my period affect my running?

‘That time of the month’ is not the time when women run their worst. The hardest time for women to run fast is about a week before menstruation begins (a week after ovulation). That’s when women’s levels of progesterone peak, which can lead to a higher-than-normal breathing rate during exercise. This tends to make running feel more difficult than usual.

If you run so much that your periods become light or nonexistent, you may be endangering your bones. Amenorrhoea (lack of a period) means that little or no oestrogen is circulating in your body. Oestrogen is essential for the replacement of bone minerals. Amenorrhoeic women can stop
– but not reverse – the damage by taking oestrogen and getting plenty of calcium. If your periods are infrequent or nonexistent, consult your doctor.

Picture credit: Jupiter Images/Getty Images

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Discuss this article

I've been running for half a year, now, but I haven't had the guts to participate at a competition, because I'm afraid everyone else is better than me ... I am physically healthy, I've even had a tele radiology test last week to check myself. I should probably buy the book, reading usually gives me a lot of confidence.

Posted: 24/07/2013 at 14:19

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