• Dan Walsh Athlete Ambassador

    cycling riding bike duathlon duathlete

    Dan found himself with a passion for duathlon after seeing his wife complete the Sundried Southend Triathlon. He talks to Sundried about life in this sport.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I’ve always been an active person. Growing up I played football for my local team, badminton at county level, and represented my school at district athletics.

    What made you decide to enter the world of duathlon?

    I’ve been a keen road cyclist since 2012, catching the cycling bug around the time of the London Olympics, and have ridden sportives, time trials and also commuted in central London by bicycle (only for the brave).

    As I committed more and more of my spare time to cycling I felt it needed a purpose and so I started training for and riding Wednesday evening Time Trials with Essex Roads Cycling Club.

    In the summer of 2018 my wife competed in the Sundried Southend Triathlon which inspired me to look at what events I could compete in. I’ve never been a keen swimmer so wasn’t drawn to triathlon but when I discovered duathlon it seemed like the perfect fit.

    I’ve really enjoyed the duathlons I’ve done so far; the competitive element is challenging and rewarding at the same time and the welcoming spirit within the multi-sport community is fantastic, especially for someone like me just starting out in competition.

    What’s been your favourite race to date and why?

    That would be my first duathlon, the Great Notley Autumn Duathlon in October this year.

    I started my running training in July and already had plenty of kilometres of cycling under my belt so I was feeling reasonably confident but also aware I was going into the unknown as a complete duathlon novice.

    Come the big day I was competing against a field of over 100 including my brother and a friend who both had lots more running experience than me but not quite as much in the cycling department so we were evenly matched. I paced myself well through the first run and came into T1 a little behind them both but was confident I’d make up time on the bike. On the second lap of the bike I managed to pass them both and came out of T2 still in the lead but not wanting to look over my shoulder because I knew they’d be breathing down my neck.

    With about 400 metres to go my brother came past me however, unfortunately for him, he developed a nasty stitch that forced him to slow to walking pace allowing me to get back ahead of him (without gloating I should add). I ended up with a time of 1:13:54, putting me 24th overall and 16th in the Veteran category. I was really pleased with my result and couldn’t wait to continue training and book more duathlons.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Finishing an event, or even a tough training session, and knowing I’ve pushed myself and done the best I’m able to makes me proud.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?

    My only minor disaster so far came at the Great Notley Autumn Duathlon. The exit from T1 was wet and muddy which clogged my cleats up and when I jumped on the bike I couldn’t clip into the pedals. I think I lost about a minute just trying to keep moving forward and get my cleats to engage which was pretty frustrating, especially as I knew my strongest element of the race would be the bike. Tri shoes are on my Christmas list now so hopefully it won’t happen again.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I look to those around me, especially my wife and brother, and how they deal with setbacks and use their positive attitude to help me get over whatever I’m struggling with be that injury, lack of motivation or self-doubt.

    The online communities of Strava and Instagram are great for support and motivation too, whatever I’m going through there’s always someone who’s seen it and done before and is happy to offer the advice and encouragement I need to get past it.

    What is the best bit of advice you wish someone had told you before you started competing?

    Pacing is critical - if the whole field zooms away at the start (let’s hope not but hypothetically speaking) stick to your plan, don't panic and put yourself in the red to keep up because you'll pay for it later and who knows, by managing your effort appropriately you might even pass the whole field later on when they’re spent.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    I’ve got seven duathlons either booked or on my radar for 2019, the summit of which is the London Duathlon in Richmond Park in September. I’m also taking part in the Water Aid Triathlon at Hanningfield Reservoir as part of a relay team. In terms of goals, I want to get at least three top-ten age-group finishes in the duathlons and finish a sprint duathlon in under an hour.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    My wife inspires me. If I see that she’s run, cycled or swam an amount of kilometres in a week I want to push myself to do the same or more. It’s like having a live-in training partner. In fact, that’s exactly what it is!

    What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

    I like Sundried kit because it’s stylish, well-made, premium quality and ethical. I have quite a few favourite bits of Sundried kit: the men's trisuit is what I always wear to compete in, the Roteck 3.0 men's leggings are great for running and made with lots of clever details like the smartphone pocket, hi-vis reflective stripes, cuff zips for easy on/off and breathable panels behind the knees. Lastly, when I'm not training or racing I pretty much live in the Matterhorn Hoodie, it's so warm and soft with a generous hood and huge pockets it's like a sleeping bag I can wear but on occasions I've done evening/night runs in it so it's incredibly versatile.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Mark Jerzak Athlete Ambassador

    outdoor running trail race autumn training

    Mark is a keen cyclist and soon found a passion for duathlon. He talks to Sundried about bike rides with his daughter and his love for the social aspect of amateur sport.

