How Your Hormones Affect Athletic Performance and Why You Need to Start Testing
This article discusses how hormones might affect your physical performance.

How Your Hormones Affect Athletic Performance and Why You Need to Start Testing

Dr. Zane Hauck
Friday, January 31, 2020

Growing up, I never thought of myself as a runner, or really a good athlete in general. I played every sport possible as a kid, but I was never great and didn’t play high school sports. As an adult, I started playing team sports again and eventually was convinced to run a 5k. I ended up running the Warrior Dash and enjoyed it, so I continued doing 3.2-mile training runs. For the rest of my 20s I continued running 5k races with friends and played volleyball, softball, and some casual intramural sports, but was there more to my athletic prospects?

Going the Extra Mile

In 2015, my wife came up with the crazy idea of running the Chicago Triathlon. Running was fun and all, but the prospect of doing multiple sports in one race really appealed to me. We trained together, swimming in Lake Michigan and running and biking on the lakefront trail. In June of 2016 I completed my first sprint distance triathlon and I instantly wanted to do it again! However, as life happens, triathlons got put on hold. After our first child was born, my wife promptly set a goal to complete another triathlon before she was a year post-partum and did 2 sprint triathlons in 2018. My next goal was an Olympic distance triathlon, which I completed in 3:12:58. Two weeks later I did another Olympic tri and my worst nightmare came true as I got a flat tire on my bike 0.25 miles in. I managed to change the tire on the side of the road, but it set the tone for a rough day.

Since starting at ZRT I started tracking my hormones and studying how they change and affect my training and performance. Having another tool in my training toolbox has improved my performance by being able to optimize my workload and recovery balance. Never in my life did I think I would enjoy running, let alone be as much of an athlete as I am. I am currently training for a half-marathon between triathlon seasons and have used the data from my hormone tracking to get my times down to under 8 minutes per mile.

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