Ladies..a question of hormones

I'd be interested to hear from the ladies on this forum about how your cycle affects your running, if at all? I find that mid cycle I feel so exhausted and the running a lot harder than any other time. Sorry if this is TMI for some but I think it would be interesting to see if there is a correlation betweens hormonal fluctuations and performance/energy levels


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  • I'd be interested in the answers too. Someone else posted a similar question a few days ago but only received two answers.

    I haven't been running long enough to spot a pattern yet but I did have my worst two runs at the time of my period. Don't know if that was coincidence or not - will monitor over the coming weeks.

  • Personally, I find there is definitely a correlation - but, to put that into perspective, I have been having various treatments for heavy periods over several years and have been anaemic at times because of that. You could try taking iron supplements and B-vitamins.

  • Hi Misstrolly

    I asked a similar question a few days ago as I suffer terribly with heavy, painful legs when I get hormonal. I was questioning whether I should go back to intervals rather than long runs on those weeks but I was advised to stick to the programme but consider slowing down and just taking it a bit easier if necessary.

    Earlier in the programme I found that I had to simply maintain whichever week I had got to and not try to move on until it had passed. Hope that helps?

  • 43 & on the pill to help with heavy periods. cant say that my time of the month effects my run, other than I seem to get really hot when running that week.

    maybe its cause my hormones are sort of regulated with the pill??

    good thing though. running makes my angry moments seem few & far between :)

  • I'm the opposite - mine have completely stopped which is a little worrying. But I don't know if the running has caused it as I've been doing it for over a year and this problem has only been the last few months. Still I'm not going to complain too much!

  • Maybe see a doctor Kate to put your mind at rest? X

  • agree with miss trolly see your Dr, if you not pregnant there might be an oestrogen problem it's called amenorrhoea (lack of a period) and it's not good for your bones

  • I'm definately not pregnant lol :D

    Eeek that doesn't sound nice! I just googled amenorrhoea and the NHS says to go to your doctor if it's been 6 months? So I guess I'll do that - you never know things may have righted themselves by then. Thanks for finding it out for me!

  • I just googled and came up with this thread on the runner's world forum, it seems there could be a link between mid cycle and quite noticable energy slumps..

  • Hi,

    Until three months ago I was suffering from the effects of the beginning of my menopause which affected my runs in that if I was having hot flushes I would get them really badly during my runs and would be 100% worse than usual. I've been put on the pill just to regulate things for six months as I was suffering horribly from the flushes and being up all night with sweats.

    Since then I haven't really noticed a correlation between bad runs and different parts of my cycle. I never want to go out if the a run co-incides with my first day but I will do it and usually find the idea is worse than the action and that the exercise gives me other aches and pains to focus on than my stomach/back etc.

    MIdcycle I have no idea. I have never charted it and I suppose I could with the Garmin stats and everything but to be honest, I tend to just get on with it. I guess if I was a very hormonal lady it would be a different matter, but apart from sore boobs which I get from midcycle, I've never really had any problems or pain till about 12 hours before the event.


  • I have been running reading again... :) apparently the hardest time for a woman to run fast is the week before your period starts, apparently levels of progesterone peak which can lead to a higher than normal breathing rate during exercise which makes it feel more difficult ( which explains a couple of my tough days )

  • I hadn't noticed, but now that you say it it makes sense, I really struggled last week and now I know why! thanks :)

  • Lol, in that week I don't just find running fast hard, any form of physical exercise, like walking, is significantly harder. I also find I am so damn clumsy in this week too, but as soon as I get my period I've got the lightning fast reactions of a (....something that's got good reactions). ;)

  • Oh the clumsiness! I bump into everything the week before and it's only when AF arrives that I realise what was going on!

  • One of the reasons i started running was because of the menopausal hot flushes which caused sleepless nights. Has really helped reduce the symptoms, help me stay asleep and get back to sleep.

  • Did you know that female mammals (not just women) eat more in the second half of their cycle? Women without PMS eat more of the same things, women with PMS go for fatty or sweet things.

    There must be a reason that the body needs the extra energy. I decided to be more relaxed about varying my calorie intake over the month and eating more carbs (in the form of wholegrains) in the second half seems to help me with the energy slumps.

