Earlier this year I interviewed ultrarunning adventurer Nikki Love about how the menopause has affected her running.
Since 2016, Nikki has been undertaking ultra distance adventures, starting with the JungleUltra, a 5-day race through the Amazon jungle in Peru.
In 2017, I met Nikki and interviewed her shortly before she started her 63 marathons in 63 days challenge. She ran a marathon distance on 63 consecutive days in various locations around the UK. I ran part of the distance with her on a couple of the 63 days and was impressed not just by her sheer determination but also by the very clear narrative she had about her motivation. It was all about her “why”. She had thought carefully about her reasons for doing the challenge and when she was finding it hard she would go back to the “why” and remind herself of these reasons.
Since 2017, Nikki has completed other challenges and she mentions some of these in the interview:
- 2018 – run round Ireland – 730 miles over 32 days
- 2019 – run the length of Wales – 177 miles over 7 days
- 2019 – run across the Netherlands (unsupported) – 155 miles over 5 days
These are all partly in preparation for her big challenge to run across Australia, the country where she grew up.
Menopause and ultrarunning interview – Part 1
In the first part of this video interview (13 minutes), Nikki talks about how she first started experiencing symptoms of the perimenopause at the time of her 63 marathons challenge. Her unsupported run across the Netherlands was particularly difficult and Nikki talks about the mental strategies she used to turn things around after that experience. We also talk about “Find Your Why” – the self-belief and motivation that fuels all her adventures.
Menopause and ultrarunning interview – Part 2
In the second part of this video interview (10 minutes), Nikki and I talk about the lack of information available for female ultra endurance athletes who are going through the perimenopause. Despite increasing openness, this is still something of a taboo subject, meaning women may not feel comfortable to share their stories. This reticence has affected both of us. Nikki concludes that “women have to put up with so much it makes them really strong for going through the tough times when running ultras.”
What has your experience of running during perimenopause or after menopause been? Please do add your thoughts in the comments.
Read my interview with Nikki from 2017.
In 2023 Nikki ran 4000km across Australia. Read Part 1 of my interview with Nikki about that run.
Find out more about Nikki and her new book about her 63 marathons challenge at nikkilove.co.uk
My article with links to useful resources about the menopause and perimenopause for runners.