Can we have some female specific tools?

Hi,

I was shown the site by a friend of mine and I am very impressed - it’s pretty slick. I am also a user of another similar and well known service that I pay fairly handsomely for but one of my biggest frustrations (especially as I am paying!) is that there are no womens specific tools - by which I mean at the very basic level menstrual cycle tracking. Historically women have been excluded from most sports science studies but it turns out a hormone cycle that fluctuates on a 28 day (plus or minus 7 days) has a significant impact on how your body responds to training stimulus and there are some excellent books and articles on the subject:


The work also of Dr Stacy Sims: https://www.drstacysims.com/

I do feel very short-changed because of this gaping hole in a well-known paid for service and I’d actually be quite happy to pay someone else if they offered it. I suspect I may not be alone either…but just knowing where my hormone levels are (or at least where the model says they are) could make a huge difference to my training.

I really like the comparison tool - nice to know how I stack up against other users for my age group - I am 41 and started training seriously 3 years ago, I’m not gonna be a pro so the Coggan rankings don’t help!

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Teena

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Thanks! That is already on the todo list (tx @steve_neal) and hopefully I can get to it soon. I am planning on implementing wellness stats using everything I can get from Garmin Connect as a starting point.

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Intervals.icu definitely needs more women on the platform. It is very male at the moment. You can see this by changing the groups on the power comparison charts. Male = 8010 athletes. Female = 396 (approx 5%).

I don’t know what the world “cyclists with power meters” male/female distribution looks like.

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This is a great suggestion, very pertinent topic.
As of today I am not aware of any major platform like TrainingPeaks etc having similar tools.

I see lots of women with power meters, just overall there are not enough women! That said, I think the ones that are there do take it very seriously although probably you would be looking at more of a TT/Triathlon audience(?). Also don’t forget that nearly 100% of women on Zwift will have access to power measurements and I know of a number who never ride on the road but race in Zwift! So you are perhaps looking at a slightly different demographic. Also, as cliche as it is, men will get the significant others on the their turbos…(although in my household, I own all the turbos and it worked the other way!).

I’ll be honest and say I only found the platform because through a group WhatsApp for cycling (and in which I am the only only woman) so I don’t know how most people find it but if there were women’s specific tools that weren’t available elsewhere, then it would just be a matter of getting word out on the podcasts, forums etc

It is possibly also a bit chicken and egg - if the tools don’t exist for them, they won’t come! Speaking from experience though, I would go through a month absolutely nailing a workout my coach would give me one week and then barely crawling through it the next - then I read Dr Stacy Sims book and started going back through my calendar and it all started to make sense.

I will say I am utterly infuriated by TrainingPeaks leaving it out, especially when it costs so much! Garmin Connect does a better job although it appears to gather an awful lot of data and not really feedback much to you ¯_(ツ)_/¯ besides when you are due to have your period.

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I’ll have you know that I bought my significant other her own Neo. Or, maybe I got that wrong and she was responsible for the purchase of both :joy:

On a more serious note (not including the menstruation cycle, as neither of us have that, but I think their are other hormonal influences), I think that adding some wellness related parameters, possibly with an automated mechanism to adapt registered output for that, would be fantastic.

On my Apple watch, I have a ton of features (yes, including that one), but Garmin is not too bad at it either, so there’s that…

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Great suggestions! Have been tracking like Dr. Stacy for around 15 years with all of my female clients. It really makes a difference. I have made some suggestions that I think will really help female athletes much more than other platforms and I know @david will come through for sure. Thanks for requesting.

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True but Trainer Road have been talking about this being in their development right now. Has this now become a first-to-market race? :grinning:

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I have started working on this and other wellness stuff (sleep tracking etc.). For menstrual cycle tracking all I have to do is keep track of the period days. The luteal phase is 14 days with the follicular phrase the variable part. With period days I can calculate the cycle length and hence predict future cycle phases. Is that about right?

OK - I am no expert but on average the cycle is 28 days, in reality it fluctuates and can easily be +/- 7 days to that, it’s fairly individual and can change based on age, pregnancy etc.

So a useful calculator (which you will have to reverse engineer): https://www.calculator.net/period-calculator.html

And then extrapolate based on the phases as defined here: https://www.yourperiod.ca/normal-periods/menstrual-cycle-basics/

Definitely also tell us our ovulation days specifically - they are an estimation yes, but handy to know and generally 3/4 days in the middle (although I’ll need to check if it is biased one way or another depending on cycle length).

I am away from my Dr Stacy Sims book at the moment but will have a look at the weekend and send you the information, although I daresay if you tapped her up on social media and told her what you were planning she would be incredibly helpful! I am tempted to point her your way anyway as I think she could give you some very valuable insights…far more than me!

I think the way Garmin does it is that you put in the first day of your cycle and it extrapolates the rest.

Teena

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The first version of this is live now. I have enabled it for all non-male athletes but anyone can turn it on in /settings:

As you can see your can also control who can see your cycle info (only yourself, your coaches, your followers).

You need to capture some historical period days. Once there is at least one complete cycle Intervals.icu will predict future cycles for the next 180 days. The period indicator is a red dot next to the date on the calendar.

Screen Shot 2020-11-01 at 16.05.08

Click in an empty spot on the calendar to add a calendar entry and choose “Wellness Data”.

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This is very cool.

Unfortunately, once we get older, the period cycles are not so regular. In my experience it is something impossible to plan around, yet you can start to recognize the more slow-moving cyclic hormonal shifts through tracking other metrics, some of which are extremely subjective, highly individual and not immediately apparent. I think that’s why science knows next to nothing about peri-menopause especially where it intersects with exercise.

Also, I am one of the few mountain bikers who trains with a power meter AND is female. It’s not all triathletes! Don’t forget about us, haha.

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