It is not news that runners are subject to anemia. However, for the last 8 weeks I have been eating as much red meat as I could and taking iron suplements so I thought that I would be getting back on track by now. Despite all of this, I saw that my HRV continued to drop through the floor, even though I was taking time for recovery. The blue line in this photo indicates the overall HRV trend and the multi-coloured line is the daily reading.


A couple weeks ago I read this article which now resonated with me.

SaaS: How Quantified Self data is disrupting Professional Sports Part 2

I could relate to the athlete who was training, trying to recover but becoming more and more fatigued. I particularly remembered this sentence and went back to the clinic to get another blood test.

“The athlete avoided a performance crash or possible injury from fatigue because iron supplementation was prescribed when the athlete was unable to recover at normal rates”

My suspicions were confirmed and my hematocrit had continue to fall from 40.1 in June to 37.9 at the start of September and now to 37.1 at the end of October. The doctor told me I was mildly anaemic and prescribed iron supplements and vitamin C to help absorb it. I am just hoping that it is better than the stuff that I bought in the local pharmacy.


Actually, I was rather happy to hear the diagnosis as there is now something that I can do about it and tracking my HRV will help me see if it is working or not. And I still have 4 weeks to recover for my race.


6 thoughts on “Anemic

  1. For anemia, make sure you take your iron supplement at least 5 hours after your run if you run in the morning. Also avoid caffeine as it impairs iron absorption.
    Not sure about the iron you are taking but i also had a low RBC. I take an iron supplement called Floradix, its non constipating and the form is iron gluconate which is better absorbed by the system. Make sure also your anemia is not due to lack of vitamin B absorption which is caused by a lack of ferritin. In that case you can take a supplement called lacto-ferrin
    Good luck

    • Harrsion,
      Thanks for all this information. I have just started to do a lot of what you suggested so we will see how it goes over the next month. Just a couple of questions

      1. Where do you get Floradix? Japan?
      2. Is it sufficient to cut out caffeine with meals or should I cut it out altogether?

      I will let you know how I get on.

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