Friday, October 29, 2010


As you know, I donated blood on Wednesday and then was convinced that going to the gym to lift that same day may not be the best idea.  A number of people congratulated me on my "sane decision."  But the day after is perfectly fine, right?  ...not really.

I did a mixed workout yesterday and to cut to the chase, I felt the weakness, the fatigue, and even a little dizziness a few times throughout the workout.  While many people will tell you that anemia symptoms are the same as over training symptoms, I have a hunch that giving blood less than twenty four hours before the symptoms gives anemia a big advantage here.  I however do not advocate going out and training after giving blood.  It really is a beating on your body.  The main reason I enjoy doing these things (aka: testing my body and limits) is because I want to know what it's like.  For instance, anemia can be a very common occurrence among endurance athletes and many such athletes will have a drop in iron levels throughout the racing season causing symptoms to arise later on.  If I'm right in that what I felt yesterday at the gym was due to a temporary state of anemia, then I have that knowledge in case during my training season I end up feeling the same way.  At that point, I'll know that "hey, maybe I should up my iron intake for awhile."  There's always a reason why I push myself in that sense though I admit that many individuals do not share my perspective.

Reps & Weight:
1.  Bench Press Machine (3 sets of 10/10/5[5] reps with 90, 110, 130[110] lbs)
2.  Leg Press (3 sets of 10 reps with 210/230/250 lbs)
3.  Bicep Dumbbell Curl (3 sets of 10 reps with 25 lbs/arm)
4.  Sitting Leg Curl (3 sets of 10 reps with 100 lbs)
5.  Side Lifts  (2 sets of 10 reps with 10lbs [side] & 25lbs [back])
6.  Horizontal Leg Lift (3 sets of 10 reps)
7.  Military Press (3 sets of 10 reps with 60 lbs)
8.  Sitting Leg Extension (3 sets of 10 reps with 100 lbs)
9.  Pectoral Fly  (3 sets of 10 with 90/110/130)

** Stretching **

10. Crunch Ups (3 sets of 10 sit-ups and 10 crunches)
11. Side Plank Twists (15 reps on each side)
12. Vertical Leg Lift  (3 x 12)
13. Vertical Tricep Dip  (3 x 10)

After experiencing the symptoms - especially the dizziness - I thought back to a couple of my races this year.  First off, my 2nd Olympic Triathlon.  Compared to my first Oly, the 2nd felt slow.  I struggled constantly through the run to keep going and I felt fatigued much earlier in that race.  Thinking back on it, not only was this race a mere 7 days after my first Oly, but also only 4 days after having given blood.  While the circumstances may simply be coincidental, it's possible that my iron was depleted.  Second, I thought back to my half marathon here earlier this month.  I certainly felt fatigued at about mile 9 and even began to feel slightly dizzy as of mile 11.  In the moment I just thought it was dehydration, which it could very well have been, but it felt eerily like the dizziness I experienced yesterday.  I would bet that it was a combination of the two. 

So the lesson I take away from this is that athletes typically require twice the iron daily intake.  On top of that, endurance athletes can require extreme amounts of iron due to the amount they go through on a daily basis for training. 

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