Running On Your Period: Everything You Need to Know
Whether you’re training for a marathon or doing your weekly Park Run, starting your period can make you feel like you’ve been thrown off track. There’s also many reasons why we’d rather not exercise during menstruation, from feeling fatigued and grumpy to cramps and heavy flows, it can be an effort just to get out of bed, let alone tackle a 5k. However, exercising on your period can do wonders for mood & overall wellbeing and there’s plenty of activities that you can do safely.
So, if you’re concerned about how your menstrual cycle may affect your running routine and want to know all about running on your period you’re in the right place…
Is Running Good for You During Your Period?
Sticking with your running routine whilst on your period can alleviate some of the symptoms that go with menstruation, the released endorphins can relieve cramps & back pain and help your mood. Running during your period may also increase blood circulation, this promotes oxygen flow & can help minimise bloating.
Does Running Help Period Cramps?
Yes, all because of those wonderful endorphins that get released during exercise, many find that they help alleviate period cramps and act as a natural painkiller.
Can Running Cause Bleeding Between Periods?
Ever finished an intense workout and discovered blood in your wee? This can be alarming, especially when you know your period isn’t due and may cause you to panic about potential health complications. Fortunately, most cases of blood in urine post-workout - AKA exercise-induced hematuria - are minor. Many will find that blood in their urine will go away on its own, however it’s always important to alert your doctor to any changes out of your norm to rule out any serious potential conditions.
Bright red spotting outside of your menstrual cycle and after exercising can be a sign that your workout has triggered breakthrough bleeding. This can occur for a number of reasons, from increased pressure on the abdomen to hormonal irregularities.
FYI - people who don’t menstruate and men are just as likely to develop brown discolouration if they are exercising extremely.
Can Running Stop Your Period?
In general, exercise is wonderful for you. However, there is evidence that if you exercise too much there’s the potential to cause a condition known as amenorrhea AKA the absence of periods. This happens as a result of loss of body fat and an overproduction of hormones such as endorphins, which can cause a cycle to occur less frequently or not at all.
Whilst not having to deal with your period sounds great, amenorrhea can have serious long-term effects for your health & ability to exercise. As always, consult your doctor before embarking on an aggressive or intense exercise regime with no prior training or build-up, pacing yourself is important.
Your period is a good indicator of how well your body is handling the stress of training. Losing your period altogether could indicate that you need to address your training routine, increase your fuel or even cut back. However, it’s important to note that there’s plenty of reasons that people experience amenorrhea such as stress, nutrition, medication or extreme exercise, so don’t prematurely point the finger at your running routine.
If your period does stop, make sure to book an appointment with a doctor.
Tips for Running During Your Period
Keeping yourself hydrated is important on any run but when you’re on your period it’s even more important. Ensure you’re replacing your fluid before, during & after runs, however whilst you’re running as a general rule drink 120-180ml of water every 20 minutes.
If you’re keen to pound the pavement during your period, take a slower pace than normal and ensure you rest well in between sessions. We’d also recommend taking a rest day during your period so your body has a chance to pause.
Do Your Stretches Before & After
It’s always important to stretch before and after a run to avoid injury, however when you’re on your period some dynamic stretches can also double up and help alleviate period cramps. Win-win!
Prep Your Running Outfit
Depending on your period care preference, it can help to have your training outfit ready to go. Choosing the right period care, whether that’s a cup or pants or pads or tampons, can help you feel supported & protected whilst you’re hitting the ground.
Remember to Breathe
A no-brainer, but remember to remind yourself to breathe through both your mouse & nose to take in as much oxygen as possible.
Too Painful? Try Something Else
If clocking up the miles is too painful, why not try a gentler form of exercise? Something like yoga or swimming can be just as effective & satisfying.
What Should I Wear When I’m Running On My Period?
It’s all down to choice really and works best for you and your body. Here’s a run down of each type of period care and how it may or may not work for you…
Pads are great for short runs and any one who doesn’t like the idea of period care that requires insertion, however some may find them to be unsupportive, visible if you’re only wearing leggings and chaffing may be an issue if it’s hot.
Tampons are perfect if you only run in leggings as there’s no chance of seeing an outline. Much like pads, they’re a single use form of period care (however, unlike mainstream brands, our organic cotton pads & tampons biodegrade in just 18 months!)
Just like tampons, menstrual cups are a form of insertion period care, so perfect if you fear showing off, the nüdie cup is fully flexible so you won’t even know you’re wearing it, plus it holds more menstrual fluid than a tampon. Even better, menstrual cups are reusable so there’s zero waste here!
Working just like your regular underwear, period pants are another form of reusable period care so they’re ideal for the eco-conscious. However, if you’re not a fan of VPL, you may want to layer something over your capris.
Got more questions about running on your period? Drop us a message email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help!