How the pros handle training during their period

How the reigning 200m world champion trains through her period

February 16th, 2020 by | Posted in Training | Tags: , , , , ,

Women have a bigger presence in sport than ever before and Dina Asher Smith, the reigning 200m world champion, is using her platform to discuss a topic that was once taboo–a woman’s period and its possible training implications.

RELATED: The birth control pill: what runners need to know

Women’s experience while training with their periods varies enormously from person to person. While some women find themselves needing to take time away from sport, others barely notice a change in their bodies. If you’re someone who has struggled while training through your period, Asher-Smith has some good advice.

How Asher-Smith trains through her period

  1. Let your coach (and physiotherapist, chiropractor or strength coach) know that you’re on your period.
  2. Asher-Smith’s back tends to get sore, so she ensures that her physiotherapist doesn’t do intense work if she’s already in pain.
  3. Communication is key. Usually coaches and trainers will know what to do to help, but they can only help if they know what’s going on.
  4. Don’t lift heavy if you’re already sore (Asher-Smith adjusts her strength program during her period).
  5. Listen to your own body and adjust training accordingly.
  6. Remember that it’s not a big deal, half the world deals with the same thing every month.

Advice from the scientists

Kristy Sale is an exercise physiologist with a focus on female physiology. She acknowledged on Twitter last week that more research is needed in this area (something she’s personally working to move forward). In the meantime, her best advice for women training through their period is to listen to their bodies and make reasonable adjustments where necessary (and also to keep in mind that everyone’s body is different).

Sale also gave Asher-Smith a shout out, endorsing the sprinter’s approach to training on her period.

RELATED: WATCH: Gwen Jorgensen on periods and competition