Author Topic: Marathon running on hrt  (Read 572 times)

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Online AnamethatstartswithE

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Marathon running on hrt
« on: March 04, 2018, 06:52:10 pm »
So I ran my twelfth marathon this Morin it, and it was my personal worst time. A big part of it was under training due to unexpected travel and uncooperative weather. (Plus I think I’m getting a little complacent in the training) also words cannot express just how cold it was at the start. Anyway, I’m a bit over 6 months on hrt, so I’m sure the loss of muscle from that is also part of it. Does anybody have info/experiences on how much this affects things?
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Offline Devlyn

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2018, 07:00:32 pm »
Let's try this.   :)

@Deborah

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2018, 07:57:47 pm »
I don’t think the @ works.  Or if it does I don’t know what to look for.

But on running.  My running sucks too and I don’t think it has anything to do with muscle mass/strength.  I’m not really sure how much my actual muscle mass has changed but I am way stronger after three years of HRT than I was before I started.  Yesterday I back squatted 272.5 lbs and deadlifted 355 lbs, both for reps.  My bodyweight is right now also about the same as it was for my last marathon in 2012, around 179 lbs.  Despite all that my running still sucks. 

It’s true that part of that is training as I’m not focused solely on running right now but for the amount of running I am doing now, 3 x per week, my pace is slower than before and isn’t improving at the rate it did in the past.  It really isn’t improving at all.

What I think is going on is a decline in aerobic capacity due to a reduced red blood cell count caused by HRT.

In 2013, before HRT and soon after my last marathon, my hematocrit count was 42.8%.  I was in really good shape then, running 60+ miles per week and was also overtrained and often exhausted.  At the beginning of HRT in 2015 when I was out of shape it was 48.6%.  Now it’s 40.1%.  So HRT has had a real effect there.

It doesn’t seem like a big change in values but I can’t think of any other reason for my degraded running capacity.  It certainly isn’t strength.

In 2012 I could run a sub six minute mile.  Right now I think I’d be hard pressed to break seven minutes on a good day.  Even that might be optimistic the way my runs usually feel these days.




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Online Alaskan Danielle

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2018, 08:12:27 pm »
So I ran my twelfth marathon this Morin it, and it was my personal worst time. A big part of it was under training due to unexpected travel and uncooperative weather. (Plus I think I’m getting a little complacent in the training) also words cannot express just how cold it was at the start. Anyway, I’m a bit over 6 months on hrt, so I’m sure the loss of muscle from that is also part of it. Does anybody have info/experiences on how much this affects things?

@ AnamethatstartswithE:  As my old male self I frequently ran many full marathons and came in with fairly good times.  HOWEVER after a year of HRT I seemed to have lost a lot of stamina and now after 3 years of HRT and living full time for the last 16 months I am now just running half marathons with less than spectacular times.  I also continue to participate in charity runs and walks and now I don't worry about my times... I just enjoy doing the event the best that I can and the exercise is certainly good for me.
I have a weekly gym get together with 5 or 6 cis girlfriends and we don't necessarily set records but we have a good time trying to stay in shape... .
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Offline MichelleC

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2018, 09:02:07 pm »
Just been having a quick look at this.  The papers agree that there is a 12% difference in haematocrit between men and women.  EPO levels in men and women are the same, so since we can all make haematocrit equally well, the most likely that it’s because women lose blood through menstruation that their Fe numbers are lower.

Unless you’re a medical miracle, that probably doesn’t apply, so I expect that it’s most likely due to a difference in muscle and very likely to higher body fat, subcutaneous, breast and hip.  The rule of thumb is you lose or gain 5 seconds per km per kg of weight gained or lost.

Plus T makes you more aggressive and competitive, so lower T will take away your edge.  It did for me- I no longer want to hurt myself on each training session.  That may also be depression-related: the training was a way of self-harm and to keep the numbness away.



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Offline MichelleC

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2018, 09:24:51 pm »
This was the most useful and least speculative article I found: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1120434/


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Offline Deborah

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Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2018, 09:38:36 pm »
The speculative reasons stated in the article don’t account for what has happened with me.  The only thing that could account for it is differences in hormone balance as my weight is about the same.  That, as well as their menstruating blood loss theory, could also explain why the differences disappear pre-puberty and post menopausal.


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Online AnamethatstartswithE

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2018, 06:23:06 am »
Interesting, I’ve also noticed in training, and definitely this morning, that I take longer to recover than I did. When I first started deciding whether or not to transition I understood that my personal best from 2012 would probably be my PR forever. I guess I was hoping I could be an exception, especially since I’ve lost a lot of weight in the interim.

