When I was doing my research for books that cyclists would love, I came across Roar by Stacy Sims. In fact, in hindsight, it seems this book had been popping up all over the place but I just didn’t notice. None the less, the comment that made me press the purchase button was when someone told me that this book would change my life.
Dramatic? …maybe. True? …quite possibly.
Roar by Stacy Sims – What’s the book about?
When my copy of Roar made it to me, I skimmed through it from cover to cover in no time at all. The timing was great actually. I’d just recently made the discovery that spraying magnesium onto my lower back and abdomen relieved period pain better than anything else I had ever really tried. I made it through that period without taking a single paracetamol… which is rare for me.
Our menstrual cycle is something that Stacy covers in depth in the book. Starting by explaining the phases, which if you’re like me you covered in school then started taking the pill and you no longer needed to know any of that. But we’ve all become conditioned to believe that periods equal pain and therefore a reduction in performance. Like, who decided that was cool?!
But Stacy has our back. She clarifies that as women, we are not small men. So therefore, we shouldn’t be eating and training like one!
The Roar Action Plan For Power
There’s a section in the book called ‘Action Plan For Power Regardless of Your Period’ and those two pages were mind-blowing for me. Stacy detailed an actual plan for during your period, pre-training, in training and post-training which saw me run out to the pharmacy and top up my supplement cupboard. I’m now ready with a supplement routine in the lead up to my next period which I’m confident will work well for me and help me not to lose those days to the feeling of wanting to die alone curled up in bed. Yup.
The book also has a chapter decided to woman who are moving through the menopause aaaand a chapter dedicated to pregancy because these women still need specific training and nutrition advice that applies to what they are going through.
What Should I Eat When Training*?
*or any activity that you do – cycling, gym, running, tennis, you name it. The questions we’re all looking to answer are what to eat, how much should we eat and when should we eat it. The book even goes as far as breaking down the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat), discussing gut health and arming us with a few key recipes.
Personally, with an ever changing workout schedule (when I actually get to workout), I need to put more focus on differentiating my eating between training and non training days. I’m looking forward to getting to spend more time on my bike to rid myself of the few extra kgs I have acquired while studying the past two years! And yes, I knew before I read this book that I had a few extra kg, because I know my body, but even the book confirmed that for my frame size, I am sitting outside the healthy weight range.
How Should a Woman Train?
So my goal is something like 2 rides per week, 1 run, and 2-3 training sessions to include strength and a little of whatever else I fancy. The book contains workout plans to help you ‘power up’ as well as specific exercises for core strength, stability and mobility.
On the subject of training and periods, a couple people who mentioned this book to me also recommended that I downloaded the FitrWoman app. It basically is a period tracker which also shares information on the various stages in your cycle and how that relates to training and nutrition. It’s a free app that’s packed with information. I managed to quickly add in some data from the app I have been using so hopefully it’ll get a lot more accurate sooner rather than later.
Watch Stacy’s Ted Talk:
Has This Booked Changed My Life?
Well, it’s early days but I think it might just be a game changer.
This book is a really invaluable read. It’s packed full of information and more importantly busts a lot of myths out there surrounding our diets and our bodies. There’s so much covered that I don’t think I even scraped the surface of what you can learn from reading. You just need to buy the book…
Have you already read Roar?