Giving blood

I will be giving blood today. When can I resume running? I was hoping to have a jog later in the day. I will also be doing a 10 mile race on Sunday, will it have any effect on my performance?


  • Well, I always leave running for a couple of days after giving blood.. as it does tend to make me really tired. This is probably due to my only just being on the borderline of the minimum weight and sometimes I'm actually below the weight when I give blood (depending on how well my training/eating is going!). I'd say, give the running a miss today and see how you feel tomorrow. I'm sure everyone feels differently when giving blood - my Mr. has no ill-effect whatsoever, but then again he's 6' tall and weighs about 14 stone!!
    Michelle x
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Oddly enough, I was reading about this very subject last night ...

    Although you´ll replace the fluid lost very quickly, the restoration of red blood cells can take up to three weeks (or longer). According to Tim Noakes´ The Lore of Running, you shoudl avoid hard competition over any distance for three to six weeks after donation to allow the hemoglobin levels to return to normal. Your VO2 Max will also be down by 10-15%. But he says its OK to resume training after a couple of days.

    Maybe not what you want to hear ... but I´m only quoting what the book said!

  • People vary a lot - I give blood regularly (although, like Michelle, I tend to flirt with the weight limit a bit) and definitely notice a drop in my exercise tolerance for a couple of days afterwards but am fine again thereafter. Having said that, I wouldn't be very keen to donate blood immediately before, or when recovering from, a long race.

  • Excellent, Sutton Runner - you might want to ask them about going on the bone marrow donor register at the same time, if you feel up to it, as they can now do this at the same time as taking your donation.

    There's a thread kicking around somewhere called "Anthony Nolan" which will give you all the info you might ever require (and more besides!).

  • Thank you for your input. It seems my expected time for the race will need to be adjusted!
  • Scotty4Scotty4 ✭✭✭
    Good for you Sutton Runner.

    Please let us know if you felt your performance was affected on Sunday's race. From a previous thread, it does seem that a lot of us are put off from donating near races. My personal experience is that I am ok to train after 3 days rest and ok for racing within a week.

  • Will do. It will be my first attempt at 10 miles, also I’m new to running and getting on a bit! My expected time would be around the 90/100 mins.
  • A friend of mine gave blood and felt it affected her running for several weeks afterwards, not scientific evidence but it ties in with what LizzyB said above.

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    I think there are a few things that will affect it, mostly to do with the fact that the red blood cells carry the oxygen to the muscles to make them work.

    If you have a good supply of red cells anyway, you will be less affected than someone who is, say, borderline anaemic, as you will still have plenty red cells left to do the job. If you run as slow as me, chances are the amount of oxygen the muscles need to propel you is a lot less than someone who can do 10 miles at eye-popping speed/effort. If your lungs and muscles are well trained to be as efficient as possible in transferring oxygen, you will feel less effect than someone who has trained less.

    To sum up, suck it and see. The worst that will happen is that you will be slower than normal and be a bit more breathless.
  • i'm usually fine for running the day after giving blood, it does lower your vo2 max, so your heart rate will be higher than usual for the same effort, for a few days, but as long as you're aware of this and just train at a lower intensity it should be fine.....weirdly enough, i usually find that a few weeks after a donation, my performance is actually better than usual.....maybe it's training at a higher heart rate....maybe a bit like altitude training !
    good luck
  • I usually reckon -
    don't give blood in the two weeks before a race as it will slow you down
    Don't run after giving blood in the same day
    Take it easy for the next 2-3 days after giving blood (So no speed sessions)
    After a race, i am usually a bit aenimic so they won't take my blood the week after.
    Racing this weekend - blood doning if they'll take it on the Thursday after, or the month after that.
    As one of my running mates has just been diagnosed with leukemia, we're all making a special effort to make sure there's blood in the bank for him.
  • They woant take your blood unless your blood count is 12.5 (normal 11.5)
  • Never have any ill effect from giving blood except I tend to put on weight by overdoing the biscuits and tea afterwards even though I don't strictly need it.

