Women: how do your hormones effect your running performance?

I seem to get a real physical depression for a few days each month, which I really struggle through - my mood is low and my body just feels heavy and everything is more effort. I experienced the effect of this on my run this morning, but pushed through and felt please that I got through: feeling challenged, but successful. However I have felt shattered all day, whereas usually the morning run gives me lots of energy and stamina for the day.

Does anyone else experience anything similar? Has this improved if you've been running for a while? What do you do to cope with it?

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  • Hi BeckL , yes I can relate to this :-) I have suffered from depression and anxiety all my life. I also used to suffer terrible PMT, stomach cramps and really bad headaches and a general feeling of "Meh "

    I have only been following this programme for 8 weeks and I can honestly say that yes, I do feel so much better. I don't feel as anxious as I used to , and I hardly had any PMT symptoms at all this time, must be something to do with all the endorphins or whatever it is they are called :-)

    So, yes, I would say that this is another benefit of this programme, and whilst I don't actually jump out of bed every morning, singing "ZIP A DEE DOODAH " I do seem to feel much more confident about facing the day ahead .

    I am definitely going to stick with it, it has given me a sense of purpose and I really enjoy it - which is 99% of the battle I think.

    Good luck and best wishes to you :-) xxx

  • Ha, ha "ZIP A DEE DOODAH " - it always makes me laugh for some reason :-) xxx

  • Great post and I totally understand where you're coming from especially your comment re. sense of purpose. I have felt much happier & more positive since I began my running journey & OH has commented on this too that I'm easier to live with so stick at. X

  • I think I have this! Problem is I have no TOTM due to the pill I'm on. I think I may start logging to see of there is a pattern. As for coping. Just kick your but out the door and go for it! That's what I'll be doing in the morning!

    S X

  • Yes, me too, I feel pretty shitty for a week. I feel fat, heavy, bloated, lethargic and generally anxious. In fact, anxiety is often the first sign I notice that my peruod is due in about a week. Some months it's not too bad and I cope fine. Other months I feel really out of kilter, snapping away at everyone - even myself.

    Running is just the only thing that makes sense at that time. It keeps me sane. Just!

  • Yep, me too. Quite often I don't recognise what it is to begin with as I had a hysterectomy a few years ago, but with my ovaries remaining to swing me high and low! These days (in the 'change') these mood/physical swings appear to come at any time along with thinking I can't run both physically and mentally. Felt I had a particularly bad run last weekend whilst running a 5k similar to the Parkruns (timed with other people), Just trudged through thinking I just had to get it over however slow (I had dropped out without doing the 2nd lap about 3 weeks earlier and could not bring myself to face it again - another awful run) but later in the day when the times were posted I had a 30 second PB! So I would suggest that when you graduate that you on occassion do some timed runs as you may be performing much better then you think and this will please you no end as well as giving those endorphins a chance to work. Keep going and good luck!

  • Sounds like a perfect description of me and the exact reason why I returned to running over a two year absence!

    I keep a running log mainly to note how I feel before, during and after a run because when I'm sat there with a face as long as a long-thing I like to be able to look through and see that I rarely come back in a worse mood than when I went out. The pace, times and distance that I also record act as a motivation to quantify that I am getting better at running as well even when I feel the "who do I think I am, thinking that I can enter 5k runs and get round."

    I like to acknowledge that it happens, recognise that it's not permanent and I know that I will start to feel 'normal' again after about four/five days, make sure that my close family know that it's nothing personal and then hope that the menopause is not far off!!!

    Good luck!

  • It's good to read other people's thoughts on this and I hope you will continue with your running. Some days I feel more tired than others especially later in the day. Try & remember the good feeling afterwards that you got out the front door & did it! That alone is an achievement in my books. The tiredness may be normal but also make sure you have eaten enough & not low on iron, perhaps a check with the doc if you're still concerned. Good luck. X

  • Oh I soooo know what you mean! I am right in the middle of feeling down, plain awful,snappy, sarcastic and generally low,teary and mega heavy and its heartbreaking at times. Where has the real me gone?? I have been feeling so low this week and my life is lovely so it feels so ungrateful to feel this way. Anyway I am just off out for my Wk6 Run 2 so I am hoping it'll lift me a bit (it usually does). It really helps to know that other ladies out there experience this too as it does help to know you are not alone. Lets all keep smiling (even through gritted teeth at times!!) , keep running and we will get through it! All the best with your running plan and thank you for posting a great topic. Luv n stuff Lou xxxx

  • Hi Lou - i get the same thing - my life is pretty much great, but it all falls apart for a few days a month: it's so unfair we have to go through it, isn't it?! I think running is the answer - even though it can be hard to push through it, it seems worth it, from what everyone is saying.

    It's funny, but I've tried googling this kind of thing and there seems very little info about it: does it get worse as we get older (but pre-menopause)? Is it worse because I'm 38 and haven't had kids?

    I'm glad this thread has enabled us to share that we're not alone going through this :)

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