    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes. When I was young I played a lot of sport and I've never really stopped. Mostly it was football and rugby but also tennis, cricket, swimming, golf, squash and athletics - all with varying degrees of success and ability. Despite playing at quite a competitive level in a few sports I wasn’t ever naturally the best player in any team so I quickly learned the importance of training and playing to my strengths.

    My sporting career went a bit off the rails at university, unless you count notoriety as a table-football shark! So after uni, I set myself the target of running the London Marathon to try and get fit and lose some weight. It was a big challenge for someone who’d never really done any long distance endurance running, but I followed a plan, lost the weight and ended up completing it in 3 hours 10 minutes. And in the process fell in love with endurance sports.

    A few years later I moved to Bristol and got into cycling, initially by commuting to work every day on a road bike. But then I plucked up the courage to join a local club and enter a few races. I now live in the countryside about 10 miles south of Bristol, an area which didn’t have a cycling club. So two years ago I started a club out here with a couple of friends, called Chew Valley Cycling Club. It’s grown to 50 members and continues to grow which has been a really enjoyable way to stay fit and make loads of new friends.

    What made you decide to enter the world of duathlon?

    Cycling has been my primary sport for the last 10 years, but I’ve always maintained a little bit of running as cross training. Mostly trail running in the hills where I live. Last year I ran a hilly 10k in 41 minutes which brought back memories of unfinished 10k business with an old PB of 40 minutes and 12 seconds.

    So, I set a target of finally beating the 40 minute barrier before I turned 40. I ended up doing a 38 minute 10k which felt like a great achievement, especially the feeling that at 38 I was fitter and faster than my 22 year old version! But along the way I also entered a few duathlons, and despite being totally clueless about how to transition between running to cycling and then back to running again, I found myself enjoying the challenge and getting a few top 10 finishes.

    What’s been your favourite race to date and why?

    My favourite duathlons are the Super Sprint events at Castle Combe race track in Wiltshire. I think I've raced there four times this year so it’s a great way to gauge my fitness and to try different approaches without the pressure of it being a big race. Plus there’s nothing like the feeling of flying around on the super smooth tarmac track on a warm summer's evening.

    And your proudest achievement?

    Last winter I trained with a triathlon club which was useful for a number of reasons. Firstly, it made me aware that I’m a terrible swimmer, but I also met a few athletes who were part of Age Group GB which sounded awesome. Being able to compete for your country as an amateur seemed like a fantastic achievement so I set myself the target of trying to join them. Fortunately, there is a GB Duathlon team, so I could postpone my ambitions to become a fish.

    Over the course of the year I trained hard and saw my performance improve and ended up finishing 4th in my age group at the European qualifiers at Bedford in October to claim an automatic place in the GB team for next season.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    I think on balance I’ve had more go wrong than right in races. Getting a stitch and having to stop and watch people overtake, incurring time penalties during transitions, being sick during a race, arriving late, going too hard … the list goes on!

    But my biggest disaster was earlier this year when I lost count of laps during the bike leg of my first attempt at qualifying for Age Group GB and had to ride around for a soul destroying extra lap. I kept going and finished the race but it really hurt, both physically and emotionally knowing that I’d trained so hard and then potentially thrown away my best chance of qualifying by making a stupid mistake. I had to wait 5 months for the next qualifier so I had enough time to wallow in my misfortune before resolving to come back fitter, stronger, faster … and a little bit wiser too. I think it made the victory that much sweeter after experiencing the failure first.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I love my sport and I love the training. I never got into running or cycling to win races, but because I love the feeling of doing those activities and the sensation of getting fitter and faster. So when things go wrong, I try to understand the reason for the setback and then just get back to enjoying the training.

    What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?

    Just do it. From the outside it looks like everyone is competitively racing against each other and if you get involved they’ll eat you alive. But in reality most people are doing it for the fun, the adrenaline and the personal challenge. The interaction with other racers is almost always camaraderie rather than competitiveness. There’s often a sense that everyone is part of the same thing.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    To arrive at the European Championships fitter, stronger and faster than this year. But also to remember that it’s just one day in a whole year so not to get too worried about it. I’ll do the training and then try to enjoy the occasion. I’m a big believer in “train hard, race easy” as it helps me to temper my enthusiasm at the start of a race and actually pace myself.

