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Donating Blood

Help others without impacting your training

A few months ago, I did a little experiment to try to measure the impact of giving blood. Having donated before, I knew it would have some short-term effects, but I'd never tried to put some figures on it. In the week or so before I donated, I ran an eyeballs-out 5k, and also an interval session.

With these in the bag, I donated my blood, recording the whole process, and filmed my return to running. NB there's a very brief scene with a needle, if you're heavily squeamish; and a middle-aged man running to the point of exhaustion, if you like a good laugh.

There's more information on the NHS Blood and Transplant Service website or you can call 0300 123 23 23. If this video has inspired you to give blood, or even just to look into it - leave me a comment below. Please share this video with as many people as you can!



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  • Fab video. I'm already a regular blood donor, but it's good to show that there's nothing to be worried about. And that you can run reasonably afterwards too.
  • Great video, I haven't given blood in years, where I live the donor service only come every 3 months or so and that usually ties in with rugby so I'm never at home to give blood.
  • Great Stuff and very instructional. I donate platelets every 3 weeks and don't lose much volume of blood. I feel like it gives me fresh blood, a bit like Lance Armstrong :)
  • I'm a regular donor, too, but it was very interesting to see the (very minimal) effect it had on you. Thanks for making the video and hopefully it will inspire people.
  • As a regular donor, I personally find that I am off my running for about a week. Perhaps that's down to my own level of fitness. It would be interesting to see if, say, a person's VO2 max has anything to do with how quickly the body gets over the donation. I just don't give blood during peak training for a race and wait until after the event.
  • Well done. I give blood last Wednesday and then ran Swansea Half Marathon on Sunday. I was a minute and 35 seconds slower than last year when I ran a 1.44.25 so that's not to bas. Was it worth it? Yes it was.
  • As an older donor I try not to donate within 10 days or so of an event. We're all different so it may affect some more than others. It helps if you drink well before and after donation. [That's drink water, obviously.] I would encourage people to go along and give it a try - as the video shows, it's really not that bad :-)
  • Great Video Ian Ive not given blood for years never wanted it after my ops but now ill look into again :) See you soon Sammy
  • Great video - finally got round to watching it. Definitely will share with my running club. I'm at 49 donations now and find it takes roughly a week to feel like running is normal again. And definitely heed the advice about no exercise the same day after giving blood... I stupidly tried it once, just to see how it felt, and came close to throwing up and fainting after a couple of struggly miles. Stick to the tea and biscuits! Thanks for helping raise awareness and encouraging donors.
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