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Running issues specific to women

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  • 12-06-2019 12:49pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,044 ✭✭✭


    I've noticed there seems to be more women around this forum in the last while so thought it was time for a thread that we can talk about issues specific to women involved in running/athletics.

    It can be anything from menstrual cycle, running while pregnant/breastfeeding/menopausal, sports bras/gear, safety while running to the best type of fake tan for marathon running (although that may not be just for women!)

    It doesn't have to be a women only thread, anyone is welcome to contribute but let's try and keep it about women.

    OK I'll start,

    Huzzah recently posted a link to a podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ep-22-optimizing-physiology-with-stacy-sims/id1435395422?i=1000440461735
    which I found fascinating and really reminded me how different women are physiologically from men. Plans that have been developed over the years for men may not work for women. The menstrual cycle plays such an important role in women's training so it's vital for coaches to know what's happening with their female athletes cycle to optomise training.

    I'm going to start tracking my cycle with my training. Does anyone do this already and if so how? I've just installed the fitr women app which tracks cycles and links to strava. I've no idea how it works but I'll try it for a while!

    I've also just ordered Stacy Sims book so will report back once I've read it.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,799 ✭✭✭Huzzah!


    chickey2 wrote: »
    I've noticed there seems to be more women around this forum in the last while so thought it was time for a thread that we can talk about issues specific to women involved in running/athletics.

    It can be anything from menstrual cycle, running while pregnant/breastfeeding/menopausal, sports bras/gear, safety while running to the best type of fake tan for marathon running (although that may not be just for women!)

    It doesn't have to be a women only thread, anyone is welcome to contribute but let's try and keep it about women.

    OK I'll start,

    Huzzah recently posted a link to a podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ep-22-optimizing-physiology-with-stacy-sims/id1435395422?i=1000440461735
    which I found fascinating and really reminded me how different women are physiologically from men. Plans that have been developed over the years for men may not work for women. The menstrual cycle plays such an important role in women's training so it's vital for coaches to know what's happening with their female athletes cycle to optomise training.

    I'm going to start tracking my cycle with my training. Does anyone do this already and if so how? I've just installed the fitr women app which tracks cycles and links to strava. I've no idea how it works but I'll try it for a while!

    I've also just ordered Stacy Sims book so will report back once I've read it.

    It seems to be an option on Garmin Connect also.

    Great idea for a thread. Thanks, C.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭HelenAnne


    Nice idea for a thread!

    I'm sure everyone's already seen this one (I know it's not the same thing exactly, but there might be some conversation-sparkers):

    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2057839054

    Re tracking periods etc, Fair Game, the Irish podcast about women's sport, had a good episode about that really recently:

    https://podcasts.apple.com/ie/podcast/37-periods-and-menstrual-health-for-athletes/id1085165074?i=1000436609077


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,576 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard


    I've been on the Pill for approximately a zillion years (and very happily too) so no cycle issues here. For sure my biggest issue is the boob one. I have relatively big ones on a small enough frame (DDs, 5' 7", size 8/10) and decent sports bras are the holy grail for me. Good ones are so frickin expensive.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭HelenAnne


    Another woman-specific thing I'd love to know / chat about is what we should be expecting of ourselves, pacewise / strengthwise compared to men.

    I'm always disappointed in myself when men beat me in races (I don't mean when the male winner of the whole race beats me, I mean men I train with etc).
    On the one hand, I know we shouldn't put limits on ourselves, we should just try to beat EVERYONE (& there are loads of women who do beat most of the men!), but on the other hand, I sometimes feel really jealous of how quickly men who take up running can improve. I can think of a few in my own club who I used to battle with in races, and then they started running more, or started doing speed sessions ... and left me for dust!

    I know that's nature for you, but does anyone else ever feel jealous of their giant lungs and hearts and greater muscle mass :)

    ETA: I realised that this makes it sound like I'm making this all about men. Sorry! All my future posts / queries will be about definitely female-specific things! Feel free to ignore this post.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭HelenAnne


    Dial Hard wrote: »
    I've been on the Pill for approximately a zillion years (and very happily too) so no cycle issues here. For sure my biggest issue is the boob one. I have relatively big ones on a small enough frame (DDs, 5' 7", size 8/10) and decent sports bras are the holy grail for me. Good ones are so frickin expensive.

    There was just a great article about how important a good sports bra is in today's Guardian!

    https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2019/jun/12/lifting-the-cup-why-sports-bras-are-the-stars-of-the-summer

    I'd agree it's an issue! Finding a good one isn't an issue for me (barely a B cup), but I wouldn't run without one!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,576 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard


    HelenAnne wrote:
    There was just a great article about how important a good sports bra is in today's Guardian!

