Author Topic: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?  (Read 2139 times)

hulver

  • I am a mole and I live in a hole.
First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« on: September 21, 2009, 01:54:00 pm »
I'm giving blood tomorrow, for the first time ever (providing they want it of course).

How soon after giving blood are you generally back in top form? I'm assuming that being drained of my life fluid will affect my performance some what. I'm on a fairly hilly 45 mile ride on Saturday, and I'm wondering if giving blood will make it harder?


Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2009, 01:55:21 pm »
you'd be fine for a pootle. Not for a race.

It affects some more than others. I have lowish blood pressure and find donating blood really knocks me for about a week.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2009, 02:02:39 pm »
You'll need to find this out for yourself - we are all different.

It knocks me back for about a week - everything works on the bike, just not as well - a bit like driving your car everywhere in second gear.

Riding to the session always makes for a quick visit - once you are all fired up from the ride to the donation centre, it doesn't take long to fill a blood bag  :thumbsup:.

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 02:09:23 pm »
Although recently the donation centre have made a point of getting donors drink some water before donating, for the last 3-4 years I've always drunk at least 2 pints of fluid before hand, as I've found it means no side effects afterwards.

As mentioned above though, different people vary, so I'd take it a bit easier than normal on the hills.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2009, 02:23:24 pm »
You *will* find that you have 'empty legs' on the hills and should expect that the maximum effort you can sustain for a week will be to ride at a gossip (level 2).  In hindsight, going on the club hilly training ride 6h after donating was a predictably bad move. 'Looking like your own ghost' was an appropriate description. It does make you well aware of the performance boost from adding blood back in.    It shouldn't affect the ability to pootle but if you tend to ride at a reasonably energetic pace then you will notice a difference. The more energetic the ride then the bigger a difference you will notice.

Allow a minimum of 2 weeeks to be back to intense sustained work, 3-4 weeks to  reach the same performance level.

..d
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2009, 03:00:31 pm »
<snip> ...going on the club hilly training ride 6h after donating was a predictably bad move...
I dunno. It's taken me ages to persuade MrsLurker that, "avoid strenous exercise after donating" means I don't have to do the washing up cos I'll be too feeble and then I see this sort of thing. Some people are just no help at all. :)
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

ed_o_brain

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2009, 03:04:23 pm »
I don't do to well riding after giving blood. Takes about a week to get back upto par.

I know it shouldn't, but it really puts me off going to visit the vampires.

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2009, 03:39:53 pm »
I avoid anything over 50 miles next day, and usually feel a bit weak , but have done many a 40 mile pootle the day after and been ok, as long as I eat and drink well and stop when I need to.

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2009, 03:46:00 pm »
I find for the first week I'm 2mph below my normal average and the following week 1mph below. Back to normal after 2 weeks or a bit less. I always feel fine but just can't make myself go at my normal pace - there's not so much oxygen getting to the muscles so you're bound to be slower, opposite effect of autologous blood doping after all. I tend to schedule my donations for September, December and March to avoid the summer month's events. Not that I race, but I struggle to keep up with everybody else at the best of times.

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2009, 04:38:41 pm »
I find for the first week I'm 2mph below my normal average and the following week 1mph below. Back to normal after 2 weeks or a bit less. I always feel fine but just can't make myself go at my normal pace - there's not so much oxygen getting to the muscles so you're bound to be slower, opposite effect of autologous blood doping after all. I tend to schedule my donations for September, December and March to avoid the summer month's events. Not that I race, but I struggle to keep up with everybody else at the best of times.

That's very interesting. I've always assumed that I was/should be okay 24/48 hours after donating, but without any basis for that opinion - after all, I have no idea how long it takes me to replace a unit of blood.

Although recently the donation centre have made a point of getting donors drink some water before donating, for the last 3-4 years I've always drunk at least 2 pints of fluid before hand, as I've found it means no side effects afterwards.

How can this be? I believe that the juice/water thing is just designed to counter the effects of dehydration, not blood loss. I suppose it may be that dehydration is a bigger/more immediate problem than the loss of the blood cells.

Unless the two pints of fluid you drink are actually blood, which might make the whole process a bit redundant...

L'enfer, c'est les autos.

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2009, 06:38:07 pm »
I think it affects my performance for 3-4 weeks. I tend to donate at the end of the summer (after my last TT) and again around christmas.

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2009, 07:59:03 pm »
As has been said, we are all different.  I'm usually fine 48 hours later.  I did once do a hilly 200 the day after donating, and did indeed suffer greatly (bit DID finish, well in time).  Expect to feel a bit below par (on the ride, that is - otherwise you'll feel perfectly normal)  5 days after, and you won't be far out.

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2009, 07:59:38 pm »
I go for a couple of pints of restorative Guinness after giving blood, and then ride home.  

I don't think it affects my ability to cycle past that evening.  I'll test this with a club run the same week next time I go to donate.  

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 08:05:22 pm »
Quite possibly the kinds of people who would notice the most impact on performance per se from giving blood, are those who notice that riding a bike with a hub dynamo has more resistance than a bike that doesn't. They are much more in tune with the bike/person interaction.

