Seeing white dots during a race?

Has anyone seen white dots in their vision during a race?

This happened to me during a hilly marathon distance run-bike-run. I also started feeling a bit lightheaded and extremely fatigued but carried on hard because I only had half a mile to go, plus I had just overtaken someone back and of course it was unacceptable for them to pass me a 2nd time!

I recovered quite quickly after the race, but does anyone know what this is?  Or how I could prevent it from happening again?

Cheers, Paul


  • Never happened to me,I've been a little dizzy at the top of a hill maybe, but never impaired vision

     But I often wonder when I see a disorientated runner, how they got into that state - did they see it coming or is it just, boom, and you're out of it?


  • Sounds a bit like de-hydration. Or blood pressure? Sorry to sound dramatic and all image

    Also I've heard white dots/blurred Vision is a sign of diabetes?

    Just a thought tho?
  • I don't think it's diabetes, my optician took a photo of my eye with her brand new camera and said all the blood vessels and stuff were perfect and emailed me the picture. I'm sure she said there were no signs of diabetes.

    According to one of our experienced club runners though I don't drink enough perhaps it was de-hydration.  In fact I didn't need to pass water during the race, or for a couple of hours afterwards.  I guess that might not be normal?  I have tended to put it down to having a large bladder....apologies for so much detail!

  • De-hydration can pay havoc with your whole body if its even a little.

    Drink well the day before and up to 2hours before. Then drink to mouth dryness just before the race (if you know what I mean)

    Did you take advantage of water stations if there were any?
  • In the early eighties, I had a migraine when playing football.... didn't really get a headache... just the vision issues.  I've only one other in my life. Each migraine can be different, I understand, so if you've ever had one, then that could be worth considering.

  • I think your right Jason. On my mountain bike I passed all the water stations because I had water on my bike....but then I barely used my water bottle because I was so focussed on the trail.  On the last 3 mile run I did drink some water but at the time my jelly legs were so sore I was purely focussed on keeping my pace and getting to the end.  I think my focus on keeping going was misdirected I would probably have done/felt better if I'd taken time to drink properly.  But then it was my first Duathlon so lesson learned for next time!

    Run Wales....thanks, I haven't had a migrane but good point though.

  • I had something like this once in a race about six months ago. It was only a short park run and I did go off far too quick. The sensations were not pleasant at all, but I put it down to a rapid rise in blood pressure, the adrenaline of the race and a nasty headwind in my face.

    My warm up might not have been too substantial either!

  • Sounds like a blood pressure issue caused by exertion; but spots are also linked to low iron and low blood sugars. I have only ever managed to go so hard my vision was impaired once, I was being beaten uphill by someone who I did not want to be beaten by, I got large black blobs before my eyes and it scared the s**t out of me! (and I got beat) It has never happened again!

  • I did give the race everything I had so that might partly explain it too.

    Jamie lol @ "only a short park run" - I find those park runs the hardest of them all!

    SideBurn - thanks I'll take that advise onboard. Sorry you got beat as well that really isn't good image

  • No, I deserved to be beaten! Unfortunately if you do not train for a while you cannot do the stuff you could do; but in your mind you still can! This is what I learnt from this incident. This was many years ago and I am back on form now!

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