Running for Women

This week, I had the privilege to work with Jason Karp, one of the top running coaches in the country. He is also the author of Running For Women. As best-selling author John Gray pointed out, men are from Mars and women are from Venus; There are obvious differences between women and men in anatomy, physiology, hormones, and metabolism. So running should not have a one size fits all training. In his book, Jason provides comprehensive information on training female runners based on their cardiovascular, hormonal, metabolic, muscular, and anatomical characteristics. Today, Jason was kind enough to share 5 tips for running with you!

1) Embrace your estrogen and focus on increasing your mileage.

Estrogen is a runner-friendly hormone, influencing a woman's metabolism in favor of relying on fat and conserving carbohydrate. So embrace your estrogen and steer your training toward more mileage and aerobic training.

2) During times of your life when estrogen is low, take steps to ensure your bones stay strong.

Estrogen influences bone health. Anything that reduces estrogen level (amenorrhea, menopause, etc.) significantly increases chances of bone fractures. So take other precautions, such as making sure you consume enough calcium and vitamin D and possibly incorporating strength training into your training program to increase bone density.

3) When pregnant, consume more calories and more carbohydrates.

Metabolism increases to support the increased work of pregnancy, which results in increased energy needs of 300 calories or more per day. Regular exercise further increases these daily requirements. While running during pregnancy will minimize excess weight gain, pregnancy is not a time to lose weight. It's important to gain the recommended amount of weight and evaluate nutritional needs for exercise to ensure you're getting adequate calories. It's also important to consume adequate amounts of carbohydrate because glucose is the primary energy source controlling fetal growth. As a result of this fetal need, pregnant women use carbohydrate at a greater rate, both at rest and during exercise, than non-pregnant women. Pregnant women are predisposed to low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) during exercise lasting more than 45 minutes, so it's also important to incorporate sports drinks or fruit juices into your exercise and post-exercise recovery.

4) Increase weekly training volume during latter part of follicular phase & mid-luteal phase, when estrogen is high.

5) Exercise before having sex.

A woman's sex drive and her genital response to sexual stimulation are heightened soon after exercising.

Want to know about..

• The impact of the menstrual cycle on hydration, body temperature, metabolism, and muscle function?

• The most effective workouts for endurance, speed and strength, lactate threshold, and VO2max?

• How and when to train during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause?

Check out Running For Women

Start Your Franchise