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Triathlon training and HRT?

Naomi Knowles

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Before I openly committed to being trans, I was going to the gym regularly with aspirations of becoming generally powerful enough to enter into the Iron man series of triathlons (the hardest 1-day sports event in the world). Of course, ignoring the fact that I'd be more iron trans (Irontran?) by that point, assuming I were capable of achieving the level of endurance required to perform in such a punishing event in the next 2-3 years. Also ignoring the changing room awkwardness phase that will eventually rear up while I train...



I know that hormones are going to cause some pretty uniquely-stressful changes to the body, and I'm wondering if anyone else has also undergone HRT, while also undergoing (progressively extreme) endurance training at the same time. Is this advisable? Or dial the triathlon training back by a year to let hormones do their work, and just use my gym time to trim fat?

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I’m not a perfect person to answer, but I am on hrt (only a short time though). And I run and exercise a lot. I’d say I run 30-50 miles a week. I also have been doing the beach body insanity series. 

I will say that my times have not slowed yet. And although I’m only 2 weeks into insanity I am still crushing the workouts. I think eventually my times and power will diminish. But not enough to be fearful of working towards a goal like that. I think weight training is more an issue. But there are plenty of cis women that do all of this as well. And honestly as a mtf the last thing I would do is weight train. Lol. 

But just like anything pay attention to what your body is telling you. It sounds like you’re already working so just continue on. If there’s too much stress you’ll know. The body is pretty good at letting us know things like that.

Good luck with the goal! Mine is Boston marathon in 2020 in about 3-1/2 hours. Just because your trans your life can’t stop. Go for what you want!! 


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You will almost certainly find it harder/impossible to maintain the level of muscle mass that you've had in the past. Which means you will likely lose some performance. That being said, I don't see any reason to dial back your workouts as long as you're paying attention to your body and not pushing it so hard that you get injured. 

As Kirsten said, there are lots of cis women already competing and you probably have an advantage by starting from a higher ceiling. Just challenge yourself as an individual to do the best you can and you should be fine, IMO. Also, keep in mind that you WANT to keep some fat around. If it gets too low it can negatively impact breast development.


Do it!

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One thing I will add to this is that the meds really wipe me out after being in the sun for a few hours. I think it’s the spiro that does that? (Don’t quote me on that). I played golf the other day all day. Like 2 full rounds. And by the middle of the second round it was afternoon and 80°+ and full sun. Normally this wouldn’t bother me at all but whoa. I was done. It just hit like a ton of bricks. The week prior I did the same thing but it was cool and overcast and I had no issues. So be careful of that sun. 

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  • Forum Moderator

Make sure you stat well hydrated!  Actually more than you might imagine.



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  • 11 months later...

Hi All,

I stumbled across this post, as I'm considering transitioning.  As a life-long athlete, I was curious what effects HRT would have on my body.  Though I was focusing on what HRT would do to my athletic performance.  I wasn't considering what continuing to work out would do to the effects of HRT.

I know that exercise, even endurance, stimulates testosterone.  So would testosterone blockers be enough to stop this effect?


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10 hours ago, lauraincolumbia said:

Hi All,

I stumbled across this post, as I'm considering transitioning.  As a life-long athlete, I was curious what effects HRT would have on my body.  Though I was focusing on what HRT would do to my athletic performance.  I wasn't considering what continuing to work out would do to the effects of HRT.

I know that exercise, even endurance, stimulates testosterone.  So would testosterone blockers be enough to stop this effect?



Hi Laurain


No amount of exercise will completely stop estriadol from doing it's thing, though if your T-levels are also high, it may take slightly longer for you to notice physical changes.


You may want to consider keeping up your routine/s if nothing else for the fact that keeping your vascular health in tip-top condition should theoretically reduce your risk of DVT while also keeping cellulite formation at bay ;) 


The correct dose / drug for T-blocking is something you'd need to explore with your doctor/endocrinologist if you expect to engage in activity that stimulates testosterone release. Of course you wouldn't produce the same amount every day, which makes taking different doses from day to day bit of a risky move, but the only way to tell is for your doctor to start you off at a safe dose and then adjust from there.


I developed gym locker room anxiety after starting HRT myself and can confirm that if left alone, HRT will steal muscle mass and encourage fat re-distribution, especially around the hips - the way mine are now it gives the vague illusion of curves, and to be honest I kind of like them the way they are now.

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Just to chime in from the sidelines, I run and do Tri sport and though I’m not competitive I draw comfort from all the amazing females I see in these sports.  You may lose some mass but mass does not equal power.  Just my 2¢

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