  • Misstrolly I recently put all of this together as well. I had a rough week 3 and week 7...coincidence?! I think not they're about a month apart. From others in the forum and reading your thread I would assume that this has something to do with hormone levels in the body. Before I started running I used to notice my energy was zapped the week before my period and a few days into it but never thought about how it would effect my runs.

  • I definitely agree with the mid-cycle thing! I had a really bad run last week and actually had to keep stopping and I think being mid-cycle must've had something to do with this.

    At least next time, if I have to stop, then I perhaps won't be so upset about it now that I know that this could be a possible reason. Thanks for posting this. :-)

  • Must admit I hadn't really thought about this until I saw the question but last night I went out for the second time with the local women's group I've joined. I was really disappointed in my performance (5.7km in 42 mins) when I've been doing 6km in 40 mins recently. I also had to stop for 30 secs half way round for the first time since Laura's 'enforced' stops during week 6. Maybe it's not a coincidence that I was on day 2 of a heavy period. I don't suffer much with period pain but it probably does deplete the energy levels quite significantly, particularly as I get very hot flushes during the night. Will stop being annoyed about my time last night now :-)

    [Wonder what time Greg M will show up in this thread!?]

  • Yes, it all makes sense to me now (light bulb moment) I had really bad runs.....perhaps I should rephrase......last week and couldn't understand why I found it so difficult to keep going, only managed 24 minutes on the treadmill and had to stop, was really disappointed in myself. Now I can blame my cursed hormones ;)

    "Hi Greg M"!!!!;P)

  • My mood gets a tad angry a few days before mine starts which in the past would have resulted in me frantically cleaning the house or shouting at my boyfriend (he's long suffering poor thing) but going out for a run usually calms me down. During my cycle I'm ok apart from the first day when I need to curl up on the sofa and eat my weight in chocolate.

    God help any blokes that come across this thread!

  • Thank you for posting! I have found since running (8 weeks now) my weeks seem to blend into one another and my typical PMS symptoms aren't as well..not there anymore. I was surprised this month! My TMI question is when you do go out with a heavy flow, how do you keep everything "in place" and not shift?

  • Hadn't thought about this before, but now having the same lightbulb moment as Pat!

    My runs always go to pot the week leading up to my period..... even got calf cramp last time which has never happened before. And what makes it worse is that I'm always in a PMS bad mood, so beat myself up (not literally!) for not completing run.

    Boys never have these probs!

    Although I did see a bloke in very tight cycling shorts out running on Mon......he def had other things to worry about......

  • I do find strenuous physical activity hard in the lead-up to my period and on the first day - thanks for the explanation why, and I'm glad I'm not the only one who resorts to chocolate! I, too, suffer from clumsiness at this stage, and after nearly going over on my ankle a couple of weeks ago, I've decided to listen to my body and perhaps go back to the week 5 walk/run cycle whenever my period looms. Better that than risk a sprained ankle because my legs got too tired to keep me upright!

  • wow it's been great to hear all your experiences and thoughts. I've been thinking of taking some spatone iron water supplements during this heavy fatique time (every afternoon a real slump in energy...just want to go to sleep!) maybe they will help..?

  • After reading this thread I have just realised that I haven't had any night sweats for weeks now. They weren't really bad but they did wake me up. I'm not sure if they stop anyway and then return, but since I've started running they have stopped. :-)

  • Interesting reading this thread. I've just started week 4 and having irregular bleeding - anyone else found that when they first started - I haven't exercised for years.

  • Hi all, thanks to this thread I now feel normal! I'm mid cycle and have failed miserably at my wk9 run 2 runs. I was previously running 30 mins and enjoying it (apart from the struggle of the first 10 when I'm having to convince myself that I can make it and also tell myself no you really don't need to pee again as you've been twice already!) however, I've only managed two feeble 20 min runs (if you can call them that). My breathing was all over the place and I had the most horrid dragging sensation during the last 5 mins that I couldn't carry on as wanted to curl into a ball. I was the same last month as well and thought it was just me so now I've read this thread I know that it's normal and know to be easier on myself next time as I was beating myself up about it :D

  • Hi Ladies, I only just came upon this question. I am on week 5 and really enjoying the C25K.

    If you are having any irregular cycles please do see your GP and request/insist on a blood test to check your hormone levels.

    I am a member of the Daisy Network, a support charity of Premature Ovarian Insufficiency / Failure or also referred to as Premature Menopause. See our website for more info:

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