    I’d like to become faster at time trials on the bike too as this is my favourite cycling discipline and the improvements are easily measurable, but I’d also like to keep encouraging my children to be fit and active and to enjoy their sport. My five year old daughter loves swimming so we go to the pool together every week. And last time we were out cycling together she was riding along singing “I love cycling, I love cycling...”, which I thought was really magical.

    The priority for 2019 and the future has to just be enjoying running and cycling. Race results are just a by-product of that continued passion.

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    I like to follow my fellow amateur athletes on social media and take inspiration from what they are all doing. There’s a real community in amateur sport so it’s great to turn up at races and see familiar faces and talk to people that you’ve raced with before.

    Plus there’s all the volunteers who turn up every week to run the events, marshal the races and serve tea and coffee back at HQ. I organised a hill climb this year as I wanted my club to give something back to the cycling community. It was great fun, but also far harder work and far more stressful than just turning up and racing! But when you get involved, you become a part of that world and meet plenty of interesting and inspiring people. There’s still such a grass-roots feel to club races and it’s that old-fashioned, amateur sport ethos that I enjoy and which makes me want to keep racing.

    What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

    Sundried kit looks great and performs well too. You can feel that it’s been developed by athletes who know what they expect from their sportswear. It’s also great that the company has such a positive emphasis on the environment and its ethics. I’m a civil engineer in my day job and have spent time working in the renewable energy sector, so I like being associated with a sports brand who ensure that everything they do has the very smallest carbon footprint.

    My favourite item of clothing is the Sundried Plaret Men's Training T-Shirt which I wear while running and in the gym. It fits really well and does a good job of wicking away the sweat without the shirt sticking to me. I also own the Sundried Dom 2.0 Men's Running Vest which is a really comfortable and stylish vest. However, I’m a cyclist more than a true duathlete so still have a bit of an aversion to getting my shoulders out in public. I save my vest for race day! Maybe once my official Team GB kit arrives I’ll finally have to man up and go full sleeveless in 2019!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Kyle Kranz Athlete Ambassador

    Kyle Kranz running coach endurance athlete

    Kyle is a prolific running coach and draws on his own experience of losing weight and getting fit to help others. He talks to Sundried about taking the plunge to become a full-time running coach as well as some of the amazing races he's taken part in.

    Have you always been into sport?

    In middle school and early high school I was depressed and obese with a BMI of 36! In high school, I had a lifestyle change of heart where I improved my diet and started exercising, dropping to a healthy body weight during high school. This inspired me to attend college and earn a degree in dietetics, during this time also making the transition from weight lifting to endurance sport.

    What made you decide to enter the world of running?

    I currently only compete in running events, but my entry into endurance sporting was cycling and triathlon. After my Ironman in California I decided to simplify my life and training and focus on running.

    What’s been your favourite race to date and why?

    The Canadian Death Race in the Canadian Rockies. It's a beautiful ultra marathon that is extremely well organised. The nice thing about those mountains is that they're not at a terribly high elevation!

    And your proudest achievement?

    Returning to the 100 miler that bested me during my first attempt and finishing it.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters / your toughest race yet?

    In the summer of 2018 we were doing a timed 3.8 mile looped trail ultra marathon on a very technical course with lots of climbing. During the late afternoon/early evening, after I had been running loops for about 40 miles, a HUGE storm came through, probably the most violent thunder/lightning/wind storm to hit the area in years. The aid station at the bottom of the loop was totally destroyed and flooded and many of the participants and crew hunkered in the back of a big rental truck for an hour to wait out the storm. The course was moved to the bike path off the trail system where we continued running. All 24-hour participants called it good at 100k.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    It's important to look at setbacks as opportunities to learn and motivation to improve. A couple years ago I was laid off from my full-time job and I used that setback as an opportunity to take my part-time gig – run coaching – to my full-time attention.

    During the fall of 2017 I lost a number of clients after their big fall races, dropping my coaching income by about a third. I used this setback as motivation to do better with my advertising/marketing and now two years later I've just surpassed my previous "normal job" income with my coaching income.

    What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?

    Investing in some sort of guidance would be my advice for anyone starting anything new! If you want to learn how to play the piano, swim, start a business, having some sort of tutor or guide will improve and fast-track anything you do.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    Throughout my running life I've only run two marathons at best effort. The first was early on and the second was in 2018 where a quad injury sabotaged the run. So my PR definitely has some room to go down at that distance in 2019!

