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Donating Blood and Running

1667 Views 13 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  mcsolar99
The mobile blood bank has been in my area recently. I used to be a regular blood donor apart from the years I was pregnant and nursing, and I'd like to get back into it. It's only every 3 months so it's not going to have a great impact on my running, but how long after donating should I take it easy, and how easy do I need to take it?<br><br>
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I'd take that day off, but if you feel OK the next day, it would probably be alright to go for an easy run. You might notice a performance difference due to fewer red cells to carry oxygen to your muscles. I don't know how long that might last.<br><br>
I hope someone else will weigh in for you who knows something more specific since I donate platelets which doesn't have the same effect, since they're not taking red cells, and that only really affects me the day of donation. Whole blood donation will have a different effect.
I felt a bit sluggish for about a week after I donated - the last time. It was also just starting to get hot here, and I wasn't acclimated, so it might have been double whammi.
It took me a week or 2 to get back to form. It was really rough going.
I agree with the others, about a week. I'm a slow runner to begin with so it doesn't slow me down but my legs feel like lead, I get sleepy, and sometimes feel a little yucky the day after but I can manage a light run. I did a 5k once about 4 days after donating and felt really sluggish but outside of that I wasn't dizzy or anything. I try not to do that again but I could and would if it a scheduled donation and race were happening on the same week. It wasn't that bad.<br><br>
I'm not a competative runner, so donating doesn't upset my running routine. I hope a competative runner chimes in with more advice.<br><br>
I think it's great that you are getting back into donating. It isn't for everybody, my sisters would pass out if they tried and not all people can donate but if you can and you don't mind the needles and stuff, it's a good thing to do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Surprised">
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I'm not a competetive runner per se - but I do like to run well (for me), set PR's and I do have goal races. I wouldn't donate right before a goal race. I would work the donation either into a cycle of rest - just after a goal race - or at the very beginning of your prep cycle (2-3 months) out from a goal race. That might be overkill - but it allows ample time for recovery.
Thanks for the replies. Gingerbread, my hubby donates platelets regularly. He's had shingles repeatedly and they love his plasma for the antibodies.<br><br>
Huh! Interesting. I don't have shingles, they like my platelets for the platelet-ness of them <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
I'll fourthith the response that it takes several days.<br><br>
Back when I was heavier and first started running, I would be back to normal the next day.<br><br>
But the last time I gave (in April) I was about 45lbs lighter than the last time I gave and was wiped out for 5 or 6 days. I couldn't believe the difference.<br><br>
And that was just to get the energy back to run...performance was sketchy for a few runs after that.<br><br>
It's unfortunate, but I'm not planning on donating until after Philly because of that exact reason. But once the race is over, I'll be back on the regular schedule. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbup">
Just read my reply - Gingerbread, my hubby donates plasma, that's got the antibodies in it, they put all the red blood cells and platelets back into him. No idea what I was thinking there.<br><br>
Ah, we have people here who do that as well. Makes sense now <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
After donating 450 mL (1 U) of whole blood, plasma volume falls 7% to 13%, then recovers within 24 to 48 hours. The hemoglobin level decreases by 10 to 20 g/L. With an adequate iron supply, hemoglobin returns to baseline after 3 to 4 weeks (1).<br><br>
I think the 3-4 weeks is an upper limit. I've seen some studies say 1-2 weeks for RBC.<br>
But also have seen one study say 2 months.<br><br>
Like already suggested, performance after the first few days would only affect maximal effort. So if you are donating during a base building phase, after a couple of days you'll be fine. If you are doing Vo2max workouts, maybe not the best time to donate as this is the workout that might be substandard for a few months. (almost 8%---)
I donated blood a week ago Tuesday, and ran a marathon on Saturday (paced 2 coworkers). I felt ok, but my HR was noticeably higher than usual at that pace, which is to be expected. It's still not completely back to normal, but should be in a few days.<br><br>
Now, if I was racing that marathon last Saturday, I definitely would not have given blood that week. Basically, like the others have said...get a few easy runs in afterwords and listen to your body. It's usually a good idea to just slow down a bit since your body will be working harder as there isn't as much oxygenated blood to use. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
donating blood is a great thing to do; i'm convinced i'll do it for as long as i can. if you want to get back to regular donating, please do!!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
but i'm a competitive sob... it takes me from 4 to 6 weeks to get back completely after donating whole blood. my long runs are ok, but i can't hit the same interval or tempo times until i'm recovered. easy runs are fine; just a little slower. so it's no problem during base training for me, but i don't donate whole blood within 2-3 months before a goal race.<br><br>
i'm probably gingerbread's type (a positive) so my platelets are useful to everybody. i've been donating platelets recently, and i can hammer a hard interval workout the day after donating without any problems. i switch to donating platelets in the last few months before a goal race.
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