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Periods and training
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Does anyone experience terrible fatigue (more than normal) in the weeks leading up to a period?

I've been training as usual but I've noticed that in the 1-2 weeks leading up to my last period, I've been extremely tired. I would go into a session tired, feel sluggish, not be able to push as hard and even coffee afterwards doesn't really help to perk me up.

I'm just wondering if it's just me being a wuss (very likely too) or if there really is some correlation between fatigue and getting your period.

Thanks.
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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In the few days before, yes - I definitely feel fatigue more. I wouldn't say it's more than a week, though.

Have you had iron levels checked?

__________________________________________________________
ill advised racing inc.
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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I'm definitely more tired for up to a week before my period. I'm not smart enough to recognize/remember it though, so when my period starts I have an "ah ha" moment.
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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There are times right before my period starts (within 48 hours) that fatigue doesn't begin to cover it. I have to miss work because I am not strong enough to get out of bed. Going to the bathroom literally requires a recovery nap.

However, you are talking about "weeks" of feeling this way. The timing seems to correspond more to ovulation. Could it be ovarian cysts?
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Re: Periods and training [happyscientist] [ In reply to ]
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I definitely feel more fatigue but this sounds long (disclaimer: I am not a doctor). I have had previous issues with my vitamin B12 levels going rock bottom when i am training for a long event.

Might be a good idea to get some bloodwork done to rule out other issues
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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I kind of have the opposite. The week+ leading up to my period is often my fastest and strongest... if I can motivate myself to get my butt off the couch. I lose the fire in my belly during the week leading up to my period and my productivity tanks - I don't feel like doing anything... work, workout, cook, clean (actually, never motivated for that one), bathe, shop, talk, move...... I'm fortunate that my husband pretty much grabs me by the ear and hands me my shoes and says "let's go..." Once on my feet I can power through the workout and I'm always surprised at how well I perform. The rest of the month is no problem. I'm not saying you have a motivation problem. I'm just sharing my version - my motivation is affected, but I'm not fatigued or sluggish. :-) Hormones are so strange.

I do eat a lot of iron rich food and go crazy with veggies and micro-nutrients and I have noticed a major difference in my overall energy level. I'd suggest picking off the easy suspects (iron, micro-nutrients, sleep, etc.) and if you can't self-correct the issue then definitely blood work.

Just don't quit. Or give up. Or any variation of this. And you are hardly a wuss.

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Born a swimmer, borrowed a bike, laced up some runners, and the rest just fell into place for a solid MOP life.
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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Yep. Day or two before it begins to day 1 of my period I feel like crap. Usually leading up to those days I'm feeling great. After about 5 years of noticing it I finally started tracking it. Sometimes I rearrange workouts to avoid trying do ride long when I know I'll feel like shit after 45 minutes. But at least tracking it I know why I'm feeling like crap. Bonus easy days is what I get. I'm ok with that.
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Re: Periods and training [GhiaGirl] [ In reply to ]
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Yep x2. Day 1 and day 2 often suck. I just go with it... basically it means I'll run abysmally slowly for the same perceived exertion. It just is what it is. If I'm feeling like complete kack, I might take the day off (rarely though).

http://must-be-half-crazy.blogspot.ca/
Supported by: Britannia Chiropractic Clinic | Team Nuun 2017
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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definitely yes, as for me i can't train during my periods. it;s too painful and exhausting
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, up to a week prior and this is fairly new for me over the last year, as are hot flashes around this time too. Turned 45 this summer, doc says peri-menopause.

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Twitter: @jayasports
Web: http://www.jayasports.com

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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks y'all. Past few periods have been uneventful - yay! - guess eating right and getting enough rest in does count.

Good streak. Period hit me today though and I managed a 1km swim before I had to haul myself out of the water. Cramps, backache, you name it! Figured I'd can my recovery swim today and rest up for tomorrow's long swim.
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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There is actually a lot of new research and information coming out about how women can train more effectively based on their hormonal cycles. We now know that there is an optimal time of your cycle to do high intensity workouts, rest and endurance. If you are paying attention to the cycle you may no longer have the same issues with fatigue and even train better. There is a woman, Jessica Drummond of Integrative Women's Health Institute that knows a lot about this and can really help you!

