CYCLING: Create a training block for a female cyclist

It is here that a more in-depth knowledge of the hormonal variations’ impact becomes necessary not to only remain on an improvised management of premenstrual abdominal pain and bleeding (which has been my case for a very long time, it is not necessary to deny).

The recent US Soccer team’s victory during the World Cup highlighted the exercizes and diet individualization for each player according to the period of the menstrual cycle. British researcher Georgie Bruinvels actively participated in the performances by advising the technical staff to better manage a long preparation and a similar long competition.

Let's look at the chronology of a menstrual cycle to understand the cyclical functioning of the female hormonal system: a menstrual cycle lasts 28 days for the majority of women and from the moment they take oral contraception.

The first 14 days correspond to a pre-ovulatory phase where the release of estrogen is important: this hormone acts both on the brain (mood) and on the bone system.

Researckgate.com

In parallel, this phase sees maximized testosterone secretion with known euphoric and anabolic effects. We also note that the body works more easily around sugars. Keep in mind when creating a training.

On the 14th day, it is about ovulation, sometimes generating a drop of form and in particular an impact on the ligamentous flexibility. In road or track cycling, except during a physical preparation session, the risk of a sprain is small, but for mountain pilots and cyclo-cross women who put their feet on a chaotic ground, that's another story. 

The last 14 days or luteal phase is marked by a large secretion of progesterone which has an unavoidable role in female fertility by the maintenance of the endometrium which will be the seat of the future embryo for example. Research has also found that lipid consumption and cardiac function are optimized.

The internal temperature increases slightly because the basal metabolism is higher and thus the energy needs. Again, these are characteristics that will influence the content of the sessions.

Ideas fo training contents during menstrual cycle :

If the maximal strength does not vary throughout the cycle, the ability to assimilate this type of exercise would be a little higher during the 1st phase of a menstrual cycle with better protections against muscle damage, particularly marked with the techniques of development of certain muscular qualities.

This makes the woman's training management exciting because, in comparison with a man, the adjustment variables are enormous!

Frederic HURLIN - www.azurperformance.fr

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