Couch to 5K
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Has anyone suffered with anaemia since becoming a runner?

I'm off to the doctors for blood tests on Friday as he suspects I have become aenemic over the past few months/weeks.

I definatly have all the symptoms (constant tiredness, headaches, muscle fatigue, breathlessness) and I do suspect I don't get enough iron in my diet. Running has recently become much harder too. I graduated at the end of July and have been trying to increase speed whilst keeping distance to around 4-5k. Recently I've had some really good runs but have been completely wiped out afterwards; I've also had a few too many awful runs where I've had to give up after only 10 or 15 minutes!! I really don't know what to do with myself at the moment. Should I keep trying to do my runs as normal, or take a break and wait to find out my blood results?

On a possitive note, when the doc took my pulse and blood pressure, he comented that he could tell I was a runner because my heart rate was low (59bpm) - I found this really encouraging as it shows that all my hard work has had a good effect. I only hope this set back doesn't stop me running and cause me to loose all that hard earned fitness!

Would love to know if anyone else had had a similar problem and how it affected your running.

Sarah x.

6 Replies

If you are anaemic, I can thoroughly recommend Floradix - a natural iron supplement that won't cause constipation (!), unless you're going to remedy low iron through diet - which is the best way, but Floradix comes a close second.

Good luck with the blood test. Don't know what to suggest re continuing running... perhaps take brisk walks until you've got the results, so that you keep moving without stressing your body?

The heart rate and blood pressure is good news though and a good reason to maintain some form of continuous exercise.


When I went to give blood recently I was anaemic. I asked why it might be when I have a good diet, and was asked if I'm a heavy exerciser, which I am (now). The nurse then commented that exercise uses up iron.


Yes Vivwestie, I was really encouraged by my heart rate because before C25K it was around 85bpm when resting which is really high. Its made me even more determined to keep my fitness up as long as I can get this possible anaemia issue sorted.

Delores, tbh I have never really payed enough attention to my diet and I think now that I'm excercising properly the cracks are begining to show :-/ . Time to make a few changes me thinks!


Oh, anaemia. I thought you were asking if anyone had suffered from - amnesia - since becoming a runner. It seemed a strange question, but do you know, I couldn't remember!! That must be a yes then.

Hope the doc soon gets you sorted and that you are back to running and enjoying it and without feeling so absolutely exhausted afterwards.


Ha ha that show. Read it too!


I haven't experienced this so far.

In your position I'd probably do a few 10 minute aerobic exercise sessions a couple of times a day ( x 3 days a week), enough to keep up some overall fitness, but not enough (hopefully) to totally wipe you out. I think you need to listen to your body, though, if that is still too much then rest. Although you may lose a little of the edge from your current fitness, it won't drop off too rapidly and muscle memory will ensure it comes back quickly, so it won't take you as long to get that level of fitness back as it did to get it in the first place. Try not to worry about it too much.

Fingers crossed for your results. At least anaemia is something easily remedied :-) Get yourself some dried apricots from the health food store in the meantime!


p.s. @Sugar :-)


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