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Is It Normal to Skip a Period During Marathon Training?

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Updated January 26, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Is It Normal to Skip a Period During Marathon Training?
"I'm training for a marathon and I missed my monthly cycle. Is it normal to skip a period during marathon training?"
Answer:

Some runners with very low body fat or those who are training very intensely (for an endurance race such as a marathon) do occasionally skip their period, which most likely means they didn't ovulate that month. So, if you're trying to get pregnant, training for a marathon may not be compatible with your goals to conceive.

A missed period may also be a sign of a poor diet, so talk to your doctor or a registered dietician to make sure you're eating a healthy, balanced diet and don't have any nutritional deficiencies.

Once your training intensity slows down or you gain a few pounds, your cycle will most likely return, and it shouldn't have any effect on your future fertility. If your period doesn't come back or you've missed a few cycles in a row, schedule an appointment with your ob/gyn to determine the cause.

Also see: What If I Have My Period for a Race?

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