Running (couch to 5k) and legs like lead after a blood donation

(8 Posts)
SomethingFunny Wed 24-Jun-15 11:26:20

A bit of background- I got to the end of week 5 last Thursday (18th) and had run for 20 minutes non stop and I think had run about 2 miles and was feeling brilliant about myself and my progress.

On Friday (19th) I donated blood. I was almost, but not quite, anemic (they had to put my blood in a machine as I was borderline - I had 28 and you need 25 to donate, if that means anything to anyone!).

On Monday (22nd) I did week 6, run 1 and although I managed it, it was so hard. It is little runs interspersed with walking and surely should be easy having done a 20 minute straight run?! I felt like my legs were going to drop off- I felt like I was running through treacle and I had terribly painful shins too.

Today (24th) I went to try week 6, run 2. I did the first 10 minute run and really really struggled. I got part-way through the second run and got interrupted by a phone call (grrrr) and had to stop running. I had to walk for a bit and found it really hard to run again. My thighs and calves felt like they were exhausted- I could hardly put one leg in front of the other, it was like all my energy had been drained. Not to mention that I also felt dizzy and was wandering around all over the place too.

Two other bits of information I should mention: I have asthma and nasal problems, which whilst it is well controlled can make it difficult for me to breath enough sometimes.

Secondly- I am also doing the 5:2 diet. My fast days last week were Tuesday (16th) and Thursday (18th) and this week were Monday (22nd) and today (24th). Not sure if that is affecting anything either.

So- basically my question is have I suddenly become really really unfit or does blood donation affect running, even 5 days later?? If so, when will I get better and what should I do about running in the meantime?

cuntycowfacemonkey Wed 24-Jun-15 11:31:06

I used to be able to run for about 45 minutes at a steady pace I'm border line anaemic at the minute and can't barely run at all! So yes IMO if your iron is low that will affect you. I would never be able to run on a fasting day either I don't think that is wise.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 24-Jun-15 11:33:18

It could be the blood donation. Certainly after I had a pph I felt similar to how to describe - legs like lead, drained of energy.

I recommend a liquid iron supplement, I use feroglobin, which definitely helps. I wouldn't donate blood if I was borderline either, knowing how horrible anaemia is.

dotty2 Wed 24-Jun-15 11:35:51

I am a plodding runner (5k in 30minutes) and only averagely fit, and donating blood always affects me badly - last time I gave blood I had to get out of the pool after 10 lengths on day 3 or 4 and can usually do 40 -60 lengths no problem. I think it affects some people more than others, but it takes a week for the red blood cells to get up to their previous level.

SomethingFunny Wed 24-Jun-15 12:03:16

Thank you all very much for your replies.

In the nicest possible way, I am glad it is not just me. I feel 'happier' now I think I've worked out what the problem is and I have a reason for suddenly being sluggish. I have never felt an effect of blood donating before, but then I wasn't really exercising either so not surprising!

I will look into iron supplements, thank you. My blood never sinks very well in their test tube (despite eating tons of dark green leaf veg and fortified cereals all the time!) so I think I need a little something else.

Regarding running on a fast day- I don't normally, but have had to shift everything around the last couple of weeks due life. I have done the fast day runs first thing to mitigate the effects.

BlueChampagne Wed 24-Jun-15 13:08:15

I have asthma, but am not anaemic (nurse has put my sample in boys' anaemia test before and it still sinks), but I find it takes over a week to really get back to my normal running self. It's those red blood cells that carry oxygen, isn't it?

cinnamongreyhound Sun 28-Jun-15 17:53:36

Giving blood definitely makes a difference to me for 7-10days at least. Keep well hydrated! Also I was on a mn thread when doing the c25k and many of us found w6r1 much harder than we expected having done a 20min block. Keep going, slow down your running if you're struggling or repeat a run but it sounds like you have the motivation to keep going anyway smile

dotty2 Mon 29-Jun-15 11:48:29

Ah cinnamon - those were the days! I still remember the horror of that run!

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