Endurance performance for female athletes
We are beginning to understand female physiology better regarding training and racing, not just for professionals but also for everyday athletes.
Strength, metabolism, inflammation, fluid balance, and injury risk are highly individual aspects that change regularly for female athletes due to natural hormone fluctuations. Therefore, it is essential to consider hormone levels during the menstrual cycle and their effect on female physiology to maximize performance.
Fluctuating hormone levels vary widely between women and can be influenced by age and contraceptive use. However, when planning and executing training and racing, it is worth considering the following points:
- There are phases in which a female athlete may experience higher pain tolerance and a perception of higher energy levels, making high-intensity training sessions more feasible.
- There are phases when strength training may be more effective.
- There are phases when carbohydrate storage may be affected, so consider pre-loading energy stores and consuming energy during training.
- There are phases when the body is not optimized for high-intensity sessions, and heat regulation may be delayed.
- There are phases when bodyweight could change, but bodyweight should only be used to measure training performance for any male or female athlete with a structured medical and qualified support network.
A deeper personal understanding of our physiology can support progressive training and racing.
Every athlete can improve performance by:
- Understanding our physiological cycles, stress, and everyday life.
- Getting better sleep.
- Balancing high and low-intensity training, strength, and recovery training.
- Structuring nutrition in line with training and recovery goals.
- Seeking out qualified medical professionals to gain a more profound and healthier understanding of our physiology and personal needs.