Periods and running: do we burn more calories whilst on your period

This issue was talked about in Runner’s world and it been talked about a lot by everyone in the running community. For years now I have been wanting to know the answer to this. There are many new runners that will be in the same boat as me, three years ago when I took up marathon running.


Periods affect our running in a few different ways, one being energy and losing iron.

I personally don’t burn more but I run better when I am on my period. I have heaps more energy when I’m on my period as I don’t have to lag around this weight. And I’m usually happier.

During the luteal phase!

The Luteal phase is the days before the period (14 days to be exact)! Here we experience PMS and the hunger games feeling. It sometimes means that we cannot sleep at night due to this hormonal disturbance.

The metabolic rate according to Metro Uk rises by 9% and hence there is an increase in appetite. This can be good for those that need to lose the weight. The BMR can vary during a woman’s period. The BMR rises during the luteal phase and it stays there until the period starts. For runners, this is a good time to get that long run in.

We put on weight mainly due to water retention. Hence we might feel a bit thirstier at times when we train.

This is also where core temperatures rise, hence you might feel much warmer and inclined to do the long run.

Ovulation phase

This is the phase in which estrogen is dominant and where your period comes. This is where the BMR is lowered and also the metabolic rate. On days 1-3, we lose a lot of blood and iron, but after that its all good. We also burn fat around this time and lose all that water weight.

Body temperatures drop and sometimes I’m shivering even though its a warm day.

And I can do more on my period. But sometimes I eat less on it and it can hamper my performance. It all depends on the person.

Those days in between cycles also can vary because sometimes we put on a little bit of muscle or ovulate.


This one is a touchy subject but you do poop a lot more just before your period. And you also urinate more before your period. Its a part of PMS. So make sure that there is a bathroom handy on route or buy some adult pull up pants for times when there is no toilet


We all get them but if you can try and take your painkillers well in advance of your run. Painkillers take about half an hour to two hours to settle down so try going for an easy jog then.

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