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For Women: Having Your Period While Running a Marathon

posted about 4 years ago | Report

I will be running a marathon next month and just calculated that my period is due the day of the race. I am very bummed about this and wonder how other women have handled it? This will be my second marathon and I've been training really hard for it, hoping to meet a new time goal, but I am worried about the negative impact the arrival of my period might have on my race.

19 posts

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  • Are you on birth control? If so, just continue on with taking active pills instead of taking the placebos.

    Thought I really don't know if it'll impact your performance at all. Do you notice a difference in your ability when you're training and menstruating?

    posted about 4 years ago

  • I've had to deal with this before (I got my period 2 days before running Boston), I just got some of those tampons that are more compact and put those in my running jacket, in case I had to stop while running. I ended up not even noticing it during the race, and didn't stop at all. Ugh, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. Maybe try taking some ibuprofen before the race if you get cramps easily? Good luck!

    posted about 4 years ago

  • in reply to what Melissa B. said:Are you on birth control? If so, just continue on with taking active pills instead of taking the placebos. Thought I really don't know if it'll impact your performance at all. Do you notice a difference in your ability when you'r... read more

    Thanks, Melissa. Not on birth control, otherwise that sounds like a good solution. I do notice a difference when I'm training in that I'm more tired overall and bloated. The weird thing is that I'm also much less hungry (I think due to feeling bloated), which is a bad thing leading into a marathon as I'll need to be fueling up for it.

    posted about 4 years ago

  • in reply to what Meghan B. said:I've had to deal with this before (I got my period 2 days before running Boston), I just got some of those tampons that are more compact and put those in my running jacket, in case I had to stop while running. I ended up not even noticing i... read more

    Thanks, Meghan. That's great to hear that you survived running Boston with it! I'm hoping that it actually starts *before* the race, as if not, I'm going to be wondering if I should go ahead and use a tampon in case it starts *during* the race (which would be worse), so that I don't have to stop during the race.

    posted about 4 years ago

  • Dang! I always wondered about this! I have ran my best (never a full marathon - but I've done half marathon mileage) during my periods! I usually pop 2 Midol early before I start running (so it gets into my system) and I don't wear tampons - I put a thin Stayfree pad (it's the only brand I run in) and it's one of those Ultra-Thin ones? I find that it doesn't come out as much when I run - but a tampon might definitely be better :) I find that the pad does nothing but catch SWEAT?! I have had blood run down my legs with sweat - which is NASTY - but you do what you gotta do, right? But popping 2 Midol works WONDERS for me - and I have BAD BAD cramps - the Midol kicks in - and literally makes me run without any pain - so much so, that sometimes I tend to push my mileage because I can't feel anything :)

    posted about 4 years ago

  • in reply to what said:Dang! I always wondered about this! I have ran my best (never a full marathon - but I've done half marathon mileage) during my periods! I usually pop 2 Midol early before I start running (so it gets into my system) and I don't wear tampo... read more

    Wow, Katrina, that's great to hear that you've had your best runs during your periods. I don't think I could manage pads while running as I'd be worried about chafing. Good to note about the Midol. And I agree with you, you do what you have to do!

    posted about 4 years ago

  • in reply to what said:Thanks, Meghan. That's great to hear that you survived running Boston with it! I'm hoping that it actually starts *before* the race, as if not, I'm going to be wondering if I should go ahead and use a tampon in case it starts *durin... read more

    Have you ever tried a menstrual cup (like Diva Cup)? You can wear those when you're expecting your period w/o any problem. I think the Diva Cup is way more comfortable than a tampon but it could be trickier to empty during a race. There is a bit of a learning curve to using a menstrual cup in my experience but I think it's well worth it.

    posted about 4 years ago

  • in reply to what Mimi said:Have you ever tried a menstrual cup (like Diva Cup)? You can wear those when you're expecting your period w/o any problem. I think the Diva Cup is way more comfortable than a tampon but it could be trickier to empty during a race. There is a ... read more

    Thanks, Mimi, I've never heard of that before -- I will definitely look into it.

    posted about 4 years ago

  • I did my first IM on mine. I didn't notice it at all; probably because the race took precedence. I changed my tampon once.
    Don't stress too much about it and it probably won't be too big of an issue (now I am a DivaCup advocate). Focus on the run!!

    posted about 4 years ago

  • in reply to what Jen L. said:I did my first IM on mine. I didn't notice it at all; probably because the race took precedence. I changed my tampon once. Don't stress too much about it and it probably won't be too big of an issue (now I am a DivaCup advocate)... read more

    Thanks, Jen, good advice :-)

    posted about 4 years ago

  • in reply to what Mimi said:Have you ever tried a menstrual cup (like Diva Cup)? You can wear those when you're expecting your period w/o any problem. I think the Diva Cup is way more comfortable than a tampon but it could be trickier to empty during a race. There is a ... read more

    I second using the Diva Cup. Then you'll have absolutely nothing to worry about on the tampon/pad front. I've used one for 7 years and would never go back to using anything else (for a number of reasons!).

    posted about 4 years ago

  • My mom won't let me wear tampons or pads because she is paranoid, but I DO hear many great reviews about the diva cup. How long would it take you to run the race? The diva cup needs to be cleaned/emptied about every 7-8 hours.

    posted about 4 years ago

  • I'm also a cup fan, although the brand sold in my area is called Instead. They're disposable, though, and it's sounding like the Divas aren't. Discovered them after my first baby when I could no longer wear a tampon due to prolapse (tmi? lol). I loathe pads, so for me, this was the perfect solution. I don't really get bloating, but some Midol might be the thing for it. Depending on flow, you can wear the Insteads for up to 12 hours. Good luck on your race!

    posted about 4 years ago

  • i'll be joining my first ever half marathon this May and i'm already feeling dreadful as it will fall on the first day of my period which usually drains me a lot that i can't almost get out of bed =( i seriously forgot to notice the date when i registered back then out of too much excitement **grin*
    -
    any more other solutions you think? i might just try midol and do a pre run with that before May..i really don't wanna miss to run on that day *big cry*

    posted over 3 years ago

  • in reply to what Josephine S. said:i'll be joining my first ever half marathon this May and i'm already feeling dreadful as it will fall on the first day of my period which usually drains me a lot that i can't almost get out of bed =( i seriously forgot to notice th... read more

    How did you do on your Marathon? I'm having the same problem right now, will get my period during my first half and I'm very worried, I get the worst symptoms..

    posted about 3 years ago

  • Hi Jeni, I'm having the same problem you had last year, my period will come on the day of my race, my first half marathon...I was just wondering how you did it and if you have any suggestion for me. I'll be racing in Lake Tahoe and I train at sea level...so, that alone would already be a big challenge for me, and now adding my period to it, I'm getting a little nervous....thanks :)

    posted about 3 years ago

  • I've never run a marathon with my period, but I have run with my period. I second (or is it third?) the diva cup. You may not need to empty it during the race at all depending on your flow. Comfortable once you figure it out! Good luck!

    posted about 3 years ago

  • ...If she won't let you wear tampons or pads, .... how?!

    posted over 1 year ago

  • I realize the original post is a few years old, but am interested in some of the suggestions posted here as I expect to have the same problem for an upcoming race.

    Just in case others are finding this thread in their searches I want to emphasize that not all birth control pills can be taken to stop your period, so be sure to check with your doctor or a pharmacist before using your prescription differently than directed.

    posted about 1 year ago

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