Can 8020 plans align with period cycles

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    Hi there,

    Wondering what thoughts are on aligning menstrual cycles with the 80 20 plan versus race day. I’ve been increasingly affected by my periods (and I’m probably not the only one)… So instead of working against it …

    Can the 80 20 plan be used to maximize potential power? Since it goes off the 4 to 6 week periodization do you think it could align with the menstrual phases instead of the race day? Maybe maximizing hormones based of cycles instead of race day could yield better outcomes?

    I’m curious what your thoughts are… And if anyone has tried or considered this?


    The book “Running Periodization” by Jason R. Karp includes a detailed chapter on the issue.

    I gave the book to my daughter, a dedicated endurance athlete for years, and she said it has insightful and practical suggestions for making adjustments to her training.


    Thanks so much for that resource! I love these plans, but boy do these cycles wreak havoc. And of course, my “test days” always align with a more stressful period phase

    Thanks again, and good luck to your daughter!

    Leyla Porteous

    great question!
    There has been some attempts at aligning training programs to the menstrual cycle – but as you know not every month is the same and not every woman is the same. You also can’t control when race day is so I am of the opinion that making small adjustments and learning how to manage and mitigate the impacts of your cycling on your training can be a better approach.
    A great book that provides insightful resources on this is Stay Sims books Roar, and an app that I use with my female athlete is Fitr women. The main changes are actually based around nutrition for most women and when you start to nail the nutritional aspects you can start to notice your training is less impacted by the inflammatory impact of hormone changes.

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