Irish middle-distance runner Amy O’Donoghue currently holds gold, two silvers and bronze medals from the Irish Athletics National Championships. O’Donoghue who has represented Ireland on the international stage opened up about the role of periods in athletics and the importance of encouraging conversation.
O’Donoghue is keen to break the stigma that periods have a negative effect on sport performances. She explained how it is important to be aware of her cycle, without letting herself overthink it. She told Her Sport on the Period Panel, “for National Outdoors I always seem to end up on my period […]. And those have been some of the best races I’ve ever had”.
Last year, the Emerald Athletics Club secured her first national outdoor title, winning the 1500m at Irish Nationals in August.
The Limerick flyer explains how the science behind periods can be incredibly beneficial to look into in terms of training blocks, knowing what to expect, and keeping track of how racing feels at certain times in her cycle.
There is a false belief that periods will decrease athletic abilities. O’Donoghue explains why this belief isn’t true and how the running community and sports community, in general, can do better at starting the conversation.
“On a day-to-day basis, you never see much about periods in sports”. Opening up more about periods will make the topic less taboo and could encourage more girls to participate and remain in the sport. O’Donoghue encourages more education on periods in school, as well as day-to-day conversations between friends and family.