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    The people I coach are so incredibly inspiring. They're "regular" people with busy lives who enjoy running and have invested in me to help them do it to the best of their abilities. They fit the training around being business owners, single parents, and their studies.

    What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

    Most companies don't go that extra step of practising and sharing good ethical, workplace, and environmental work. Sundried makes great products and does it in a responsible manner! It's winter here in South Dakota so I'm loving the Roteck running tights!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Kim Ingleby Athlete Ambassador

    Berlin Marathon running

    Kim grew up on a working farm in Scotland and this was the start of a lifelong love for the outdoors. She talks to Sundried about her amazing adventures and overcoming adversity to achieve some incredible things.

    Have you always been into sport?

    I have always loved the outdoors having been brought up on a working farm in Scotland. I was very self conscious and lacked confidence, which affected how I enjoyed sport, usually being picked last for teams, leading to not feeling good enough. From my mid to late teens I found running and horse riding, which I loved; the freedom of running, exploring and the partnership with an animal.

    What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon and running?

    I rode horses competitively for many years, including riding for owners and representing Scotland for the U21 Three Day Eventing Team. I founded my business, Energised Performance, in 2004 to help people unlock their full potential, overcome fear and be their fittest in mind and body.

    I soon realised that running a business, riding full time, and funding it all was going to be tricky. Something had to give. So I made the very tough decision to give up riding professionally to focus on establishing my business, with the aim of one day competing again. 

    I swapped riding horses for riding a bike and this led me to triathlon. The first one I did, I got off the bike, thinking I had a puncture, alas no! Just not bike fit. Over several years I represented Team GB Age Group at the World Champs in Hawaii and Europeans in Denmark and Spain. 

    After contracting Weil's disease in 2013, I had to seriously adapt and relearn what was possible. I currently focus on remote adventure runs around the world, combined with raising money for charity, plus I love local 10ks, the odd aquathlon and plenty of strength gym training. Adapting to what is possible is key.

    What’s been your favourite race to date and why?

    I'd have to say The Transylvanian Bear Race mini Ultra for the complete wild and remote route (and sleeping in the bottom of a wardrobe in the bottom drawer below the family cow!)

    Also the Sierra Leone Street Child Marathon which was my first event back from Weil's (with secondary neurological problems that I still manage), I was last and it took hours, but I did it.

    Finally, Brean Down 10km local to me, run by Aspire Events. They are so welcoming and supportive to everyone. It was also the first and possibly only time I have ever placed top 3 in a running race!

    3 peaks challenge

    And your proudest achievement?

    Completing the Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race in India in Nov 2018, which was ridiculously tough yet incredibly beautiful. The final 1km on the last day took me over an hour, walking ten steps and stopping to breathe for 10 and repeat, my brain felt like it may explode from the altitude. Then on day 3, marathon day, I have literally no idea how I finished, as the descent from near 4,000m to 2,000m challenged my balance and brain, leading to hallucinations of check points, monks and snakes... but I did it, and would recommend to anyone.  You can watch my videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3VCsLztkimfB3niomr_VOY4z-nxBWSUG

    Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?

    I think there will always be tough races but two stand out for me. One was racing in Hawaii at the Ironman Age Group World Champs. I had been really sick on the plane, couldn’t keep anything down and didn’t leave my bed until literally 30 minutes before the race. I felt I must give it a go, as who knows when you will race in Hawaii again! I was totally covered in stings from the jelly fish and so slow in the swim they almost removed my bike.... but I managed to nick it back, and finish the whole race, slowly catching people through the bike and run. 

    The other was a local half marathon, it was super wet and muddy, and it’s the only race my body just wasn’t feeling it and I was exhausted.  But I didn’t realise this until halfway through. I made it, but reminded myself of the importance of quality recovery as well as training.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    I’m lucky in one sense as my training in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), hypnotherapy and sports psychology is part of the tools and services I offer to my clients and 100% practise with myself. I really recommend and practise monthly pre/post race mind-mapping and journaling – what went well, how did I feel, what is limiting me and how can I actively overcome and change these thoughts, habits or technical areas.

    Setbacks I believe are part of life, it doesn’t mean they are not annoying, disappointing or frustrating, but after a period of time I always aim to come up with a progression plan. Something is always possible, if not everything.  I have learned this massively with my medical journey and embracing what you can do allows enjoyment.  Of course, you will have moments of 'I wish I could', but I try not to let this limit what I actually can wish into action.

