Lattice Blog

How to Track Your Menstrual Cycle for Training for Climbing

Coach Maddy explains how to track your menstrual cycle with training for climbing in mind!

How much does the menstrual cycle affect performance? The answer is… we don’t know. Research in the area is varied and inconclusive.

There’s also a lot of variation from person-to-person. So the best way to figure out how your menstrual cycle may affect your performance is tracking!

Then, you can figure out how to modify your training around your cycle…

What to Track

  1. Record cycle dates, including the days of menstruation and flow – when you know your typical cycle length, you can recognise any changes which may be a sign of changes to levels of energy, restfulness or stress.
  1. Any symptoms – there’s a long list of symptoms you may experience, it’s normal to experience any number of symptoms. In regards to training, you could include things like changes in motivation, levels of fatigue, rating of perceived effort, etc.
  1. Any ‘change to plan’ – this is where you decided to do something other than what you had planned. (E.g. you planned to do a hard bouldering session, but after warming up, decided to do some basic conditioning). This could be due to any reason, not necessarily your menstrual cycle. Take note of the reason; initially, this is about gathering information, so you can later reflect and spot links to your cycle.

How to Track

  1. Calendar
  2. Training diary or journal
  3. App (be aware that exercise recommendations on apps are not climbing specific and that they may have notifications that you can disable)

Final Thoughts

  • Do this for 3-6 months – this helps you establish a pattern. You may find that your experience is a bit different cycle-to-cycle.
  • Remember, certain symptoms (such as fatigue, reduced concentration or sleep disturbance) can be caused by a range of things. A repeating pattern of symptoms in line with your cycle dates helps to attribute the symptoms, but there are many causes.
  • Climbers track many things when it comes to training, and your cycle should be treated the same way. You should remain an ‘interested observer’. Keep your tracking objective and simple, it’s just a date on the calendar. If you can, try to avoid overthinking and checking too regularly.

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2 responses to “How to Track Your Menstrual Cycle for Training for Climbing

  1. This is tagged as ‘menopause’ but doesn’t seem to say anything on that subject. It would be useful to hear more about training during and after menopause. At the moment climbing through menopause is falling between 2 stools – your blogs on older climbers are basically only about men, and the ones about women are focused on those who are young. I am in my 40s and this is an issue for many of my climber friends now. Some (e.g. a friend who had breast cancer) are many years postmenopause. Loss of muscle and bone density occur in menopause, often combined with more abdominal fat, so we need good training advice more than ever!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate that we have a lot of content to sift through on our blog and the content you were looking could be improved in how searchable it is. We do try our best to provide as much free training advice to our community as we can and continue to strive to speak to industry experts and develop our internal knowledge so that we can extend the advice to as many climbers as possible.

      To help you whilst we review our tags and work on more free content, here is some previous articles and podcasts you might be interested in:

      Hormones and our human potential with Dr Nicky Keay –
      Sport Physiology and Menstruation with Stacy Simms –
      Perimenopause and Post Menopause: Q&A and Discussion –

      Blog articles:
      Female Climber Series: Perimenopause and Menopause –
      Female Climber Series: The Menopause, Part 1 –
      Female Climber Series: The Menopause, Part 2 –

      I hope you can find some helpful take aways there for your own training 🙂

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