Female Climber Series: Young Climbers & Menstrual Cycles
YOUNG CLIMBERS… Starting your period and getting to grips with your menstrual cycle can come with its challenges.
You may find it affects some areas of your climbing or training, or it may cause changes in mood and motivation. It’s important to recognise this so that you can feel informed rather than frustrated.
Here are some tips for managing your cycle when it is new to you!
Track your period, this will allow you to notice patterns in your cycle and your mindset and different stages. You may notice that you experience certain symptoms at similar stages in each cycle such as changes in energy levels or motivation. This will allow you to be objective and either make adjustments or reframe sessions at certain times. If you work with a coach, this is something that they can help with!
2- Structure your training
Structuring your training based on your cycle and how you feel at different stages could help you get the most out of your climbing. It may be that you try and focus on sessions you enjoy most when your motivation is lower, or focus on lower intensity sessions if you feel lower energy or have cramps!
3 – Preparing for competitions
If you compete then you will not be able to choose when your competitions are scheduled! If you do experience symptoms with your cycle, experiment with ways to mitigate them before competition season. This could be anything from finding a good warm up routine, trying different sanitary products, or different pain relief strategies.
4 – Communicate
Communicating about the menstrual cycle (either as a junior or as a coach) may feel uncomfortable at first (although we know it shouldn’t be). Find a way of sharing information that works for everyone. It may be that using a shared spreadsheet is a good way to communicate cycle dates and symptoms to start with.
If you found this useful, don’t forget to scroll through the rest of our blog, as we have loads more information on the menstrual cycle, and how to get the most out of your training and climbing.
Thanks for reading!