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Q&A with PhD student Jenny Higgins

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Photo: Ian Dobson

Jenny Higgins Graduated with a 1st class honours BSc in Sport and Exercise Science (University of Limerick). She is currently working towards her PhD in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, looking at the interaction of nutrition and exercise on bone health in female athletes. In Jenny’s spare time she is working on a consistent block of training with the goal to be back on track racing soon.

Thank you Jenny for contributing this extremely valuable information on the Female Athlete Triad and bone health for the Belle Lap readers.


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Valuable Nutrition advice from Brett Ely

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Brett Ely is an elite marathon runner for Team Run Eugene and New Balance. She just completed her 4th Olympic Marathon Trials last week in LA with a very strong performance. Brett’s physical and mental strength show every day in her training as she balances her work on the roads, trails and track with working towards her PhD.

Brett majored in Nutrition in her undergraduate studies and lives a vegetarian lifestyle that powers her through marathon cycles. Brett shares her experience with team culture and food on her college team and shares comparison with her ‘Collegiate diet’ vs. ‘Pro diet’.

Note the changes she makes that allow her to train at the level of a strong, accomplished professional runner. Thanks Brett for sharing your knowledge and experience!

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The Female Athlete Triad Facts

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The Female athlete triad is the cycle of disordered eating, lack of menstrual cycle, leading to poor bone health. It is commonly seen in distance running and many times it can cause career ending results due to chronic injury and reoccurring  stress fractures, leading to osteoporosis.

Belle Lap is here to inform you of the brief facts so that you can make decisions to have a happy and healthy running career.

We will be going into more detail about bone health and the female athlete triad later this week, talking with an expert PHD student focusing her studies on bone health and athletes.  

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The Art of Cross-Training

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If you ask any athlete where they learned the most about life, oftentimes you will hear that it didn’t come from the moments when all was going peachy. Hardships make you stronger, they make you wiser and they make you physically and mentally tougher. They allow you to realize your priorities in life, they ground you, and they test your perseverence. Every cloud has a silver lining and many pro athletes in the sport have achieved some amazing things through misfortunes. We are in a sport where losses make our runners return more resilient and achieve even greater success than they first set out to. It all just depends how much you want it!

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The Importance of Recovery

The benefits of training are only partially down to the physical workload. Another huge aspect of training that directly impacts any future success is recovery. Training your body to recover in the most natural time-efficient way before your next workout is key to being consistent, successful, injury and illness-free.

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