When it comes to sports-related training and research, it’s fair to say that most studies are based around the male physiology. The results are then used to influence training methods for both men and women equally as if women are built the same, just smaller versions.
However, there is one woman shouting from the rooftops that this is wrong and that it ignores all the physical and hormonal differences between men and women. Women cannot and should not fuel and train in exactly the same way as men, our results will differ considerably.
Dr. Stacy Sims has written a book called ROAR which calls out the differences and gives women a chance to understand how to train and fuel properly depending on the stage in their life that they are at, and also with reference to their hormonal cycle.
Regardless of your age, your hormones will have a big impact on your training. I remember when I was in my peri-menopause phase, I would have a massive energy drop a few days before my period, to the extent that I would ride with legs like lead, with no energy and no stamina. Yet the week before I would have felt like I was in my best shape ever, powering up hills and feeling like I could ride forever. The book helps us to understand what to do to counter these peaks and troughs so that we can continue to train & perform correctly throughout our cycle. Once we hit menopause things need to change for us in the way we fuel and train, but also we might consider changing the types of events we enter.
To educate women further she has also developed a new course. Jasmijn Muller from Be the Egg Cycle Coaching was one of the first women to take this course, and she has shared some of her insights on her blog.
It’s a great read, and if it inspires you further, buy the book as well. It’s become my bible that’s for sure.