One issue I hadn’t experienced before is hair soreness. It would appear that my ponytail bobbing up and down for hours was starting to hurt the back of my head. Such is life.
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Offline Deborah

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2018, 07:14:39 am »
Interesting, I’ve also noticed in training, and definitely this morning, that I take longer to recover than I did.
I’ve noticed that too.  I’m having to pay much more attention to nutrition and sleep to keep up with my daily workouts.  If I string more than a couple of inadequate sleep days together I really start to suffer.

But even before, the day after a marathon race I was wasted.  Even for the fastest recoverers that thing takes at least a week to recover from if it was run max effort for the distance.

One benefit I am having with the HRT is training smarter and stopping before I go to far or too hard.  I used to just go out with the attitude to kill myself with running every day.  That was partly the T and mostly the dysphoria.  In the short term that always got me in pretty good condition but in the long term I was always affected with chronic pain and ultimately long term exhaustion.  Last time in 2013 I went from 20 mile training runs in three hours to not being able to complete six miles at an 11 minute pace over the space of three weeks.  I just broke and it took nearly six months before I really felt good again and things stopped hurting.

Now, with a clear head I’m able to approach it all much smarter enabling me to keep feeling better rather than feeling crushed and should allow me to continue improving for a much longer time without the enforced breaks from physical collapse.



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Offline Arianna Valentine

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2018, 11:26:50 pm »
So I ran my twelfth marathon this Morin it, and it was my personal worst time. A big part of it was under training due to unexpected travel and uncooperative weather. (Plus I think I’m getting a little complacent in the training) also words cannot express just how cold it was at the start. Anyway, I’m a bit over 6 months on hrt, so I’m sure the loss of muscle from that is also part of it. Does anybody have info/experiences on how much this affects things?
I by far am no marathon runner I'm barely a jogger I literally just quit smoking 3 weeks ago and started eating more well to combat the sure to come weight gain I exercise by walking/jogging but if you have any tips about stretching and jogging in general I'd really appreciate it you can reply here or send me a pm if you'd like I can always use more friends . Also if it helps currently I'll jog a bit then walk.a bit then repeat turns out I have exercise induced asthma so I try not to push myself to hard but I do it everyday except when it's bad weather.

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Offline Jessica

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2018, 11:55:13 pm »
My longest race has been 15k, but the 1/2 in on my bucket list.  I’ve been training with a group of other women runners and am the one that sets the pace.  My stamina has suffered and I’ve needed to increase my elliptical time to offset it. 
One thing I’ve noticed is that I run differently than I had.  The way I can explain it is my center of balance seems lower.  Whether that is from my hips and butt gaining more redistributed fat or my hip ligaments loosening and causing them to rotate some...or both.  I feel more comfortable in a more forward stance as I run now.

... it's like running a car on ethanol when it's supposed to take gasoline... it'll work, but it's eventually gonna break down until you put it on the proper fuel.

Offline Mendi

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2018, 01:49:31 am »
I think you have lost muscle mass.

I had lab tests taken few weeks ago, actually nearly on 6 month HRT birthday.

Otherwise they were relatively normal, but my creatinine values are not anymore on male range. They are now in female range and my doctor had written, that no need to be alarmed, even when lab had flagged the value is disturbing. The doctor just wrote, that even when my social security number still labels me as a man, the lab values don´t lie, and I´m a woman  :)

And I have noticed that a lot of muscle mass has disappeared. I cannot carry groceries on one go from car to home. Need to rest for a moment  :)

Offline Arianna Valentine

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2018, 04:20:03 am »
I think you have lost muscle mass.

I had lab tests taken few weeks ago, actually nearly on 6 month HRT birthday.

Otherwise they were relatively normal, but my creatinine values are not anymore on male range. They are now in female range and my doctor had written, that no need to be alarmed, even when lab had flagged the value is disturbing. The doctor just wrote, that even when my social security number still labels me as a man, the lab values don´t lie, and I´m a woman  :)

And I have noticed that a lot of muscle mass has disappeared. I cannot carry groceries on one go from car to home. Need to rest for a moment  :)
From the smiley faces and what I read congrats and in my opinion you were woman to begin with body be damned lol. 

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Offline Megan.

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2018, 04:37:59 am »
HRT has really messed with my pace, even over 5km the difference has been very noticeable. Testosterone and its effect of increasing blood oxygenation is a real thing!

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2018, 06:49:15 am »
My running got so much slower that I found a new fitness hobby. 