    That was very interesting, thanks! It's nice to see that designers are finally beginning to cotton on to the fact that women aren't, in fact, just smaller versions of men. That has been a huge issue in design of everything from smartphones to bicycles to crash test dummies. I've a few great links to recent articles on this, I'll post them as soon as I'm back at my laptop (on the app at the mo).
    HelenAnne wrote:
    I'd agree it's an issue! Finding a good one isn't an issue for me (barely a B cup), but I wouldn't run without one!

    It really is so hard. Because my boobs are quite big it's almost impossible to find the golden space between compression and downright squashing. Often the latter is the only option available to me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,441 ✭✭✭pampootie


    Great idea for a thread! Following on from sports bras-what about underwear? Nothing I've tried is really comfortable and the longer the run the worse the wedgie!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,760 ✭✭✭ReeReeG


    Super idea for a thread chickey, thanks for starting it.


    Dial Hard wrote: »
    I've been on the Pill for approximately a zillion years (and very happily too) so no cycle issues here.


    On this, do you ever worry about running and the pill? I've read studies on how it affects bone density (negatively, of course) and when you combine that with pounding the pavements.. would women be making themselves even more susceptible to stress fractures and the like?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,576 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard


    ReeReeG wrote:
    On this, do you ever worry about running and the pill? I've read studies on how it affects bone density (negatively, of course) and when you combine that with pounding the pavements.. would women be making themselves even more susceptible to stress fractures and the like?

    To be honest, no, not at all. I was always a huge dairy eater and have never had a break or fracture (despite some horrific falls in my lifetime, including one spectacularly bad one last winter) so I don't think bone density is an issue for me.

    I will admit, however, that I do most of my running on the treadmill and not super long distances, 5k generally and currently working my way up to 10.


  • Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭Hedgehoggy


    Great idea for a thread - thanks for starting!

    Will have to have a look at the above links - but just to add myself I have very recently started using FitrWoman app for tracking cycle. Finding it useful so far - makes suggestions for training, nutrition etc based on cycle phase!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭HelenAnne


    Hedgehoggy wrote: »
    Great idea for a thread - thanks for starting!

    Will have to have a look at the above links - but just to add myself I have very recently started using FitrWoman app for tracking cycle. Finding it useful so far - makes suggestions for training, nutrition etc based on cycle phase!

    How does it track your cycle? Is it all based on period dates or do you need to but in other signs etc? (Like if you didn't have periods, for some reason, would it be any use?)


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,576 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard


    Dial Hard wrote: »
    That was very interesting, thanks! It's nice to see that designers are finally beginning to cotton on to the fact that women aren't, in fact, just smaller versions of men. That has been a huge issue in design of everything from smartphones to bicycles to crash test dummies. I've a few great links to recent articles on this, I'll post them as soon as I'm back at my laptop (on the app at the mo).

    So here's a couple of very interesting articles on this issue. Not specifically related to running but very germane as to how female physiology is, often, an afterthought in design.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/the-world-has-been-designed-by-men-for-men-and-women-have-had-enough-1.3842831

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/feb/23/truth-world-built-for-men-car-crashes


    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/mar/26/hannah-dines-saddle-research-pain-swelling-female-cyclists

    And one specifically on how the menstrual cycle can affect performance & recovery - https://www.bbc.com/sport/48243310


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,442 ✭✭✭Choc Chip


    Dial Hard wrote: »
    I've been on the Pill for approximately a zillion years (and very happily too) so no cycle issues here. For sure my biggest issue is the boob one. I have relatively big ones on a small enough frame (DDs, 5' 7", size 8/10) and decent sports bras are the holy grail for me. Good ones are so frickin expensive.

    I hear ya. I'm an E/F (DD if I drop a few pounds and go into the 6-ish clothes range) and 5'4".

    I live in sports bra's if I can get away with it, and they're generally smashed up to avoid bouncing. I've one my sister bought me at Christmas which is fab (can't remember brand), 2 nike ones which are amazing, and I pile of cheaper ones I've bought in the hope they'll work as well. They don't.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,044 ✭✭✭chickey2


    I hear you on the sports bra dial hard. I blame my boobs for why I refused to run in school. I was just too embarrassed and didn't even know there was such a thing as a sports bra. It makes such a difference to have proper support. I use the Shock Absorber run bras which are made specially for running. They're about €50 though so not cheap. I've gotten a few half price as they're mad colours which I don't mind!

