I’m sure that got your attention, but I mean this metaphorically, of course.
As some of you may know, I recently held a seminar at ETPA – “The Effect of Female Hormones on Sports Performance” discussing this crucial, but often neglected area for females in sport. My knowledge and interest in this area has enabled me to personally maintain a long successful experience in endurance sport, and professionally help other high performance athletes in what is often the missing link in their sports performance.
And it makes sense that it’s not mentioned, considering that most sports research has been performed on males, most coaches are male, and most ground level experience has been on male athletes, let alone how many of us feel comfortable talking about our period to our coaches, and vice-versa? Hence the title of this post.
With female participation in sport on the rise, we are seeing the fall-out of training females the same as males. A media-worthy example of this is in women’s AFL, which saw 6 ACL ruptures in the first 4 weeks of the 2017 8-week season.
Last week I attended a guest lecture at La Trobe University “Women’s Health in Sport” held by Dr. Georgie Bruinvels. Herself an accomplished athlete, she’s heading some great research in this area for elite sports performance company Orreco, which boasts elite and professional clients in all sports disciplines. While my mission is described in the title of this article, Georgie’s is to “Make the unmentionable (menstruation) mentionable”. It’s great to see that this concept is finally being addressed at the top level.
It provided a great opportunity to connect with other like-minded people in health and sport, but what was clear was that more research needs to be done in order to provide solid, evidenced-based recommendations for female athletes, and their coaches, which is an area I am certainly interested in pursuing.
What does this all mean for us female triathletes?
With our often high training volumes, fit in around already busy lives, periodising training to our menstrual cycles is crucial, otherwise we risk injury, stress fractures, under-performance and burnout, amongst others.
And we all personally know examples of these.
If you’ve experienced fluctuations in training and performance, or seem to be recurrently tired, sore, sick or injured, it maybe due to the hormones of your menstrual cycle.
My upcoming post “Get on Track” explains how to start to piece together this puzzle.
Dr. Carolyn Bosak (Tonelli) – AKA ‘Crazy Doc’ balances (at least tries to) being a GP, wife, mother and triathlete