Scared of feeling ill

I have started running to help with the many mental health issues that I have. One of which is a phobia of being sick/feeling sick/others being sick.

I completed my first parkrun on Saturday. Was very proud of my finish- I pulled a sprint out of the bag and smashed it- the marshals all said to me great finish. Then there was a queue for coffee and cake.

Usually I use the C25k+ podcasts to run to which have the 5 min warm up and cool down. I did walk about a little bit but was anxious to get a drink so joined the queue before I’d had a good cool down. When I got to the front of the queue I started to feel a little queasy and light headed which scared me a bit, thought I might be sick,l or faint but it passed quickly as I had some tea and cake.

Later, when I got home I had a bath and had palpitations for the first time- I’m seeing the dr this morning.

Its scared me a bit from going running again, particularly due to my phobia. I’m scared it will happen again and want to avoid. I’ve read that it was due to stopping the exercise suddenly and not warming down. I also hadn’t eaten as it was so early (but I never usually eat before my runs as I’m scared of being sick and had read for short distances like 5k should be ok). I’ve always been ok in the past. I’ve read about gels but have no idea what they are for and when I have looked them up it seems as though they are for longer distances...but I was thinking of doing the Bridge to 10k and now I’m a bit scared to. Any advice? Was it because I sprinted at the end? (I’d want to do this again though!) Do I really have to eat and if so how long before? If I’m sick or feel really sick that’ll be the end of running for me. Really really need to avoid. Hope someone can help? Thank you

18 Replies

  • I'm all too familiar with anxiety!

    If I were you, I'd probably try to do the cool down and sip some water before joining the queue for afters. See what the doctor says.

  • Thank you...dr going to give me an ecg though not too concerned. She said blood pressure was low. Thanks will follow your advice 😊

  • I know that you have run for a while... so don't be offended if I suggest maybe slow down ..also, ditch the coffee and cake at the end of the run:) Just some water maybe:)

    That followed by a hot bath would have made me feel ill...( The hot bath will not have helped as it can cause you to feel light headed and a further drop in blood pressure.

    There are documented reasons why you may have felt like this..and I quote...

    "As you run, blood vessels dilate, muscles contract, and the heart pumps faster in order to meet the energy demand of running. In addition to providing movement, these muscle contractions also serve to pump blood back to the heart, assisting with the venous return of blood flow. This pumping cycle helps meet the increased oxygen demand running requires.

    When you cross the finish line and stop, the heart loses the pumping assistance of these muscles. With blood vessels dilated and no return pumping action, blood quickly pools in your extremities, causing our blood pressure to drop."

    If you eat normally and are well hydrated, there should be no need for any change to your routine...but on a longer run may mean you want to eat something. There are many of us with so many different routines and preferences:) I do anything up to 10K, on my morning cup of tea and two digestive lights! About an hour before my run :)

    Maybe if you want to go for the 10K..join ju-ju- s programme...which is amazing...and take it slowly and steadily... you clearly love running.. so relax into it and take it gently.

    Maybe join.. and see how you go..there will be loads of support and advice for you :)

  • Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. I really appreciate it. Thanks for the tips.

    I’m not offended - I’ve not long graduated on the C25k- I’ve only been running since August so quite a newbie. But yes I am enjoying it and I think it is helping me with my mental health to a degree.

    Thanks for the support and advice which I will act on 😊

  • Many, many of us have suffered with some sort of anxiety...I have a pesky Black Dog, who reappears occasionally... :)

    The running really will help and the mor you do the better you will feel... I know it is so hard, when someone says, relax.. I used to think, if I could do that I would not have an issue! But.. we are all friends on here and we will support and encourage you.. I have posted about my dark times and folk have really rallied around:)

    Take a Look at ju-ju- 's link and if you don't try this time around, maybe next time... lots of folk are starting this... :)

  • Sorry that you suffer with the pesky black dog.

    I have dissociative identity disorder. I don’t know if you know what that is? Which comes with anxiety, depression, phobias, night terrors etc. I am glad that people are supportive on here. I need the support!

    I will take a look at the link thank you. Thanks for your encouragement. And I will keep running! 😊🏃🏼‍♀️

  • Yes, I understand what you are talking about, it wakes me up regularly at 3.30am, have found by not looking at computer screens in the evening before bed does help..

    If running in the morning I only have either a couple of plain biscuit's or 🍌 or toast and a cup of tea at least 1-2 hrs beforehand..

    I wouldn't have a hot bath after running, only a tepid shower some time after..

  • Thank you.

  • It really looks to me as though you felt queasy because you were hungry. I think it would be a good idea to experiment gently with eating a little before you run. You can try gels if you like, but the reason they are popular is largely because they are convenient to use while running a long race like a marathon. Gels provide easily digestible carbohydrates to fuel the exercise, but there are plenty of other (cheaper) things you can try - banana for example, rice, or oatmeal. All of those are pretty easy on the digestion. Give food a couple of hours to go down.

    I understand your fears, I really do! Hope you can find something that works for you!

  • Thank you. I have avoided eating before running in case that makes me ill. I don’t usually run till a bit later in the day. I’m not a morning person- I never have eaten breakfast and the parkrun started at 9 so definitely didn’t have chance to eat. But I have bought some peanut butter just to have a round of toast first thing next time. I’ll try and eat it as soon as I can. Thanks for your support. 😊

  • Great idea, have fun at your next parkrun!

  • Thank you 😊

  • Good advice, but I will also add that the final sprint at the end may have added to your general feeling of nausea. I know that if I do it then I will feel quite nausious afterwards - can't hel pit when I am lost in the moment, and I know the feeling soon passes.

    So, if it is something you want ot avoid, then I'm afraid you are going to have reign in your urge for a flat our finish

  • Better than feeling ill... thank you 😊

  • Rainydaiz I don't have any advice but I just wanted to say well done for your running. It's not easy for anyone but I always feel particular respect for those who do it on top of dealing with other big challenges which make it harder. Respect, friend.

  • Thanks so much I appreciate that 😊

  • I can only echo AnneDroid's comment above. Well done for getting out there and doing this,and I hope you find a good solution to the nausea issue so you can feel able to continue running with confidence. Hugs and respect to you xxx

  • Thank you so much I appreciate that 😊

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