From a certain level of practice, the coach must take into account the menstrual cycles for the training of the cyclist (young or older).
Menstrual cycles are a particularity that must be accommodated and do not seek to make them disappear: sports can be an important part of a cyclist's life, but will it be forever? In France, we are talking about the double project of life for athletes with studies and sport but for the female athlete, it is mainly a triple project; Intensive practice should not hinder the possibilities of becoming a mother.
Sometimes, this is a problematic subject because it’s a taboo topic and talking about it with the family can be complicated. So with his coach !! Especially if it's a man and generaly, we do not understand anything about this kind of thing ... imagine the scene.
Personally, the fact of training my own wife allowed me to understand what the women live in their intimacy and to be able to approach it more serenely with young girls in order to have a relation of confidence: the cyclist sees that I know what are the periods.
Today, my cyclists can discreetly tell me when she is "indisposed" or even ask me for complete recovery.
However, the understanding of the menstrual functioning of each athelte is one of the determinants of female performance with an adaptation of the training program.
We can create a preparation block based on the monitoring of menstrual cycles including a week of active recovery during menstruation: a way to accommodate effectively this feature. Every 3 weeks to 3.5 weeks, the block ends and the cyclist can comfortably manage her menstruation.
I say 3 to 3.5 weeks because the impact of premenstrual disorders can be more embarrassing than the periods themselves and it is important to individualize according to the athlete’s feeling and mark the STOP in the training block.
And to conclude, I say 3 to 3.5 weeks when we are in a situation of regular menstrual cycles, well-marked, especially with the use of oral contraception.
In the next article, we will discuss the management of the training load during the cycle.