    What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?

    Don’t overthink it – sometimes you just have to give something a go and see what happens.  You will always then have a benchmark to learn from.  Waiting for perfect is an illusion.

    What are your goals for 2019?

    To continue helping as many people make their wish and goal happen, as I truly see people’s potential and want to help them take that leap of faith. 

    Professionally, I will be advancing my NLP skills to offer a greater depth to my clients. I always have huge list of ideas... and having just completed the Himalayan 100 mile race, I am in strength and recovery mode.

    These are not confirmed but ideas include.... Palestine Marathon, Wild Run Namibia Crossing (I’ve just been sent this and it looks insane and would require a lot of planning for my conditions), Uganda Marathon, Man v Horse, Turkey Cappadocia Marathon, Lewa Marathon, climb some more mountains, Coal Sack English Champs, Chicago and Tokyo Marathons (these really challenge my brain with the busy crowds), some local 10ks, aquathlons and continuing my strength & handstand training! 

    I think this is more like a 2-3 year plan of everything. I also love hearing about what adventures other people are doing. 

    Who do you take your inspiration from?

    Clients, athletes, family, coaches I work with, friends, books, adventures, travel, people, places......so many things. I find you can find inspiration every day in someone if you are looking for it.  The core value to make a difference for others, to keep learning, growing and challenging myself to do things which make me super scared yet with courage are so worth it.

    What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?

    I love the ethos, positive messaging around fitness, the outdoors, their values around the environment, giving back (I’ve raised nearly £85k for charity through my business so it’s important to me), and their positive presence online. 

    Of course, Sundried's clothing is stylish, functional and fit for purpose, which ultimately is key for performance and confidence. The Ruinette capri leggings and Solaro ribbed gym leggings are great for runs or yoga, the Grand Tournalin long sleeved training top are breathable with great colours, and can’t wait to test out the padded jacket.  Plus the yoga mat and water bottles are both essentials for me. 

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Problem Periods: Mastering Your Menstrual Cycle In Sport

    training female athletes PMS menstrual cycle sports fitness

    Alice Hector Pro Triathlete and Emma Risbey Public Health Nutritionist/Sports Nutritionist talk to us about how the menstrual cycle can affect female athletes and how best to deal with it.

    Alice: “The monthly cycle is something that has affected me more noticeably as I get older (I’m 36). For a few days every single month I definitely see a shift in my mood and a decline in my performance. Should a race or a big training session clash around the two days of the month, or Day 1 of the glorious event itself, it's almost impossible to hit targets. My core is inflamed, rendering it useless and sloppy for running, and cramps make hard training more of a burden than ever. I gain weight in water retention and can’t stop craving chocolate (an issue most of the time, but that’s another story!)

    The contraceptive pill is a no go for me as the artificial hormones really mess with me so best thing I’ve found is to avoid hard days around that date, and recognise I'll be a bit grumpy for 2-3 days before that too. However, avoidance of the hard stuff is all very well and good, but not being regular to the button makes planning, particularly racing, very difficult, and you can’t control the organisers’ race dates.”

    Emma: “Everyone worries about having their period for a big event, but in reality your hormones are favourable for performance once your period starts. So whether you’re working out, training or racing, it will feel easier when you are in the low-hormone phase of your cycle which starts the first day of menstrual bleeding. Though there are very few specific studies on performance throughout the menstrual cycle, the research supports that women perform worse during the pre-menstrual phase (the luteal phase) and much better in the 1-12 days following the first day of their cycle (the follicular phase).

    Alice: “Personally, I find Day 1 of my period is when the cramps and bloating are at their worst, so whilst my hormones settle immediately (mood change and better sleep), it takes a day or two for my body to feel good again. As for the science, it’s good to know that the day doesn’t have to be a write off if I prepare for it as best I can in the days preceding.”

    Emma: “Absolutely, it does not mean you are doomed if a key event lands on a high-hormone or sub-par day. Research shows that key performance indicators such as VO2 max and lactate threshold remain constant throughout your cycle, so you can still aim for a PB even with PMS in endurance sports. However, if you are doing sports that involve reaction time, neuro-muscular coordination and manual dexterity – such as ball sports – during the premenstrual phase, it will be harder and more important to keep your head in the game. There’s also evidence that blood sugar levels, breathing rates and thermo-regulation are negatively impacted during this time of the month, which may well account for the slight decreases in aerobic capacity and strength too. For triathletes with heavy periods, racing in the heat and fuelling strategy is something to consider carefully when competing in this phase.

