Athletes and Menopause with Pam Semanik

Episode 92 – Athletes and Menopause

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In Episode 92, Jill and Chris talk with Pam Semanik, a coach who specializes in creating training programs for Masters Women athletes.

She is a coach at Stelleri Performance Training, an endurance coaching group based in Northeast Ohio. For over 7 years, Pam has been coaching athletes to achieve their goals in running, cycling, and Multisport events, as well as in maintaining and improving general fitness.

Pam specializes in coaching athletes who are in the menopause transition and post-menopausal athletes who want to compete at their highest level. She is passionate about helping other Masters women understand what it takes to maintain and improve performance, health, and fitness as they ‘age up’, and plans to do the same herself.

We discussed during this episode:

  • Changes that happen to a woman’s physiology at menopause that negatively impact athletic performance
  • Training adaptations for peri and post menopausal athletes
  • The role of the parasympathetic nervous system in recovery
  • The role of HIIT and strength training for masters athletes
  • Why time trials may be the best way to accomplish training objectives
  • Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life” by Joe Friel. This book talks about the changes associated with aging, how it affects athletes, and recommendations for overcoming limitations associated with age-related changes.
  • Dr. Stacy T. Sims: Co-author of “ROAR: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology for Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life”, a book written specifically for women athletes that considers the differences between men and women in terms of athletic training, performance, nutrition, etc. Also talks in general terms about menopause and how it affects active women.
  • Dr. Sims also has an online class called “Menopause for Athletes”, that Pam highly recommends (although it is a bit pricey and heavy on the science) for anyone who wants to dig in deeper. Pam uses this course to help build out training plans for Masters Women athletes – putting the science into practice. Dr. Sims courses and other info are all accessible through her website:

Link to Pam’s coaching website Sterlleri Performance Training.

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