For women, running is the art of letting go

Let’s talk women’s health and running.

This year was a busy season treating and training runners — the majority being women looking to improve their running performance.

Us women, we do a lot. Running gives us the space to reorganize our thoughts, hear about others’ life experiences, and settle within ourselves so we are prepared to lead gracefully the next day. Our runs give us time to discuss our day, our children, and our weekend plans.

But what I find we are not discussing are those inward comments we feel uncomfortable sharing.

Thoughts I often hear from my clients include: Why do I pee when I run? Why do I have constant hip and low back pain that will not go away? Why have I plateaued in my training even though I am doing all the right things? Why are my periods so painful? Why have I not had a period at all in the last few months?

Women are often thinking these thoughts, but assume this is what to expect as they age or after they have children and don’t feel ready to share their feelings.

These are the conversations I have daily with my clients.

It is a vulnerable and difficult conversation to explain to another person that “I pee when I run,” or “I only wear black pants just in case”.

We often lose confidence in ourselves and our bodies. Then layer in hormonal changes as we age! Sometimes women’s health can get in our way.

Often our pelvic floor symptoms can be due to an overactive pelvic floor and it surprises my runners when I tell them running is the art of letting go. When our pelvic floor muscles let go and fully relax, they can then fully contract, which creates more strength and more power. Letting our pelvic floor fully relax also allows optimal hip mobility, which is important for a good running stride and a fast pace.

Understanding our hormonal health during different phases of our cycle can also optimize training to get the best results.

When we are in high hormonal phases of our cycle, it is difficult to perform our high intensity, fast runs, so layering in more recovery runs can prevent injuries and burnout.

Within our low hormonal phases, we can manage heat and water levels more efficiently. Therefore, this is the optimal time for speed training, taking our running to the next level.

It is exciting to have conversations around women’s health and sport. Women’s health and sport performance is moving forward. Females are understanding their cycles more. Coaches are starting to work with female hormonal cycles to optimize training. Women are reaching out when they need help, and we continue to empower women that it is their turn to ask questions.

I want you all to be a sustainable athlete during all phases of your training life.

Let’s get to know one another and talk about women’s health and sport to prepare you for your next season of running.

Physiotherapist Kim Fraser specializes in women’s pelvic health and sports performance for women and men. She runs Still Physiotherapy, which is part of the Holistic Physiotherapy and Wellness Clinic on Broadway Avenue. 

For more about Kim, visit Still Physiotherapy in-person at 626 Broadway Avenue or online at or Instagram. Kim can be reached by email at