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3 Takeaways from our Women's History Month Panel with Aligned Modern Health

To celebrate Women's History Month, we teamed up with Aligned Modern Health to host a webinar on women's health in relation to endurance sports. Here are our 3 biggest takeaways from the event:

Starting healthy habits as a younger run can lead to longevity in the sport.

Starting good habits as a younger female runner is crucial for increasing longevity in the sport for several reasons:

  1. Injury Prevention: Establishing proper form, strength training routines, and recovery practices early can help prevent injuries that could sideline you later in your running career.
  2. Muscle Development: Building a strong foundation of muscle through consistent training can improve performance and resilience to injuries as you age.
  3. Bone Health: Running puts stress on your bones, and starting good habits such as consuming adequate calcium and vitamin D, as well as incorporating weight-bearing exercises, can help maintain bone density and reduce the risk of stress fractures and osteoporosis later in life.
  4. Consistent Training: Developing a routine of regular training and sticking to it helps build fitness over time, making it easier to maintain as you age.
  5. Nutrition Habits: Establishing healthy eating habits early on provides the nutrients necessary for optimal performance, recovery, and overall health throughout your running career.
  6. Mental Resilience: Learning to cope with challenges, setbacks, and competition pressures early in your running journey can help build mental toughness, which is valuable for enduring the ups and downs of the sport over time.
  7. Lifestyle Balance: Balancing running with other aspects of life, such as work, relationships, and hobbies, is important for preventing burnout and maintaining long-term enjoyment and commitment to the sport.

Overall, starting good habits as a younger female runner sets the foundation for a sustainable and fulfilling running career by promoting physical health, mental resilience, and lifestyle balance.

Weight loss and marathon training do not go hand in hand.

Attempting to lose weight while marathon training can be counterproductive and potentially harmful for several reasons:

  1. Increased Energy Needs: Marathon training requires a significant amount of energy. If you're simultaneously trying to lose weight by reducing your caloric intake, you may not have enough energy to properly fuel your workouts. This can lead to decreased performance, increased risk of injury, and slower recovery times.
  2. Muscle Loss: When you're in a caloric deficit, your body may turn to muscle tissue for energy, especially if you're not consuming enough protein. Losing muscle can impair your performance and make it harder to sustain your training regimen.
  3. Nutrient Deficiencies: Restricting calories while marathon training can make it difficult to consume all the essential nutrients your body needs for optimal performance and recovery. This can increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies and compromise your overall health.
  4. Increased Risk of Injury: Inadequate fueling during marathon training can lead to fatigue, weakness, and poor form, increasing the risk of injuries such as stress fractures, muscle strains, and overuse injuries.
  5. Impaired Recovery: Proper nutrition is crucial for recovery after intense training sessions. Restricting calories can slow down the recovery process, making it harder for your body to repair and strengthen muscles, leading to prolonged soreness and fatigue.
  6. Negative Impact on Hormones: Caloric restriction combined with high-intensity exercise can disrupt hormone levels, including cortisol and thyroid hormones, which can negatively affect metabolism, energy levels, and overall well-being.
  7. Performance Plateau: If you're not consuming enough calories to support your training demands, your performance may plateau or even decline. Without adequate fuel, your body won't be able to adapt and improve as effectively.

It's best to focus on proper nutrition to support training demands and consider weight loss during off-peak training periods with professional guidance, like from the team at Aligned Modern Health.

When it comes to women’s health in endurance sports, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

When it comes to women's health in endurance sports, it's essential to recognize that there is no universal solution that applies to everyone. Women have unique physiological differences, training needs, and health considerations that require personalized approaches. Factors such as hormonal fluctuations, nutritional requirements, and injury prevention strategies can vary significantly from one individual to another.

For personalized guidance and support tailored to your specific needs as a female athlete, consider reaching out to professionals who specialize in women's health and endurance sports. Fleet Feet Chicago and Aligned Modern Health are two reputable sources where you can seek advice and assistance. Whether you have questions about training plans, injury prevention, nutrition, or overall well-being, their experienced staff can provide valuable insights and resources to help you optimize your performance and health as a female endurance athlete. Don't hesitate to reach out and take advantage of their expertise to support your athletic journey.

Watch the full webinar here: 

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