    In general, exercise can feel harder during those high-hormone days before your period and there’s no doubt that it can mess with your performance. But as we know, not every period is the same and some months it may affect you less than others. So it’s important not to get in a negative head space as stress can also affect the severity of your symptoms!

    Alice: “So, what are the measures we can take to try and help ourselves?”

    Emma: “Planning is your first port of call. If you have a regular cycle, you can try to avoid planning your big races or events around these premenstrual dates. On days 1-3 premenstrual this is typically where you can feel and perform a little sub-par and also carry a little water retention. By taking control of your nutrition in the week before you can still perform well, but perhaps nothing spectacular.

    The best time to race or compete in a big event during your cycle is 12-14 days after the first day of your period (the first day of your period is Day 1 of your cycle.) This is where oestrogen reaches a peak just before ovulation. Around ovulation your pain threshold will be higher, energy levels better, utilisation of carbohydrate (CHO) better, recovery enhanced and you generally feel happier and in a good mood. Adaptation to all types of training in this phase are generally good. Ovulation typically happens on Day 13 of your cycle. 

    On days 1-14 of your cycle (the follicular phase), CHO is the primary fuel source during high intensity exercise and your body uses CHO as its main fuel source for all types of activity. But towards the end of this phase there is an increased emphasis on fats for moderate and low intensity exercise. During this phase for soft tissue recovery, include sources of collagen such as jelly alongside vitamin C rich foods to help with muscle, tendon and ligament recovery.

    On days 14-28 of your cycle (the luteal phase), particularly for moderate and low intensity exercise, your body is now using fats as its main fuel source during training. During this phase, muscle breakdown may be increased, so focus on recovery after an intense workout: refuel with a protein-rich meal or snack within 30 minutes. Towards the end of this phase, your body will switch from using fats to using CHO as its main fuel source during training. This is the most common time to experience cravings and PMS. The good news is that adjusting your nutrition can help reduce these symptoms. Proteins and slow release CHO will help to maintain blood sugar levels and help reduce cravings. To reduce PMS, include foods rich in vitamin D, calcium, fish oils and magnesium. Avoid too many foods high in saturated fat as these may be associated with worsened PMS symptoms. Your sleep may be disrupted during this phase so try to include foods containing sleep-inducing melatonin such as tart cherry juice.

    Energy dips are quite typical in the PMS days and it is recommended to take on board a little extra CHO before and during workouts longer than 90 minutes along with small increases in protein too. It is important to note that you burn slightly more calories overall during the premenstrual phase, so adding in a 200-250 calorie healthy snack during this period is recommended, such as some oatcakes with nut butter.

    Just before your period, your hormones drop to their lowest levels. This triggers inflammation which can cause some PMS symptoms. The anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting powers of ginger can help.

    A ‘food first’ approach is best so try loading up on antioxidants through your diet, including plenty of berries and green leafy vegetables (aim for 7-8 servings per day).

    Alice: “A couple of my races have been a write-off, partly due to the time of the month. With Emma’s help, we created a plan to start the week before I’m due, which helps alleviate symptoms and allows me a chance of racing to a decent standard. It’s tried and tested. So here’s my PMS Checklist:

    • Ginger: raw, capsules or powder
    • Rich-coloured fruit and veg (8 portions a day)
    • Magnesium, Vitamin D, Zinc (can get from food but I take supplements) 
    • BCAAs (Amino acids) 
    • Baby Aspirin
    • Tart Cherry Juice
    • Fish and Flaxseed Oil

    Key Takeaway Facts

    • Day 1-14 of your cycle is the follicular phase when you will feel and perform at your best. However this phase includes the days on your period so you may also experience bloating and water retention while you're bleeding.
    • Day 15-28 is the luteal phase which is the less favourable phase when you may experience reduced endurance, cravings, disturbed sleep, and a higher body temperature.
    • Day 1 of your cycle is the first day of your period
    • Ovulation occurs around Day 13 and is when you will have higher energy levels, improved mood, and an increased recovery ability. This is the best time to plan a race or event. 
    • Every woman is different and experiences different symptoms so it's important not to get too hooked up on what you may or may not experience in the different phases of your cycle.
    Posted by Guest Account