    A couple of hours off work and a whole heap of biscuits... why do they only let you do it once a quarter!!!!
  • I was pleased with my time for the 10 mile race on Sunday. I did it in my estimated time of 90 mins. However it could have been so much better! After just one mile I felt discomfort in my left knee (it had given me problems recently but has been ok in my last two runs). After 4 miles it was very painful and a couple of times I had to walk for a few yards. Perhaps foolishly I went on to complete the race. Almost immediately after the race it stiffened up and was painful to walk on.

    I will start a new discussion on the forum on my problem! I hope with rest it will soon heal.
  • Scotty4Scotty4 ✭✭✭
    Well done Sutton Runner. No excuses for us now !

    Evil Pixie, Check out where you can search by postcode for the forthcoming sessions.
  • EP, you must! Please! It's painless and leaves you feeling as if you've done something good - it's also an excuse to eat extra red meat for the next week or two.

  • I remember convincing one of my friends at Uni to go with me. I got him into the hall, we were sat waiting to give out details, and I got up to give my little book to the admin person - when I turned round, my mate had done a runner!

    EP - it really doesn't hurt! Well, OK, maybe a little bit when they prick your finger, but that's it! And you don't have to see any blood or needles if you don't want to.
  • EP -- I feel the same way. I want to start giving blood to try to get over my fear of all hospital related things. Mr L has done if a few times, but the last time he gave blood apparently he turned as white as a sheet a nearly fainted upon trying to get up. They told him not to come back. Then I've always wondered what to do about that and training. Very useful thread.
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    What's the weight limit? I would like to give blood but I'm sure someone told me you have to be at least 7 stone 9lb - is that right? I'm 7 stone.
  • I think there is a Blood website that answers everything.

    I'm 11 stone and 6 foot and have given blood and trained later the same day and there was no noticeable difference in my times, and I didn't feel any different really.
  • Ep, it doesnt hurt, and the euphoria afterwards--
    I feel obliged to give, I use SO much of the stuff
    A tip, I wouldnt bother with local anaesthetic
    good luck
  • EP - Let me know how it goes on the 31st. I'm going to make an effort in mid-November on a Friday evening and have got my husband to agree to go along for moral support. He says he wants to donate again too, so we'll see if they let him.

    Is it wise to do a long run on the Sunday (day and a half after giving blood)? I'm wondering if I should switch my long run that week to the Friday morning (and I would give blood later that evening). I am worried about then not having enough sustenance in me to give blood safely because after my long runs I need to eat all day long. That week my long run is scheduled for about 14 miles. I'm also close to the weight limit. Maybe I should try to fatten up before then -- good excuse to eat lots of cookies and ice cream :-P.
  • EP - do you want us all to bombard you with e-mails on Thursday so you don't forget??

    Giving blood is easy, minimal discomfort, and you never know when you might be on the receiving end.

    I gave blood on Sunday after running 7 miles that morning, and then ran again this morning. I did feel a bit more puffed than usual, so didn't do the speed session I'd planned, but otherwise OK.

    At the same time, you can register to have your details on the bone marrow donor register - no extra needles or anything, just a form to fill in.

    Go for it on Thursday!
  • I try to go to sessions to fit in with my races because I am knackered for a couple of days afterwards and I can certainly feel the effect for at least three weeks. But don't let it put you off donating - please.Nothing to stop you carrying on training afterwards but best to do a few junk miles before getting back to the speedy bits otherwise you might feel disheartened because you cant run as fast as usual. It will pass. I am sure that those of us at the bottom of the weight range are affected much more than the big blokes. I ask the Blood people if this is so but have never got a straight answer out of them. It just seems logical, since we all give the same quantity
  • Well done, EP. Only three years till you get your bronze badge now.

    I gave my 33rd bagful yesterday and didn't relax properly until the needle was out. Felt fine pretty much immediately, though. I used to like doing my donations at St Vincent Street in Glasgow because they had individually-wrapped chocolate biscuits there. Anyone know if they still do?
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