The Power of Menstruation - In conversation with Kate Gordon
Kate Gordon is a two-time CrossFit Games athlete and coach, who’s based in Australia. Kate has been tracking her cycle for seven years. She’s learnt how to adjust her training in-line with hormonal changes, to optimise her performance.
In this interview she shares her cycle-based training adjustments, how she approaches competing, and how we can scale training during the high-hormone phase.
Why Kate started tracking her cycle?
She was curious and wanted to understand what was going on with her body. Initially, she used Clue - tracking the days she was bleeding and any physical symptoms.
In 2016, Kate lost her period for three-months due to overtraining and under-eating. After seeking advice from a naturopath and nutritionist, she adjusted her lifestyle - reducing her training to once a day and increasing her calorie intake.
This prompted her to look further into her cycle and what else she could track. She started with her Basal Body Temperature (BBT). She realised her temperature was all over the place due to the physical stress from training. She couldn’t rely on temperature alone to track ovulation so included cervical fluid and cervix position, keeping track using Kindara.
Kate’s advice on what to track
Start by tracking when you menstruate - learn how long your period and cycle is.
Then track general physical symptoms and how you’re feeling - this will help you understand what is going on and connect that with your cycle.
To know when you're fertile you need to track ovulation - ideally you track Basal Body Temperature and either cervical fluid or cervix position.
The key to spotting patterns is looking for those things that repeat regularly throughout your cycle.
If you want to read more about how to understand your cycle and adjust your training, see our open-source resource.
Kate’s book recommendations
Taking charge of your fertility by Toni Weschler - an encyclopedia of fertility and periods.
Period repair manual by Lara Briden - a guide to reducing symptoms on your period.
Beyond the pill by Dr Jolene Brighten - simple diet and lifestyle interventions to reverse the risky side effects of the pill.
No period, now what? By Nicola Rinaldi - pushes an ‘all in’ approach to getting your period back; three months eating 2,500 calories and reducing training intensity (one of the methods she’s seen with the highest rate of success).
Follow Kate’s journey here.