Challenges of Women in the Track and Field

Women who are professional track and field athletes or those who simply enjoy running as a form of exercise encounter several challenges that men don’t. But women can easily cope with these challenges by knowing them beforehand and getting to know how to deal with them.

Monthly Period

During their monthly period, women may find it difficult to run especially during their heavy days. Some women experience abdominal cramps during menstruations, which makes it painful to get up, let alone to run. It can also be uncomfortable to run while wearing those tampons. However, there are also women who have gotten accustomed to running even during menstruation. Some were even able to finish running a marathon with their tampons on. If you have a scheduled marathon while you have a period, the best way to deal with it is to wear a compact tampon and take any medication for abdominal cramps such as Midol.


Many running women continue to run even while pregnant. But for high-risk pregnancies, this may not be advisable. The best way to know if it is safe for you to run while pregnant is to talk to your doctor.


Running in a marathon or in a race can be challenging for breastfeeding moms. One reason is that there are foods to avoid while breastfeeding even though they can be beneficial for runners. One good example of this is caffeine which is normally added to sports drinks. But caffeine is not recommended for breastfeeding moms as it may affect the sleep pattern of the nursing infant. Sometimes, women also experience a period while breastfeeding, which doubles the inconvenience of a mom to run. But it is still possible to run while breastfeeding. Just prioritize the health of your child by avoiding foods or drink that can have a negative impact on your baby even if that food can be beneficial to you for running.


Women with working husbands and who have small children to care for may find it a bit challenging to find time to run. It is either you postpone running while your children are still small or find someone to watch your children during practice session or the race.


There are certain diseases that are more common among women than men. And if you suffer from these diseases, it may affect your ability to run. Among these conditions are urinary tract infection and irritable bowel syndrome. Although they also affect men, statistics show that these conditions are higher among women. Be sure to have a general checkup before running long distances. You may feel okay but you may be suffering from a certain disease which will make you unfit to run.

Men and women alike are faced with unique challenges while on the track. As for women, most of these challenges start with pregnancy, followed by breastfeeding and childcare. But if you really like to run, nothing should prevent you from doing so. Every challenge has a solution.

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