Female Climber Series: Late Luteal Phase, PMS & Tracking
The late luteal phase is the phase we often associate with PMS symptoms, and can be framed as the “lesser” phase when it comes to performance.
Tracking is a great way to understand how we feel during this phase BUT, this doesn’t mean we should let a previous experience dictate how we will feel or perform in later cycles. There is a balance between being prepared and making adjustments, and checking in with how you feel in the moment.
~ Photo by Andy Day
Not every cycle is the same! I have noticed that my symptoms change between when I am training and when I am outdoors climbing. When we are training we really push our bodies in order to adapt, but when we are redpointing or looking to climb our best outside we often focus more on recovery (as well as get a better dose of vitamin D!).
I have found that my water retention, sleep, and mood are better when I am well recovered and spending a lot more time outside.
This is my personal experience and may not be the same for everyone, but these are the things I have learnt:
– Be flexible.
If I am outdoors, feeling well recovered, and not suffering from my usual PMS symptoms, I choose to push myself – I don’t change anything!
If I am outdoors, but experiencing PMS symptoms I might choose to do slightly easier climbing, use more mental strategies, or spend more time getting my body warm and my mind in the right mindset. Keeping a curious mindset during this time really helps.
~ Photo by Jacopo Larcher
– Also, when I track I am careful to ask myself honestly how I feel, and think about any reasons **other** than my cycle phase that may lead to a reduced performance.
– When I am training and building more fatigue I experience more symptoms, so I look to deload during this time, spend more time warming up, and use this time to focus on climbing efficiency.