Sep 17, 2021
Endurance exercise during menopause may be your default
exercise... until this episode. If you're a lover of long and slow,
you may not want to hear this but need to.
My Incredible 2019
- Stressors in life – allostatic load
- Construction/mitigation for 3 months
- Mold exposure for 5 ½ months
- Sudden move – in 5-6 weeks of deciding to move, searched,
found, signed a new home out of state
- Hosting a retreat for Flipping50 members in Boulder
- Timing – an event completed at 12:30pm and I was loading the
U-Haul at 1pm
- U-Haul Loaders were 2 hours late
- Had been packing to move for 3 weeks… leading up to
planning and hosting this event
- Also right at the point I hit menopause… remind you what
happens at that pivotal point for all of us.
- Business financial leveraging was happening
- Personal relationship major friction
- Accepted to a TEDx talk with 3 weeks to prepare –
- that was 2 weeks prior to leaving for an out of country Ironman
- flying to it, I got the long-awaited loan I needed for my
business.. and literally made a transfer from my bank account to
pay off a debt that got my business unlocked and doing business
again while at the Houston airport for 5 minutes
- The TEDx was as far away physically in the continental US as it
could be – cancellations and delays made it take 24 hours to get
- Then endured the physical. Emotional stress of the Ironman
event itself – which is much less stressful than the preparation
and logistics of training amidst life and running a business full
of travel at that time, two arms to the business.
Unlike other training events, where as a Strength & Conditioning
Coach, Menopause Fitness Expert and creator of the Flipping50
Fitness Specialist I’d manipulated my own training for 3 Ironman
before this with great results.
I have a system of reducing overall volume, enhancing recovery,
and manipulating traditional schedules for Ironman training that
are founded in just tons of volume. I strategically alter and
leverage workouts so I can reduce volume by at least 1/3 and make
sure recovery and maintenance of muscle and bone density during
training is as much a part as the training itself.
The why on that is threefold:
- Women in midlife are at risk for rapidly losing muscle and bone
density due to estrogen’s rapid decline
- Unloaded exercise that occurs during biking and swimming – a
great deal of time spend during training will decrease bone
- Endurance activity at that level is known to contribute to
muscle breakdown and wasting in older adults (without mitigation)
and accelerate aging (due to oxidation)
But even during carefully planned care from an experienced
triathlete, with 35 years of Strength & Conditioning Experience,
top endocrinology & exercise expert, I couldn’t negate the weight
of so many negative stressors.
Can you train for an endurance event (even Ironman) in midlife
Where your most likely to hit trouble is simply endurance
exercise during menopause for endurance exercise' sake.
Training For Endurance Events
As long as you carefully plan and follow a training regime as
well as have a life circumstance that encourages recovery.
- Low emotional mental stressors.
- Time to physically recover – rest, eat properly, sleep
- Few environmental stressors.
- Your exercise stress is going to increase dramatically – even
with a planned and calculated schedule.
- If simultaneously, you lose bandwidth elsewhere –
- financial resources are an issue, relationships around don’t
you support what you’re doing, hormonal status takes a rapid
change, environmental stressors increase …. You may reach your
tipping point and not be able to sustain.
What can happen?
- Weight gain (then weight loss resistance)
Still Love It and Pulled to Endurance Exercise During
- Alter a traditional schedule
- Monitor your hormone levels (I pre-and post test hormones)
- Monitor your recovery rate (resting HR, HRV, exercise HR)
- Monitor body weight, body comp (and avoid muscle loss)
- Strength train
- Create strong boundaries for yourself
- Create a community of support (positive, not just not
- Make sure financial obligations of the training, recovery or
elsewhere in life are not an issue
(can you afford the nutrition you need, the recovery support –
massage, cryotherapy, time for recovery – ice baths, more
Then… go for it!
12-week Strength for Menopause