Retching in Races

I seem to suffer more than most from needing to retch  during races. Usually this is just after the finish line, but sometimes before. This has, on a number of occasions, cost me a PB.  The last was at the Thame 10k, where a combination of heat and a small final incline before the finish took me just over the limit, and caused me to have to stop and be sick - cost me around 30secs compared to the rpevious 9k pace - just enough to miss a pb. The week before, a similar episode saw me lose out on 3rd place to a runner I thought was some way behind....

I suspect it's something to do with lactic acid, or oxygen deficit, but I'd be very interested to find out more, especially of there is anything I can do to prevent it (other than slowing down).

 Any advice or info gratefully received!


Bus boy


  • Think it is probably just that you have learned to push yourself right close to your limits.

    Once dropped out of a school X-country race due to bad blisters, and so saw the leaders finish for once:

    • 1st - Broke the course record & promptly sick.
    • 2nd - His brother also broke the old record, retching and very nearly sick.
    • 3rd - broke the record for someone from our school & promptly sick.

    5 mins later when I would have finished, all looking totally recovered and as if they could have done it again! 

  • The BusThe Bus ✭✭✭

    I think you're probably right exiled - I always recover from it quickly, just wish it wouldn't happen so close to the line (so do the lads and lasses handing out medals or cutting off timing chips!)

    It might be that I need to do more and higher intensity intervals??

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Bus need to learn to run comfortably hard and not to the utter limit like me!

    I was racing a guy in a 5k once, and he puked at the end after he'd beaten me by 2 secs! I claimed the moral victory as I wasn't wrecked and he absolutely was!

     Man Utd had a football game last year in really high temperature and a couple of their players were puking, is it just in the heat you find this?

    ps how's the 10k pb looking? I know we're fairly similar times wise..and mine's on 36:44 right now...but it should be 30secs quicker due to a bad course I did it on involving 1k on cobbled pebbles!

    The 5k is 17:21...just wondered how yours sit against these, as you monstered me at the Maidenhead 10m, whilst I sneaked the Marlow 5.

  • I threw up in a bin at the end of  a 5k earlier in the year and I dry wretch at the finish line in almost every race I do...I note almost - I ran an even paced race and I didn't do it but that's about the only one this year.

    I've never done it within the actual race though so can't comment on that. (I passed a guy dry wretching at 7k in a 10k about a month ago mind...)

    I would imagine it is pushing yourself to the absolute limit. I would tend to do that in races and that's what I put it down too.

  • The BusThe Bus ✭✭✭

    Hi Stevie G!

    Not done anything other than Waddesdon 5k wise, which was 18.06 last year (but has a big hill!). Must do the Black Park 5k one Saturday morning to sort that one out!

    Well done for cracking the sub 37! I've been wanting to get my 10k pb down this year below 37 as well -my recent 5m and 10M times should suggest around 36 mins (as do recent results where I've finished very close to some sub 36 10k runners). If my last 1k at Thame had been the same time as my 9th I'd have been very close to a pb. However (!) Thame ended up being out due to the heat, my last 10k before that had a really fierce headwind for half of it and the one before that was the evening after I'd spent 3 days wrecking my knees in the lakes including running the Fairfield Horseshoe fell race... it was still my third fastest 10k though (couldn't put any weight on my knee for a week after mind!)

    It's the Princes Ris 10k Sunday - but typically it clashes with a friend's 40th birthday the night before! I ende up doing it last year with a bit of a hangover - not pleasant!

    A very flat Headington in September is the answer if my knees don't give out entirely by then!

    Difficult to judge the retching thing as I always seem to be running reasonably comfortable then it kicks in very quickly. It's soemtimes difficult to try and reduce the pace enough to calm it down, especially evry close to the finish. Heat is definitely a contributory factor, but it still happens when its cool sometimes.

  • I would also seem to be about the same pace as you boys. Dunno what that means,just pushing it quite hard I think...
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Busboy, did a 17:10 5k tonight, so that's your challenge next time out...i hate to think how fast that should technically mean I should 10k in but it's always easier said than done image

    Headington is a horrid race though...abandoned air field...a cone that you have to go round then straight back the other way...not good. Though I did it with a fever in 06 so maybe my view is coloured!

    Failing that how about a bash at a Dorney Lake 10k if we can pick a non windy time...that could be good for a pb bash. You should definitely be under 37. I'm thinking I should be under 36 right you're in a similar mixer...

    Good luck with Risborough, I have a couple of 5ks and the Wycombe half or 10k (depends on the heat!!) all within 8 days...then am going to really thrash the training for a couple of months and build to a big race somewhere...possibly that 10miler you suggested...the Cabbage Patch. I need to catch you up and sub 1hour it!

    Best of luck with the retching. It must be a good sign in a way that you can push to the slight feeling you could have gone harder.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭
    No advice on this sorry - but I did have a similar moment of pride to Stevie G, in that my 10k pb was gained in a sprint finish with a guy who beat me by a few seconds, but he was puking even before reaching the finish line.  All worth it though - he went home with a new set of wine glasses.  image  But we did get the 2nd team prize without puking.  image
  • I have had the sam problem as you bus bot and couldn't put my finger on what was causing it. My latest theory is Sports Drinks prior to a race. The last time I took one a few weeks back, I probably lost about 30 seconds as weel in the final 800m. Still trying to work it out, buy I'm going to stop taking them out of the equation.
  • The BusThe Bus ✭✭✭

    Thanks KR, but I don't use any sports drinks anyway, drink nothing at all after 45 mins before the start, and only ever eat at least 3 hours before.

    Probably just my heart and lungs not keeping up with my legs and mind!!

