The Parting of the Red Sea, the Communist Invasion, Strawberry Week, Code Red, Leak Week

So the Commies invaded right at the start of this week– totally explains why Operation microBIG has been such a struggle! Oddly this month my weight hasn’t changed a huge amount (I’m massively anal about weighing myself around this time in case it falls on the run up to a comp). However, my need for chocolate is unparalleled.

Anyway, I wanted to see if people have had the same weightlifter/sports person struggles with leak week. I’ll warn you know I’m not even remotely shy about talking about this stuff so if you are a big girl’s blouse, you may want to stop reading.


I mean it. Really mean it.

OK, here goes:

Issues with riding the red wave:

  • Being caught off guard and being thankful you are wearing black during paused squats
  • You think sneezing on your period is bad… try cleans or deadlifts
  • Giving birth to your tampon mid-lift
  • The horrific sweat rash from ‘surfboards’
  • The world’s thickest wedgie
  • Being reminded every month there is a worse smell than the knee sleeves you never wash 
  • Chunks
  • Wanting to eat everything you scroll past on Instagram
  • The constant need to poop

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 22.24.03.png

Someone said to me the other day, ‘I’m due on for my competition, what do I do?’ I told her quite bluntly: ‘Deal with it.’ I feel I was justified saying this– I found myself in the same situation when I first started lifting and was given the exact same advice.

As someone who has suffered horrific two-week long periods in the past, I know it can be incredibly frustrating to hear that. But unfortunately, it’s just a part of being a woman. Sometimes you really do just have to deal with it.

I don’t mean just sit back and do nothing, though. Some ideas:

  • Wear nighttime pads
  • Whack out the orange tampons
  • Double up (pad and tampon)
  • Contraceptive management
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Always have paracetamol and ibuprofen in your bag
  • Magnesium and iron supplements
  • Use a fertility tracking app so you aren’t caught off guard

Finally, keep close track of your weight throughout the month so you know how much you tend to gain from water retention during your cycle. This way you can plan for it if you need to weigh in during Shark Week. Cutting your sodium intake can also help limit bloat weight.


Do what you need to do. If that’s wearing night time pads and plugging yourself up with orange tampons, do it. If that’s going on the pill to regulate them (as I did when I was younger) do it. If that’s getting the implant, then do it. It’s something you can’t change. It’s just natural– hence my blasé approach. It’s only an issue if you make it an issue. It’s all part of being a female athlete.

Do you have any tips for minimising the effects of Aunt Flo’s visit on your training? Or do you have any hilarious horror stories to share? Leave them in the comments!



  1. PERIODize (pun intended) your training using a two week undulating cycle. Around menses is when you are at yor strongest so plan to go hard the week before and after your period assuming you have a regular cycle that is and are not currently on contraception). So p-7 to p+7 you hit it hard then take two weeks at moderate intensity. Day 14 after menses is where you will have the most unfavourable hormonal profile (lower strength, higher ligament/tendon laxity) so you may choose this time to take a deload. In terms of handling your cycle around competition the only reliable method is the contraceptive pill but that comes down to a personal choice amongst various other factors.

    Liked by 1 person

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