Tingling hands

Hi All,

Doing my first oly on Saturday I managed to blow up on the last quarter of the run. Embarrassingly - I had to walk a bit of it. I guess I hit the wall (complete lack of energy), although the disturbing bit was that my hands were really tingling, a bit like a dull pins and needles.

Any ideas what this was?




  • I used to get that when I went on longer runs 1:45 plus.

    I used to put it down to my hands being in the same sort of position for a long time and found stretching my arms and doing rather embarrassing windmill type things with them helped.

    <awaits pi55 take for above comments>
  • Doing ultras makes my hands wave around, jerk & not be under my control. 'Tis weird.
  • dan dandan dan ✭✭✭
    You cannot put the words 'bonking' and 'the wall' into the same sentence on this forum and not expect a deluge of witty or not-so-witty comments, surely???

    So, here goes for starters!

    Wouldnt it be elsewhere that went all tingly if you bonked that wall, rahter than your hands?
  • OK OK, I was borrowing an expression from the biking world. You're right, it was an invitation for trouble.

    Although I'm not the first one to use it on this forum.
  • lying on your back makes bonking easier, etc etc.

    was it a cold swim? was the bike downhill/technical, made you grip the bars, etc? My hands get numb after a/. open water swimming and b/. biking for too long without moving them.

    any of those two possible? wouldn't have thought so in an olympic tho.
  • I think it is just a case of blood pooling in your hands - if you hold them above your head, you might feel the tingling ease off.

    Tricky to do whilst running, I know.
  • Dehydration? On an expedition my hands once went from tingly to almost completely numb, the expedition doctor said it was dehydration and forced nasty tasting drinks down my neck for the next 24 hours. So, that was probably an extreme case but it may explain why you hit the wall too. I also get tingly hands when I'm getting a migraine but I reckon the lack of splitting headache rules that out!
  • my hands go numb during biking, unless I stay mostly on the aerobars. If I'm on the hoods or drops, my fingers start to go dead, once I go back on the bars they come to life again. Which leads me to surmise it's pressure.
  • AvalafAvalaf ✭✭✭
    If your really pushing it the body will reroute the blood away from the extremeties to where you need it.
    Could be absolute rubbish but it sounds plausible:)
  • I think the problem is blodd pooling in the hands, rather than being pumped away. Quite a common problem and is annoying rather than anything else. Made worse if have to carry rucsack. Try holding hands above head every so often.
  • I think the most likely explanation is hyperventilation. Its possible that during very vigorous exercise you can breath out too fast and carbon dioxide levels in the blood are reduced which upsets the normal blood chemistry causing numbness in the finger tips. I remember learning this when I was studying biochemistry at University. Have a look at some medical websites just to check.

    I sometimes get numb or tingling fingers at the very end or immediately after a hard run when I am still breathing very hard but I don't need as much oxygen. Over-respiring then triggers the hyperventilation and numbness.

    The Trickster - I imagine that your fingers only went numb after you slowed down or stopped. If so, the tingling fingers are a result of slowing down or stopping rather than the cause.

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