This past weekend, I had a 14 miler which I decided to do outside because… I had already run about 22 miles on the treadmill over the course of the week, and needed a break. I hit the trails around 7 a.m. and since it was a little colder than my absolute coldest threshold for running (feels like was -14*, my threshold is -10*), I put on some extra layers — long sleeve, half-zip up, running vest running jacket, baclava, hat… all of it. I forgot to layer up my pants (even though I had some windproof pants leggings on) so good to note for next time.
Anyways, the run went really well — I averaged about a 9:20/min pace (a little slower than I’d like but I’ll take it given the conditions). I wish I could’ve grabbed a picture of all the icicles that formed on my eyelashes and even cheeks but they melted once I got inside, but you can see some:
So anyways, I grabbed some water and was getting ready to get in the shower/change/etc., when I started to feel super lightheaded and dizzy. I’ve fainted in the past (not for the same reason) so I knew that when my vision started to narrow, it was what was coming (but still freaked me out a little bit). I grabbed a few bites of banana, a few more sips of water and just laid down for a solid 5-10 minutes before I started feeling normal again.
I have a few theories of what may have happened:
- Apparently (based on Google MD, ha) fainting after running can happen after a run in cold weather because your blood vessels constrict when you’re outside in the cold to try to keep your body warm — so your blood pressure can drop. Maybe going inside meant there was a huge flow of blood and my body didn’t know what to do?
- I forgot to grab a snack before I headed out for a run. I usually have a few PROBAR Bolts but am currently out — and I feel like I forget about the whole eating before a run thing when I start amping up mileage during marathon training. Perhaps my body just didn’t have the fuel to keep it going? But, I’ve done this in the past and never got to the state of fainting.
- I’ve asked a few other marathoners and their theory is that it was likely dehydration… which I think makes sense because I didn’t drink anything before or during the run.
So, has anyone else experienced fainting after running? Specifically, when you’ve run outside in the cold and come back inside. I don’t think it was anything major because I feel fine now, but it also makes me a little nervous because I would hate for it to happen again (in an even worse location, while out running on the trail!).
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