    Helen Anne, I am sympathise with the frustration of seeing men fly by when not long ago they were struggling to keep up. I guess we all have to focus on improving ourselves and beating our own records. You're definitely one of the speedier women posting on here, the more the better!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,044 ✭✭✭chickey2


    HelenAnne wrote: »
    How does it track your cycle? Is it all based on period dates or do you need to but in other signs etc? (Like if you didn't have periods, for some reason, would it be any use?)

    I input dates and it just tells me what phase I'm in. It's probably no use if you're not having periods.


  • Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 26,928 Mod ✭✭✭✭rainbow kirby


    If you wear Shock Absorber it's worth checking out Amazon, Sportsshoes and Wiggle - there can sometimes be very good deals on them. I'm still carrying the baby weight from 2 kids in 3 years and I'm a size 14-16 with 34H boobs so you can only imagine the sort of armour I need! Bravissimo Orbit is very good though.

    Pampootie - Runderwear if you feel like getting spendy, M&S microfiber otherwise.

    I'm also a regular buggy runner, parkrun usually involves bundling the 3 year old and 1 year old into the double...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,035 ✭✭✭HelenAnne


    chickey2 wrote: »

    Helen Anne, I am sympathise with the frustration of seeing men fly by when not long ago they were struggling to keep up. I guess we all have to focus on improving ourselves and beating our own records. You're definitely one of the speedier women posting on here, the more the better!

    I suppose we can look at our parkrun age-grading percentages etc as well, to see where we are relative to others, even if they're a different gender or age


  • Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 26,928 Mod ✭✭✭✭rainbow kirby


    ^ One of the few benefits to going up an age group! :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,448 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    ^ One of the few benefits to going up an age group! :D

    Age grades are based on your time relative to world record for your age in actual years (e.g. F42) rather than the 5-year category (e.g. F40), so they don't change drastically from year to year, unless you are improving substantially.

    But yes, a good way to compare performances across age/gender categories.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,936 ✭✭✭annapr


    pampootie wrote: »
    Great idea for a thread! Following on from sports bras-what about underwear? Nothing I've tried is really comfortable and the longer the run the worse the wedgie!

    Shorts with built-in underwear are the most comfortable, I've found. Recently came across a company called Oiselle, in the US... started by women athletes and with gear designed specifically for women... a bit expensive but the most comfortable running shorts, with great POCKETS (why do most men's shorts have better pockets anyway????)

    Great idea for a thread, C!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,021 ✭✭✭Kellygirl


    annapr wrote: »
    Shorts with built-in underwear are the most comfortable, I've found. Recently came across a company called Oiselle, in the US... started by women athletes and with gear designed specifically for women... a bit expensive but the most comfortable running shorts, with great POCKETS (why do most men's shorts have better pockets anyway????)

    Great idea for a thread, C!

    I love that idea but loose shorts always ride up between my legs so can’t risk them without Bodyglide or for a long run or race. I wish I could wear them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,070 ✭✭✭Baby75


    A super idea for a thread chickey2

    I listened to the podcast shared on Huzah log and it really hit home for me, I had a funny run and at the time could not understand why I felt like I was burning up or why I felt like I was bonking :eek:
    Of course, my period arrived and I went aha! but after listening to Stacy Sims over the last week now I know why and what I can do to help in the future.

    I downloaded the app as well, I have the book ordered I found some more podcast and a video on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dJ5F6l0JJg

    Also listened to this podcast today and it gives even more information
    https://player.fm/series/sparta-chicks-radio-mindset-confidence-sport-women-2390696/ep-099-dr-stacy-sims-on-how-to-work-with-your-body-not-fight-against-it

    It's so fascinating and a whole new take on approaching training from a women's perspective

    I told my coach about it, he is ordering the book as well:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,070 ✭✭✭Baby75


    HelenAnne wrote: »
    How does it track your cycle? Is it all based on period dates or do you need to but in other signs etc? (Like if you didn't have periods, for some reason, would it be any use?)

    ​from my understanding and it is mentioned in the podcast I shared from Sparta chicks as the presenter had a hysterectomy but even though she does not get a period her body still goes through the phases so for her, she was going to get a basal body thermometer and chart her temperature every day for 3 months while ​tracking how she was feeling. once you have that you will be able to tell when ovulation happened as BBT will shift higher as hormones rise and generally at the end of the luteal phase temperature drop just before your period begins.