I'm not one of these people.

But giving blood does knock me back, as previously mentioned.

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2009, 08:15:37 pm »
When I used to run a lot, it meant I had to walk up hills for a week or two.  The overall blood volume is made up very quickly, the oxygen-carrying red cells take much longer.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2009, 08:41:52 pm »
Although recently the donation centre have made a point of getting donors drink some water before donating, for the last 3-4 years I've always drunk at least 2 pints of fluid before hand, as I've found it means no side effects afterwards.

How can this be? I believe that the juice/water thing is just designed to counter the effects of dehydration, not blood loss. I suppose it may be that dehydration is a bigger/more immediate problem than the loss of the blood cells.

Unless the two pints of fluid you drink are actually blood, which might make the whole process a bit redundant...


Me - a vampire?  Not with my cyclist's tan!!

I think it's more down to the loss of fluid.  After googling, it seems the body can take 4-8 weeks to fully replace the red blood cells, whilst white ones are replaced after 12 hours.  I've done 50 mile rides 4 days after donating and can't recall any issues, but perhaps I wasn't pushing hard anyway, as I guess losing 10% or so of your red blood cells must have some effect.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2009, 09:42:18 am »
I find for the first week I'm 2mph below my normal average and the following week 1mph below. Back to normal after 2 weeks or a bit less. I always feel fine but just can't make myself go at my normal pace - there's not so much oxygen getting to the muscles so you're bound to be slower, opposite effect of autologous blood doping after all. I tend to schedule my donations for September, December and March to avoid the summer month's events. Not that I race, but I struggle to keep up with everybody else at the best of times.

That's very interesting. I've always assumed that I was/should be okay 24/48 hours after donating, but without any basis for that opinion - after all, I have no idea how long it takes me to replace a unit of blood.

Well I'd say you are "okay" to ride immediately afterwards providing you've had a drink and don't go mad. The original question was about regaining previous performance level however. To answer the OP more directly a 45 mile hilly ride a few days after donating should be fine providing you're content to go a bit slower than normal especially up hill.


David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2009, 09:55:25 am »
As I probably didn't make clear, if you normally ride at 80% of capacity and always take hills gently then you will feel virtually no ill effects. Distance shouldn't be a problem.

If you are used to riding for extended periods at or above your anaerobic threshold (read - hanging on for grim death to the back of th egroup unable to shout 'easy') then you will notice a profound and long lasting effect, recovery taking 3-4 weeks.

So, I shouldn't expect any issues on a long ride as long as you don't expect to be getting out of breath up hills - you will then find your legs a bit 'empty'.

..d
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

hulver

  • I am a mole and I live in a hole.
Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2009, 10:00:27 am »
As I probably didn't make clear, if you normally ride at 80% of capacity and always take hills gently then you will feel virtually no ill effects. Distance shouldn't be a problem.

If you are used to riding for extended periods at or above your anaerobic threshold (read - hanging on for grim death to the back of th egroup unable to shout 'easy') then you will notice a profound and long lasting effect, recovery taking 3-4 weeks.

So, I shouldn't expect any issues on a long ride as long as you don't expect to be getting out of breath up hills - you will then find your legs a bit 'empty'.

..d

Heh. Looks like I'm boned then. I'm usually the last up the hills, and the hanging on for grim death bit sounds familiar. A ride around the peak district doesn't sound like the most sensible idea.  :D

Oh well, I can always bail if it gets too hard.

LEE

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2009, 10:12:30 am »
If you're worried about blood donation affecting your performance simply ask your doctor to extract the red blood cells and then re-inject them prior to any important cycling event you have planned.

I've heard that it "perks you up" on the climbs.

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2009, 09:21:45 pm »
It's only an armful, not a LEG full (for the older readers).
Let right or wrong alone decide
God was never on your side.

hulver

  • I am a mole and I live in a hole.
Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2009, 09:10:54 pm »
Went out for a long hilly ride with a bunch of people from cycle chat. Around the hills of Sheffield.

I was slower than usual (which for me is pretty slow). My avg. was about 9mph. I usually do about 12mph on a hilly ride.

gordon taylor

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2009, 09:22:38 pm »
Until I read this thread, I'd never even thought that a blood donation would affect me. I always donate on the commute home, and I feel absolutely fine when I ride onwards from the donation centre. Perhaps being a constant pootler has its advantages.


Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2009, 09:34:33 pm »
If you're worried about blood donation affecting your performance simply ask your doctor to extract the red blood cells and then re-inject them prior to any important cycling event you have planned.

I've heard that it "perks you up" on the climbs.
Having just spent 2 weeks at 5280' I think I'll try that !!!

Re: First time giving blood. Will it affect my cycling?
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2009, 11:11:20 pm »
I always donate on the commute home, and I feel absolutely fine when I ride onwards from the donation centre. Perhaps being a constant pootler has its advantages.

I always feel fine too, I only notice the difference if I look at my average speed and I only feel different if I try to maintain my normal average.