Supporting running in the metro Richmond area
Think of donating whole blood as reverse doping. The banned substance EPO, a common doping method, stimulates the formation of red blood cells so that the blood carries more oxygen to fuel the muscles. When you donate blood, you are reducing your red blood cell count. Therefore, you can't deliver as much oxygen to your muscles, so you can't perform at the same level.
I used to give 2 units at a time. I learned a hard lesson by not watching the timing and donated 3 weeks before a 10K race. I have donated blood for years but find it takes anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks to fully recover. So I select my donations to the days or week after a half or full marathon. I also only donate 1 unit now and my recovery is much faster. I still have some guilty feelings turning down the Virginia Blood Service volunteers when they call for a donation during my training. Great questions and insight.
I gave blood March 16th and it has taken me two weeks to get back on track. Getting oxygenation is important.
I can still tell that I'm not 100% but I'm close. Alot of rest and alot of iron rich nutritian like spinich and iron supplements. Iron supplements for men should be used with caution and for a limited time maybe a couple of weeks. I will now give blood after race season.