Some issues in sport get far too much attention and discussion. Think running shoes, foam rolling and what colour k-tape is best! Other issues don’t get nearly enough limelight, like periods. And yet amenorrhea, the absence of menstruation, is common in athletes and can have lasting consequences. In today’s blog physiotherapist, writer and runner Anna Boniface reviews a new book by elite athlete (and new mum) Tina Muir exploring this important topic and how to address it.
Anna has recently appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss eating disorders in sport and Relative Energy Deficiency Syndrome (RED-S). Follow her on Twitter and check out her excellent work for fastrunning.com.
Last year, Tina’s Muir story of amenorrhea hit the headlines both in and out of the running community. Tina bravely went “all in” by stopping her professional running career to regain her period. As any athlete would, she committed 100% to achieve her goal. Her focus and dedication to becoming energy balanced, acceptance of weight gain and de-stressing meant that she fell pregnant on her first attempt. Now with her one year daughter Bailey, Tina has returned to running, proving that being healthy with regular cycles is achievable.
I’ve been following Tina’s journey over social media with fascination. Around the same time Tina shared her experience, I was starting my own recovery process. Like many others who find Tina relatable, I wanted to learn as much as I could from her.
Low and behold, her book!
Ever so candidly, Tina has produced an easy to read guide with practical ways of overcoming amenorrhea as she shares her in-depth personal journey. I was blown away on her bravery in speaking out and fully committing to getting her life back. Many runners will be able to resonate with Tina’s personality traits and aspects of her journey.
Tina doesn’t over complicate the science, but still helps you understand why and how your periods stop using powerful analogies. Her tips are practical and easy to implement. They don’t just help you get your period back but they are incredible ways of making you feel better about yourself.
“Runners tend to be very driven, dedicated people, who will do whatever they need to do to be successful, which includes controlling their diets.
We have been told for years that if you want to run fast, you have to lose weight, you have to be light and lean. Except that just isn’t the case, especially if you want a long running life.
The absolute most important thing we need, is to fuel our bodies with enough calories to handle the training we are trying to do. We can’t hit our paces without enough fuel, and we can’t keep going for long either.
If you lose your period, that is a huge red flag that you are not getting enough calories. It is time to make a change, for your health, for yourself. I hope this book will help you do that.”Tina Muir
I’m very well read in the science of RED-S and amenorrhea. Overcoming Amenorrhea feels as if you are talking to a friend or an older sister giving you advice. It feels like Tina gives you permission to let go of your training, body image hang ups and food restrictions.
Tina’s book is an essential read in allowing you to overcome not just amenorrhea but also negative feelings that you have about yourself. A huge thank you to Tina, who is a role model to all for sharing her story and her advice that is invaluable to all, runners, non runners, periods or no periods.
Overcoming Amenorrhea: Get your period back. Get your life back by Tina Muir is out now and available via Amazon
As with all products reviewed on running-physio.com we are not affiliated with the product and receive no financial incentive. We share them simply because we think they’ll be of interest to our audience