    I only downloaded that app my self today and I do not see where you can note temps but another app​:​ Fertility Friend allows you to enter that data and chart symptoms.

    hopefully that helps with your question


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,673 ✭✭✭juke


    Baby75 wrote: »
    A super idea for a thread chickey2

    I listened to the podcast shared on Huzah log and it really hit home for me, I had a funny run and at the time could not understand why I felt like I was burning up or why I felt like I was bonking :eek:
    Of course, my period arrived and I went aha! but after listening to Stacy Sims over the last week now I know why and what I can do to help in the future.

    I downloaded the app as well, I have the book ordered I found some more podcast and a video on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dJ5F6l0JJg

    Also listened to this podcast today and it gives even more information
    https://player.fm/series/sparta-chicks-radio-mindset-confidence-sport-women-2390696/ep-099-dr-stacy-sims-on-how-to-work-with-your-body-not-fight-against-it

    It's so fascinating and a whole new take on approaching training from a women's perspective

    I told my coach about it, he is ordering the book as well:D

    I also ordered the book, after listening to a couple of podcasts. Huzzah! should be on commission :)

    My interest is reflective of my age, at 49 I'm approaching the time when women start to wither and die :rolleyes:

    Let's face it, menopause is something each and every woman will be affected by, and, in some form or another, so will very many men, but it's not really spoken about and we are generally woefully ignorant about positive action we can take at the first sign of symptoms, heading instead into a black hole and feeling like you are losing the plot.

    This book is my start to NOT withering quietly in the corner, rather to adjusting my diet and training to changes and maybe, maybe keeping hold of a small bit of sanity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,451 ✭✭✭spaceylou


    Great idea for a thread. I've nothing much to add except plus a gazillion to the recommendation for shock absorber sports bras. They really are the best I've ever tried.

    I must go back and read the bits about periods and training but am I right in saying that those of us on the pill are not going to have the same potential issues because the hormones and 'cycle' are being regulated by the pill rather than fickle mother nature?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,576 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard


    spaceylou wrote:
    I must go back and read the bits about periods and training but am I right in saying that those of us on the pill are not going to have the same potential issues because the hormones and 'cycle' are being regulated by the pill rather than fickle mother nature?

    Yup. We don't have a cycle, essentially. Especially if you're like me and rarely even take a withdrawal week.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,070 ✭✭✭Baby75


    juke wrote: »
    I also ordered the book, after listening to a couple of podcasts. Huzzah! should be on commission :)

    My interest is reflective of my age, at 49 I'm approaching the time when women start to wither and die :rolleyes:

    Let's face it, menopause is something each and every woman will be affected by, and, in some form or another, so will very many men, but it's not really spoken about and we are generally woefully ignorant about positive action we can take at the first sign of symptoms, heading instead into a black hole and feeling like you are losing the plot.

    This book is my start to NOT withering quietly in the corner, rather to adjusting my diet and training to changes and maybe, maybe keeping hold of a small bit of sanity.

    You are so right we need to break the taboo

    by all accounts staying active is the best thing we can do as well as getting in the right nutrition :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,070 ✭✭✭Baby75


    spaceylou wrote: »
    Great idea for a thread. I've nothing much to add except plus a gazillion to the recommendation for shock absorber sports bras. They really are the best I've ever tried.

    I must go back and read the bits about periods and training but am I right in saying that those of us on the pill are not going to have the same potential issues because the hormones and 'cycle' are being regulated by the pill rather than fickle mother nature?
    Dial Hard wrote: »
    Yup. We don't have a cycle, essentially. Especially if you're like me and rarely even take a withdrawal week.

    You should have a listen to what she says on taking the pill I was very shocked on what she had to say


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,799 ✭✭✭Huzzah!


    Kellygirl wrote: »
    I love that idea but loose shorts always ride up between my legs so can’t risk them without Bodyglide or for a long run or race. I wish I could wear them.

    Me too. So uncomfortable. I had a look at Anna's link and they seem to offer the Holy Grail - https://www.oiselle.com/shop/running-bottoms/long-pocket-jogger-shorts

    I like the almost-cycling short style of running short because they're tighter, they don't ride up. It's really difficult to find ones that are a decent length, though, and I'm delighted to see Oiselle do them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,799 ✭✭✭Huzzah!


    juke wrote: »
    I also ordered the book, after listening to a couple of podcasts. Huzzah! should be on commission :)

    eyrie introduced me to Dr Sims with this podcast: https://runnersconnect.net/running-interviews/fuel-youre-rethinking-fueling-hydration-dr-stacy-sims/


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