Iron and ovarian cysts have already been mentioned and are good to have checked out. Vitamin D is another panel that could be helpful.

I am a PT in Atlanta that treats primarily triathletes and runners and this is a very common issue!! Hope it helps

Dr. Kate Mihevc Edwards PT, DPT, OCS
Owner, Precision Performance and Physical Therapy
http://www.PrecisionPT.org
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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this actually makes total sense based on your hormones. the two weeks leading into your period are the luteal phase, where estrogen is rising. a quick summary of some of the changes that happen: decrease in blood plasma volume means less water in the blood, which increases your risk for hyponatremia (dehydration), and results in an increase in core body temperature. most importantly, your body spares carbohydrates, meaning that it won't use them as easily for fuel, and makes it harder to hit higher intensities. the best way to deal with this is to increase carbohydrate intake, make sure you are drinking enough (don't rely just on thirst), and slightly increase sodium intake
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Re: Periods and training [kristenm] [ In reply to ]
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kristenm wrote:
this actually makes total sense based on your hormones. the two weeks leading into your period are the luteal phase, where estrogen is rising. a quick summary of some of the changes that happen: decrease in blood plasma volume means less water in the blood, which increases your risk for hyponatremia (dehydration), and results in an increase in core body temperature. most importantly, your body spares carbohydrates, meaning that it won't use them as easily for fuel, and makes it harder to hit higher intensities. the best way to deal with this is to increase carbohydrate intake, make sure you are drinking enough (don't rely just on thirst), and slightly increase sodium intake

So... Can we talk about this? If armed with enough information I should be able to figure this out and calendar my food and water month, right? I have a Garmin smart scale and I know my cycle.

Today my scale told me:
Weight 153.1
BMI 23.2
Body fat 27.8%
Body water 52.7%
Skeletal muscle mass 51.4
Bone mass 7.0

FYI race weight is 145....

I'm 5'8"
I'm on day 17 of a 28 day cycle

Ok. I admit. I don't know where to go from here. But this is the "not hungry" week that I have every month. Next week I'll eat everything in sight. The flow week will be angry tummy. The week after I am chasing salts and carbs. I have an app that I track all this in. I'm hitting around 9 hours of training a week, I peak at around 12 hours and rest weeks are around 6 hours.

How do I figure myself out? Keep in mind I'm a f/mop, no coach, used TT bike that is... aged, my cleats are 14 years old, and I stop and smell the flowers sometimes. Been at Tri on and off for 25 years (more on than off). But, I'm an exceptionally healthy eater. Where do I start if I want to dial in nutrition and routine? Especially during the "eat everything in sight" week?

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Born a swimmer, borrowed a bike, laced up some runners, and the rest just fell into place for a solid MOP life.
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Re: Periods and training [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
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i'm not a nutritionist or anything, I have just been reading books/articles on women's nutrition as I think there are differences between men and women and we can enhance our performance by working with our bodies.

"this is the "not hungry" week that I have every month"- Are you fueling training properly? If so, then I don't think there is really an issue. As long as you are eating enough that your body doesn't think it is going into starvation mode, your hormones (most importantly cortisol) will remain relatively stable.

"Next week I'll eat everything in sight" - This could be a nutrient issue, although I think most of us experience an increase in hunger the week before our period starts. Magnesium is especially important (the majority of the population is deficient). I take a supplement as I don't eat enough of the foods that contain good amounts of magnesium. It is also important to get enough carbs at this time because our hormones (estrogen) are high and this causes our body to spare the carbs. Eating carbs makes it easier for our bodies to burn fat as well.

"The flow week will be angry tummy"- not entirely sure what this means. Sometimes we can get an overabundance of hormones/chemicals in our system which leads to diarrhea and other unpleasant issues- I don't know what the solution to that is. If it is cramps that are causing the problems then you can try taking magnesium/white willow bark or baby aspirin/ and omega 3 fatty acids the week before your period starts.

