Giving blood and its effect on running

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08/05/2011 at 20:15
I was thinking it maybe virus related but wasn't sure how long they can lay somewhat dormant.

My next donation will be in August but after feeling like I have from my last session im thinking of cancelling.
08/05/2011 at 20:52

I know some people on this thread are/have considered stopping donating but please consider carrying on. If you really feel rough after donating you should speak to the doctor at the donation session - they can advise you of the best course of action. I feel strongly that more people should give blood - my wife works in the NHS as do some of our friends and it is universally acknowledged that stocks do get too low too frequently. I also try to encourage other people to think about donating if they don't do so already.

BTW - I did a "dry run" 13.4 mile run (for my half marathon at the end of the month) today (five days after my donation) - felt ok generally but it was warm and windy here in the West Midlands. Knackered at the end but done in 1hr. 48 mins so quite pleased...

08/05/2011 at 21:54
What does your wife do tony?  Where is your HM.? Brilliant time for you run.I can only dream of sub 2.00 for a half. I have a 10m coming up in Burton so am training for that.
08/05/2011 at 22:02

The story goes that  when they brought some equipment left from previous unmanned missions back from the Moon on one of the last trips, they examined them for bacteria and viruses. Not only did they find them (lab technician had a cold) they were also able to bring them back to life. That was after three years in temperatures of between -200C or so and +200C in a fairly sterile environment.

So three and a half weeks living in a nice warm human being should be no problem.

09/05/2011 at 14:21
Eckytump - as you asked.... she is a midwife. Very busy job but highly rewarding. Good luck for your 10miler! My HM is in Malvern on the 29th.
09/05/2011 at 14:51
Oh yes I can imagine very stressful but yes so rewarding. Are you all prepared for your HM.
09/05/2011 at 15:14
As Tony says please please please give blood when you can.

I used to give regularly, but have now developed a condition which means I am not allowed to and feel guilty that I hadn't given more times!

Whole blood saves lives, as does the platelets which they can extract, and you never know when you need them. (wish I had more platelets!)

A Doctor I used to work with used to suggest upping your Iron intact a few weeks before a planned session and keeping them higher for a few weeks after.- either choose and iron rich diet or take a supplement.
This is often good advice for runners anyhow as it has been shown that after long runs (HM and longer) the Iron levels in the body drop, due to ongoing repair work!
09/05/2011 at 15:22
Thanks for that info Mobilekat.That helps explain why my iron was low on the day of donation as I had run 10m on the Sun and then did another 10m the day before. I dont think you should feel guilty though . Im afraid it took me a personal tragedy before I got off my Bum and gave blood. I had a Son who had to have blood and platelets daily for 6 months.He didnt make it though his illness but Im so thankful that because of people like you guys who donate   he was at least given a chance.
10/05/2011 at 07:52
Eckytump. wrote (see)
Oh yes I can imagine very stressful but yes so rewarding. Are you all prepared for your HM.
I reckon so - as prepared as I will ever be. I have run HM distance at least three times so at least I know I can do it! I will also have a mini break of 4 days or so before hand.
10/05/2011 at 07:54

Just another thing - if anyone is considering donating - see

seren nos    pirate
10/05/2011 at 08:21

I only have problems with low blood count if I try to give after a long hard session which would tie in with what mobilekat states above...........

I just take it easy for a few days runners are amongst the fittest people in the country would be a shame if they didn't give blood just because it might mean that they re not on full power for a couple of training sessions..................just avoid giving before a race and no problems............

its amazing what they can do from just one donation of blood................

10/05/2011 at 14:07

I have given up on the idea of giving Blood. On Two occasions I  have turned up at a so called drop in sessions, only to be told that they were full. I was then advised that the next time I should telephone in advance, and make an appointment. Guess what I tried doing this and they didn`t have any appointments available at the times that I could attend. What made me laugh was the fact that they were advertising on national TV quoting "Blood stocks are low".

10/05/2011 at 15:04
I used to always book online for the sessions, you can normally book well in advance, which means that you then can get the slot that is good for you.
If then for some reason you then cant go on that date all you need to do is phone and cancel.
10/05/2011 at 15:16
I book online in advance and I nearly always get the space I want.
10/05/2011 at 15:25

I always book, I wouldn't turn up without an appointment after a few times when I would just turn up & have to wait ages.

I used to donate in one of their mobile units, they were having to turn people away as they didn't have the space to accommodate. Even those with appointments had an additional 15 minute delay.

28/08/2011 at 11:37
Gave blood on Friday evening and was out for a 4 mile hilly x/c run at 8am Saturday. No ill effects whatsoever. Went out this morning (Sunday) for a very hilly 9 miler and actually felt better than usual.

The first time I donated I had a 10k race 5 days afterwards (Gibbet Hill 10k) and got within a minute of my pb. So I don't think the effects are really noticeable unless you compete at very high levels.

As for getting an appointment, I tried to book online but the session was full so I just went along anyway and they managed to fit me in. I probably had a longer wait than if I'd booked a time slot but I was still in and out within an hour.
05/09/2011 at 14:26

Just to say that I gave blood in July (for the first time in 5 donations - I either don't have enough iron, or, last time, the flow was too slow and I didn't give a full bag).  The day after I ran my local parkrun and although I did an ok time, I was absolutely exhausted and faded half way through.  About 2 weeks later I did a local 10k and faded half way through again and the same happened on another 10k a few days later.

About 3 weeks later I did my parkrun again and although I was only 4 seconds faster than the previous run it felt a lot more comfortable.  I did the Overton 5 on Saturday and feel like I am back to normal - 6 weeks on.

So my conclusion is that giving blood and running (well) do not mix and I will try to make sure that I give at least 3-4 weeks before any race I want to do in future. I wouldn't let it put people off though - if you can give, please give.  There are so many people who can't or won't.

05/09/2011 at 17:26
I'm a regular donor and it sounds like I'm fairly lucky in that it generally doesn't affect me a great deal. Have only really been running regularly for a few months though so haven't yet seen how it affects my running. Think I'm due in October so will have to see. I expect I'll make sure I have a rest day immediately after donating.

Mizunomad: Please try again. You do need an appointment and where I go they always say not to turn up without one. They have to ensure blood stocks are always high but at the same time only have so many nurses and so much equipment and space.
06/09/2011 at 08:06

Having browsed around a bit, I think this gives a reasonable summary. If you time your donation well before an endurance event (maybe even 8 weeks) you will have recovered. But anyway if I were a donor I think I would still carry on donating even knowing I had a possible loss of performance of 7% at one week after, for example.

The fluid loss is recovered in a couple of days, but the red blood cells need a month or more, apparently. Since they carry oxygen, but VO2 max is not the be all and end all of performance, one might expect some diminishing effect as time goes on.

Edited: 07/09/2011 at 08:46
02/10/2011 at 14:12
Hello everyone, thought I would share my experience with giving blood and running!
I gave blood on Friday afternoon, it was 39 hours before a 10K race - oh how I struggled!! It was flat and really I should have been able to achieve a PB but after 2K I just couldn't find any energy! I added an extra 4 minutes on to my worst ever time, but I just had to keep stopping to walk. I was wondering why it was so hard for me when eventually at 8K I remembered that I had only given blood a day and a half previously. I couldn't even muster enough energy to run the last KM and I just wanted to collapse at the end!

I have learnt my lesson and will definitely not be racing that soon after giving blood in the future!!

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