Monday, March 26, 2012

Public Service Announcement: DVT's in Endurance Athletes

I posted about this three years ago, in my old blog, after two of my runner friends developed DVT's-blood clots.

It's still a good read. And read the comments that other athletes left, about their experiences.

Yes, I want to scare you. A bit. OR actually, I just want you to be aware.

You think of blood clots in ..old people. You don't think about ultra runners, or triathletes, being the ones who who develop these blood clots.

Yet we are prime candidates for these.


Okay, Athletes tend to have a lower resting heart rate. This results in blood flowing slower through the body.

Dehydration-this plays a factor in your blood viscosity. More dehydration leads to thicker blood.


 Falls, bruises? Nah, this never happens in an ultra. (Non runners would call this "trauma") Ultra runners? Well, we took a face plant eight hours ago. No big deal, right? I got a little banged up. Got some bruises on my quads, knee, arm. No big deal.

Due to this trauma, there may be a clot forming at the spot in the cell wall. This is your body functioning normally.

After the race is over, we get into our car, or onto an airplane, and travel hours back to where we came from. We spend hours in a cramped position.
Meanwhile, the thickened blood is pooling.The body is still dehydrated. The body is forced into the worst position to get the blood pumping throughout the body again. This is where the start of a clot in the legs (in the deep veins) can begin.

Why I am posting this again?

Well, another well known ultra runner, Amy Sproston, had posted to the Ultra List about her diagnosis with DVT's.  Amy is an elite runner AND spends many hours in the air with her career.  It didn't seem like her DVT developed post-race, but maybe due to her air travel.

She had a pretty scary weekend, according to her blog post, where the DVT went from the DVT to a PE (pulmonary embolism).  She did go to the Emergency Room, and got admitted, and treated.   Amy is still hoping/planning on going to the Worlds 100K Race.

So take ten minutes, and read through some of this. And think about your post-race plans. If they involve plane travel, think about compression stockings.  Stop more often on the road for a rest break. Hydrate hydrate hydrate!

1 comment:

  1. Kim,
    thank you for sharing the story of your friends. I am an ultrarunner with a very similar experience ( Three years ago, I developed a DVT in my left leg after minor ankle surgery. Fast forward to December 2012, I am in the ER with multiple DVTs in both legs and PEs in both lungs. Suffice it to say, I am very lucky to be able to post this comment on your blog. Surprisingly, extensive tests afterwards showed no hereditary or genetic predisposition to clots or clotting disorders. Believe me, they tested everything. I am an otherwise healthy individual, who cheated death at last once. I also happen to run ultras, possibly too many since the ankle injury seems to be an overuse fracture/tendon tear. I will have to be on blood thinners for 6 months in addition to extensive rehab on my foot. My lung function still isn't back to 100%, so I know I have a long road to recovery. Again, I wanted to thank you for spreading the word about blood clots, especially in the ultra running world. I know for a fact that endurance athletes are at a much higher risk than other individuals and only 2 out of 3 folks like myself are lucky enough to be able to write about it after.


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