"The week after I am chasing salts and carbs"- I haven't found anything on this, so can't help.

I hope some of that can help you.
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Re: Periods and training [Kmihevc] [ In reply to ]
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Just curious, if I know my period is going to coincide with a race and I start on pills to delay this. Does this mean I'm going to be feeling like I'm on the luteal phase?

What are the best strategies to manage periods + racing?

Being a gal is tough! =)
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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racing on your period, apart from inconveniences, is actually very beneficial. hormones are lowest at this time, making us "most like a man"- as long as you are not hindered by serious cramps i would not do anything to change your cycle for race day. taking oral contraceptives puts you in a high hormone (luteal) phase, which is actually worst for performance. if you are still going to go this route, you need to be extra careful of carb intake- ie. make sure you get a lot. probably more than you would normally eat. you would also need to be extra careful of hydration, as in the high hormone phase the blood plasma volume drops (essentially, less water in the blood), which makes you more prone to dehydration and hyponatremia (not enough sodium)
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Re: Periods and training [kristenm] [ In reply to ]
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kristenm wrote:
"Next week I'll eat everything in sight" - This could be a nutrient issue, although I think most of us experience an increase in hunger the week before our period starts. Magnesium is especially important (the majority of the population is deficient). I take a supplement as I don't eat enough of the foods that contain good amounts of magnesium. It is also important to get enough carbs at this time because our hormones (estrogen) are high and this causes our body to spare the carbs. Eating carbs makes it easier for our bodies to burn fat as well.
This is so timely for me. I have hypothyroidism and my doctors have told me over and over again my thyroid levels (after checking only one thing!) are fine and were starting to recommend antidepressants. Recently I ran into an old friend who also has hypothyroidism, and she said she takes magnesium now because lo and behold, magnesium is what helps make usable thyroid hormones in your body!

Re: periods, I just stopped taking the pill and got an IUD. I can report back in a few months if my training improves. =)

http://mediocremultisport.blogspot.com
Res firma mitescere nescit.
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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In my study of n=1 subjects (ahem), I found that the pill really decreased my energy levels and interfered with my training. I have very bad adverse reactions to the progestins levonorgestrel and norelgestromin, so I started a drospirinone product to regulate my periods, which are heavy and all over the calendar thanks to perimenopause. After about a month or two, I noticed that I had low energy and my runs were slowing, but I was training for a HIM and an ultra, so I assumed I was overtrained. I cut back on training and increased my iron consumption (red meat and leafy greens). After a couple months, my energy still didn't come back, so I went off the pill. Within about two weeks, my energy levels were back up to normal. It is quite the dilemma--low energy or bleeding like I have been stabbed at random intervals. Ah, the joys of womanhood!

YMMV.
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Re: Periods and training [hokeypokey] [ In reply to ]
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I just wanted to thank everyone for offering their insight and posting about their personal experiences. After a few episodes of unexplained fatigue and inability to hit my heart rate targets this season, I'll be tracking my cycle more closely next year to see if there are any noticeable patterns beyond just feeling crappy when I get my period.

http://must-be-half-crazy.blogspot.ca/
Supported by: Britannia Chiropractic Clinic | Team Nuun 2017
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Re: Periods and training [surroundhound] [ In reply to ]
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surroundhound wrote:
I just wanted to thank everyone for offering their insight and posting about their personal experiences. After a few episodes of unexplained fatigue and inability to hit my heart rate targets this season, I'll be tracking my cycle more closely next year to see if there are any noticeable patterns beyond just feeling crappy when I get my period.

Stacy Sims (formerly of Osmo Nutrition and "Women are not small men") has a newish book out called Roar that talks a lot about training and eating as women with consideration to the hormonal fluctuations of women (including pre and post menopausal). She is a PhD and spent her time studying this, lots of good info to check out if you want to read more.
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Re: Periods and training [pdizzle] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you for the reference! I'll definitely check that out.

http://must-be-half-crazy.blogspot.ca/
Supported by: Britannia Chiropractic Clinic | Team Nuun 2017
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