Women have been running since the beginning of time. They run for their health, for their sanity, and of course because women can be fierce competitors. As a female runner, there are a few differences, tips, and suggestions to make women’s running more successful and enjoyable.
1. Women typically have great endurance – how else could they tolerate days of labor and delivery? This means that while women are not able to run quite as fast as men, though they’re catching up quickly, on average female runners can run much greater distances. If you’re training for races or even for fitness, keep this in mind when setting your goals.
2. Women specific gear. In addition to sports bras and support garments, which are essential if you want to keep the girls up where they’re supposed to be, they make women’s specific running shoes too. These shoes typically have a smaller toe box and offer more support for a woman’s foot strike. When evaluating running shoes, consider trying a few women’s specific designs especially if you’ve found the men’s shoes aren’t optimal.
That being said, just because you are a woman doesn’t mean a running shoe designed for you is going to be the right shoe – you may very well do better with a man’s shoe, it just depends on your foot and your form.
3. Running during that time of the month. For the majority of women running before and during your period is a great way to prevent PMS symptoms like cramping and irritability. Running releases endorphins which tend to alleviate many PMS symptoms.
4. Running during pregnancy. If you’re an avid runner and have been running before you got pregnant then it’s probably okay for you to continue running. It is of course essential for you to speak with your doctor and get the okay because each and every pregnancy is unique and running does pose some potential risks during pregnancy. If you’re not a runner and are looking to begin running during your pregnancy your doctor will likely advise against it. Walking, however, is a great beginning and once the baby is born, you can up the ante and begin running.
5. Running during breastfeeding. Many babies do not like to nurse after a mother has been running. This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t run while breastfeeding however you’ll have to work around your baby’s nursing schedule.
6. Women are most certainly not the weaker sex however there are some distinct risks to running alone. When running, make sure you tell people where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. Run in public areas. Carry a cell phone with you, identification, and a canister of pepper spray or mace. Pepper spray can be purchased in a small keychain like device which makes it easy to run with. Experts also advise running with a whistle so if you’re in any danger you can alarm people or bring them to you.
7. Menopause can be a great time to continue running or to begin running. Like running when you’re having your period, running often alleviates the symptoms of menopause making the process easier to handle both mentally and physically. It is important if you’re just beginning a running program during menopause to consult your doctor.
Running is an excellent sport for those who wish to lose weight, get healthy, maintain their health or compete. It’s an easy and cost effective sport to enjoy. Women around the world enjoy the many benefits of running and you can too.