Running Tips for Females

Running Tips for Females

Embarking on a journey towards becoming a better runner involves more than just putting one foot in front of the other. Understanding how the menstrual cycle influences female athletes, specifically in the world of running, can help unlock the door to peak performance.


Research suggests that the best time of the month to push endurance training is when estrogen levels are high. This phase typically occurs during the follicular phase, which starts on the first day of menstruation and lasts until ovulation. Elevated estrogen levels are associated with increased muscle glycogen storage, improved muscle repair, and enhanced aerobic efficiency, making it an opportune time to tackle longer distances and intensify training efforts!

On the other hand, during week 3 and 4 of your menstrual cycle is when progesterone is the highest. Progesterone acts on a part of your brain called the hypothalamus, which controls your body's thermostat. With progesterone in charge, your body's "set-point" temperature goes up meaning that your body needs to get hotter before it starts cooling itself down through sweating. Hydration is key during this time! Before, during, and after your run, make sure to drink plenty of water.

Moreover, running isn't just a physical activity—it's also a tool for managing premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Studies have shown that engaging in regular exercise, particularly endurance activities like running, can help reduce PMS symptoms such as mood swings, bloating, and cramping. Recreational runners have been found to experience shorter and less irregular menstrual cycles, as well as reduced menstrual bleeding compared to non-exercisers.

In conclusion, embracing the connection between our menstrual cycle and running is not just about optimizing performance; it's about empowering ourselves as female athletes. By understanding the ebbs and flows of estrogen and progesterone, we can tailor our training to work with our bodies, not against them.


Carmichael MA, Thomson RL, Moran LJ, Wycherley TP. The Impact of Menstrual Cycle Phase on Athletes' Performance: A Narrative Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(4):1667. Published 2021 Feb 9. doi:10.3390/ijerph18041667.

Witkoś J, Hartman-Petrycka M. The Female Athlete Triad-the impact of running and type of diet on the regularity of the menstrual cycle assessed for recreational runners. PeerJ. 2022;10:e12903. Published 2022 Mar 2. doi:10.7717/peerj.12903.

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