I’m excited to be a part of a female research study currently being conducted by Cory Fagan of TCR Sport Lab. The intention of this study is to determine what weekly metabolic and cardiovascular changes occur within a typical training and menstrual cycle in active female cyclists.
The 2 objectives of the study are:
- To determine how to properly plan the physical training of active females based on their individual menstrual cycle.
- To identify the weekly differences in physiological performance over one menstrual cycle in active female cyclist.
A significant amount of research exists on physical performance over the menstrual cycle. Some evidence suggests that the Follicular phase (Days 1-15) is more advantageous for power and strength whereas the Luteal Phase (Days 16-28) is more advantageous for endurance events. In addition, peak performance has been suggested to occur close to ovulation (Day 14).
Over the next month I will undergo weekly metaboic VO2 tests, body composition measurements, hematocrit and hemoglobin measures and mean maximal power (MMP) testing on the bike.
My first test session was last week and by far the worst aspect of it was the 60 second MMP test at the very end. Imagine going as hard as you can and trying to hold for 60 seconds…tough!
Completing my first VO2 max test on the Velotron
It is my hope that at the end of this study I will have learned ways to optimize training throughout my cycle as well as gleaned insight into patterns of other females so that I can apply the knowledge when I write my female athletes’ weekly training plans. Stay tuned!