The FENDURA research project

The Female Endurance Athlete (FENDURA): Exploring the missing link in exercise physiology.

FENDURA (The Female Endurance Athlete) is a research project led by the School of Sport Sciences at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, in close collaboration with NTNU, Olympiatoppen, Norges Skiforbund and Norges Skiskytterforbund. The projects aims at improving the sparse knowledge of how hormonal and other female-specific aspects impact exercise and performance among female endurance athletes. The FENDURA project is focused on researching female athletes, to better understand female-specific challenges, and to improve the performance and health of these athletes.

Project Structure (2020-2024)


Recent Publications

Under Review

  1. Osborne, J.O., Andersson, E.P., Pedersen, S., Welde, B., Petterson, S.A., Emaus, A., Solli, G.S. & Engseth, T.P. Hormonal contraceptive use and self-reported menstrual cycle-related symptom frequency and severity in Norwegian team handball players of different competition levels. International Journal of Sports Physiology & Performance.

  2. Osborne, J.O., Pedersen, S., Welde, B., Petterson, S.A., Minahan, C., & Andersson, E.P. Test-retest reliability of strength, power, agility, and sprint performance in female team handball players. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.

  3. Engseth, T.P., Osborne, J.O., Solli, G.S., Morseth, B., Andersson, E. P., Tropranin, V. dM., Taylor, M., Noordhof, D.A., Sandbakk, Ø., & Welde, B. Influence of menstrual/withdrawal bleeding on self-reported symptoms and recovery during an annual cycle in endurance athletes: The FENDURA project. Journal of Sports Sciences.

  4. Taylor, M., Hrozanova, M., Nordengen, L., Sandbakk, Ø., Osborne, J.O., & Noordhof, D.A. Influence of menstrual cycle phase on sleep and recovery following high- and low-intensity training in eumenorrheic endurance-trained women: the FENDURA project. International Journal of Sports Physiology & Performance.


  1. Noordhof, D.A., Taylor, M., Tropranin, V.dM., Engseth, T.P., Sandbakk, Ø., & Osborne, J.O. The Agreement Between the Three- and Two-Step Method for Identifying Subtle Menstrual Disturbances in Female Athletes. International Journal of Sports Physiology & Performance. (Accepted May 2024).

  2. Taylor, M., Osborne, J.O., Solli, G.S., Engseth, T.P., Tropranin, V.dM., Welde, B., Morseth, B., Valsdottir, D., Øistuen, G.F., Flatby, I., Haugen, T., Andersson, E.P., Sandbakk, Ø., & Noordhof, D.A. (2024). Menstrual cycle phase has no influence on performance-determining variables in endurance-trained athletes: a FENDURA project. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. (Accepted March 2024).


  1. Engseth TP, Andersson EP, Solli GS, Morseth B, Thomassen TO, Noordhof DA, Sandbakk Ø and Welde B (2022).Prevalence and Self-Perceived Experiences With the Use of Hormonal Contraceptives Among Competitive Female Cross-Country Skiers and Biathletes in Norway: The FENDURA Project. Front. Sports Act. Living 4:873222. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2022.873222

  2. Majumder, T., De Martin Topranin, V., Sandbakk, Ø., & Noordhof, D. A. (2022). Indian Endurance Athletes' Menstrual Cycle: Practices, Knowledge, Communication, Health, and Changes in Perceptions Across the Phases. International journal of sports physiology and performance17(12), 1706–1715. 10.1123/ijspp.2022-0131

  3. von Rosen, P., Ekenros, L., Solli, G. S., Sandbakk, Ø., Holmberg, H. C., Hirschberg, A. L., & Fridén, C. (2022). Offered Support and Knowledge about the Menstrual Cycle in the Athletic Community: A Cross-Sectional Study of 1086 Female Athletes. International journal of environmental research and public health19(19), 11932.

  4. Haugen, T., Sandbakk, Ø., Seiler, S., & Tønnessen, E. (2022). The Training Characteristics of World-Class Distance Runners: An Integration of Scientific Literature and Results-Proven Practice. Sports medicine - open8(1), 46. https://doi-org/10.1186/s40798-022-00438-7

  5. Almquist, N. W., Sandbakk, Ø., & Solli, G. S. (2022). Performance-Related Physiological and Haematological Changes During Pregnancy and Postpartum in a Well-Trained Cyclist Performing Endurance Training. Frontiers in physiology13, 762950. https://doi-org.10.3389/fphys.2022.762950

  6. Noordhof, D. A., Janse de Jonge, X. A. K., Hackney, A. C., de Koning, J. J., & Sandbakk, Ø. (2022). Sport-Science Research on Female Athletes: Dealing With the Paradox of Concurrent Increases in Quantity and Quality. International journal of sports physiology and performance17(7), 993–994. https://doi-org.10.1123/ijspp.2022-0185

  7. Bucher Sandbakk S, Tønnessen E, Haugen T, Sandbakk Ø. Training and coaching of female vs. male endurance athletes on their road to gold. Perceptions among successful elite athlete coaches. Dtsch Z Sportmed. 2022; 73: 251-258. doi:10.5960/dzsm.2022.549


  1. Solli GS, Sandbakk SB, Noordhof DA, Ihalainen JK, Sandbakk Ø. Changes in Self-Reported Physical Fitness, Performance, and Side Effects Across the Phases of the Menstrual Cycle Among Competitive Endurance Athletes.Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2020 Sep 21:1-10. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2019-0616. Epub ahead of print. 

  2. Solli GS, Sandbakk Ø. Training Characteristics During Pregnancy and Postpartum in the World's Most Successful Cross Country Skier. Front Physiol. 2018 May 23;9:595. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00595. 

Recent Conference Presentations and Posters

*Note: only first author displayed.





FENDURA Master and Bachelor Theses

Master Students

Bachelor Students

Links to FENDURA member profiles


Collaborations and Partnerships

Lead Institution and Funders


Collaborative Tertiary Institutions


Collaborative Medical Institutions

Sporting Organisations


Please contact the Project Leader, Dr. John Owen Osborne, for more information on upcoming FENDURA studies and/or research dissemination.

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