On stretching since it was asked above:  Do not stretch before running or if you have to just do some dynamic stretches.  Static stretches before running reduces the muscle’s power and doesn’t really do anything to help you in any way.


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Offline warlockmaker

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2018, 07:27:40 am »
I have run more marathons than I can remember, I have completed 6 Ironman, 2  in world championship representing my country as a male. When I was on HRT I had significant lower energy levels and strength and my running and swimming times deterioted significantly. On reflection it was probably due to Spiro.

Now a female tg. Took me a long time to redefine my muscle from make to female. My running speed has never regained its speed but I am winning the 10k races in my female age group easily. I used to believe that females could one day run marathons faster than men, this has now proven to not be true.

T is the muscle builder. Females cannot build muscle mass like males unless they consume T. Many on HRT may have a high T count and thus maintain their muscle bulk. Post op know the reality.
When we first start our journey the perception and moral values all dramatically change in wonderment. As we evolve further it all becomes normal again but the journey has changed us forever.

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Offline Arianna Valentine

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2018, 09:47:59 am »
My running got so much slower that I found a new fitness hobby. 

On stretching since it was asked above:  Do not stretch before running or if you have to just do some dynamic stretches.  Static stretches before running reduces the muscle’s power and doesn’t really do anything to help you in any way.


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Thanks so much I've been messing up stretching before jogging lol good to know again thank you so much

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Offline Deborah

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2018, 03:17:08 pm »
You can not retain all your muscle mass on HRT.  However, you can maintain or increase your strength with the right training.

I am much stronger now on HRT than I was before HRT and would rank among the stronger female powerlifters.  That is way stronger than most men.    Right now I have a 305 lb squat, 385 lb deadlift, and 190 lb bench press at a body weight of about 185 lbs.

My T before HRT was 826 ng/dl and it is now <3 according to the doctor’s blood tests.  It has been  <3 for nearly two years.  So you don’t need any T at all to be strong.


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Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being....  - Dan Barker

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Online AnamethatstartswithE

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2018, 03:23:09 pm »
Wow this thread resurrected quickly. A day or so after posting this I started having some issues, and it turned out my electrolites were all out of whack, the spiro probably either caused or at least exacerbated this. I've started drinking small gatorades after each workout and its helped a lot. I need to get back into interval training, which has been lacking recently.
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Offline EllenJ2003

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Re: Marathon running on hrt
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2018, 03:59:35 pm »
I never ran marathons (when I was on the high school track team, my specialty was 400m, and the long jump), but I did do distance work.  It began as a part of my abortive post-college attempt (as a last ditch effort to "substitute" something for transitioning, since I had failed at the time [the late 80s], to find any resources/way to begin transitioning) to go to flight school for the USMC (I was actually accepted, but shortly before I was ready to ship out to OCS, I got hit by a car while running home from work, mega dislocating my shoulder), since you couldn't even get into OCS, until you passed a physical fitness test, that included a 3 mile run.  When military flying fell by the wayside, and I realized that come hell or high water I was going to have to find a way to transition (including as broke as I was, coming up with the money for SRS), I kept on running 3-7 miles/day (including some competition runs [the most prominent being Al's Run in Milwaukee in 1996 - placed 1340 out of 15,000 plus], instigated by my long distance running guru brother & brother-in-law)  for weight control and weight reduction.  I did experience a reduction in running performance after I went on HRT in 1999, but with a caveat - around that time period, is when my exercised induced asthma really started to take off, so I'm not certain how much of the loss of performance is from the asthma (which finally became such an issue that I almost wound up in the hospital from a mega asthma attack period back in June 2003), or is from the HRT.  Still, I do believe that some of the performance loss is from the HRT, since I didn't have as much power when I did terrain/hill work in the past. 

Unfortunately, nowadays, my asthma has gotten the best of me, and despite using emergency inhalers (at the suggestion of my asthma specialist) before running, I've pretty much had to quit running as hard as I used to.  Also, no more outdoors running, due to the crud in the air aggravating my asthma, and no treadmill running (I have short Achilles tendons [I had a bad problem growing up, with walking on my toes]), and have a tendency to heel strike hard on a treadmill (you should see me running outside - my brother told me I looked like I was perpetually falling forward, when I was running :)), which is hard on my back.  Luckily I can still do a terrain and resistance profile jog (yes jog - I still get asthma attacks if I push things too hard, and if I get too sweaty, I can aggravate my tendency to get dermatitis) on an elliptical machine (due to its low impact nature), and use that type of workout nowadays, to keep up some semblance to a running workout :).
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