  • What sort of race is Cabbage Patch? Sounds interesting. You are more or less from my area so if it's a 10 miler I shall be interested. I am done with shorter races like 10k unless they are trail.
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Are you close to Bucks then ACDC girl?

    Cabbage Patch 10 isn't as exciting as it sounds, I believe it's just one of the fastest  flattest 10milers around,  that offers a good pb attempt. Middlesex way, Twickenham I think.

    17th October is the date

    Young Busboy broke the 1hour at Maidenhead in April, but I finished 48seconds over!

  • I'm South Oxon but getting around for races. Couldn't find that cabbage race on events page.  On17th October are a few good races, Tadley Runners do their 10 miler, not mentioning Abingdon Marathon, Frieth Hilly 10k etc. I shall be at a bloody wedding that weekend. I am not into PBs that much, the world of ultras and really tough trail races mesmerises me, I've signed up for a few trail races this and next year.
  • And well done on times, my PB on 10k is 53:17 I think it was and it's pathetic but going to put decent training in over the summer so hopefully this will go down sometime.
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    read that as 53mins for 10miles to start with!  image.

    All relative though, depends on your age, gender, and how much training you put in. It's a decent foothold to measure at and batter next time out!

    And yeah the Cabbage Patch race you have to stick into google, for some reason not on RW yet..

    Weddings!! Can't let those get in the way of running..for shame

  • The BusThe Bus ✭✭✭

    He he - don't need to do CP 10 now!

    (good news today - received my VLM GFA guaranteed entry for 2011!)

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    well done. me having to do a marathon sounds a punishment not a reward!

  • The BusThe Bus ✭✭✭

    It is!! You just forget how much of a punishment in between!

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    doing a 14miler tomorrow at 7am at easy pace...that feels enough, let alone almost double at race pace. Will probably run the Wycombe half course.

    you doing wycombe in 2 weeks by the way?

  • The BusThe Bus ✭✭✭

    Yep - I don't much like the second half of the course, but it's my local half, and was my first race - this'll be my 9th in a row!

    It's always very well organised (last years 10k blip aside!!) and is the Bucks champs race of course. The start and finish on the Rye gives it a bit of a 'big' race feel as well...

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    9th in a row, excellent....started at the same time as me then...2002. I did 5 in a row then injury and illness ruined my 2007. Then the 10k came in the next 2 years, and having a football tournament the day before ruled the half out...otherwise this year would be my 9th too!image

    As it is, barring ridiculous weather I think it's time for me to do the half. Last year's 10k's screw up doesn't make me want to do that one again either

    I won a low key 5k the other week which also had a 10k on at the same time, and the amount of stick I've taken over running the "kids race" has been unreal...therefore half marathon methinks!

    almost hitting the 10k pb again eh!! Maybe you need me in the race to help push you along image

  • The BusThe Bus ✭✭✭

    I'll certainly need something or someone to push me on up the long drag up Boundary Road and Kingsmead in the last half of Wycombe!

    I've got another 10k the Tuesday before Wycombe- the 3rd of the Queen Mother Reservoir series. A bit of an odd one as although it's dead flat it's a gravel/grass track surface,but barring gale force winds again I'm going to do my best to break through 37 after missing it at Thame and Risborough

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    ahh I've got as 5k that night, so it sounds like we have plenty of racing going ahead

    just seen the front runners times of the 5k i got 6th in 17:10 in. 1630s for the front 3!! I've been told it was definitely a full 5k, so I suppose it shows what can happen if you get in a race and push each other on! I had one like that last year where i got a 17:23 which was at least 14 secs ahead of all my other series 5ks!

    Therefore, see if you can cling onto a high 35/36min man!

     Ran a 14miler including the wycombe  half route today, was quite pleasant in 1hour 43, I'm not sure what pace is on for 2 weeks time though, last time I ran it I did a high 1hr 28, what time are you looking for?

  • I am doing that race too QMR on 13th, my club race, the turnout on the first two was rather poor so have to make up the numbers. I said that I was doing it with some confidence but I am injured at the moment and looking for any good physio to check out the problem so may not be there after all. The route is quite boring but seems longer than 5k that lap, quite a nice view onto Windsor Castle.
  • The BusThe Bus ✭✭✭

    I'll see you there then acdcgirl. I really like the course - very unusual and as you say the views across the wide open plains to the backdrop of Windsor Castle silhouetted against the sunset are pretty nice - especially from the yacht club lounge with a beer in your hand afterward !! Not sure about the surface of the track mind - gets you swapping lines all the time.

    Stevie G - pretty quick 5k times there - way ahead of mine!  I did Wycombe in just under 1.23 last year in nice cool conditions... not sure what to expect this year, as although my shorter races are turning out quicker my knees are playing up some I'm not doing much longer road work.

  • Sorry but I won't see you on the 13th, I've just seen physio and I am out of action for a month at least, that takes care of this race and that half marathon I was planning on doing. Tough but at least I will have to learn to swim now as have to do stuff in pool.
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Bus boy, My Wycombe best stands at a pedestrian 1hr 28 42 from years back! So should be smashing that! Just not getting close to the 1hr 19 at Wokingham!

    Doing the Wycombe route this Thursday evening in training if you fancied joining me, injury and work permitting for you? Pretty much the same course apart from running up Marlow hill rather than through the abbey of being a private school's grounds an all!

    otherwise, see you in a mere12 days now! It'll be my second  race as a 29 year old with the bday being the 12th and a 5k the next day!

  • The BusThe Bus ✭✭✭

    Hi Stevie G - only just seen your message (can't log on to the forum at work...) hope you had a good run round the course! I wouldn't have been able to do it in anyway though - school concert tonight!  Just as well - that course once a year is bad enough image

    Happy birthday for Monday!

    bad news acdcgirl - hope you're back in action soon as...

  • pillock
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