why do i tend to get headaches after long runs?

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why do i tend to get headaches after long runs?

Postby doggles » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:59 pm

i was wondering if anyone else experiences this?

i ran a half marathon last september then did very little running over the winter, just the occasional gym session. i'm starting to build up my distances again, but i find that if i go for a long run in the morning, by the afternoon i often get a headache that just doesn't want to go away.

is it something i'm doing wrong with the way i eat or drink? this morning's food was pretty typical: cup of tea, large glass of water and banana before the run. ran 8 miles. an orange, another banana, a cup of tea, half a litre of water, muesli with soya milk after the run. minestrone soup and seeded bread for lunch. a few dried apricots. more tea (bad habit, i know!)

what do you think?
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Re: why do i tend to get headaches after long runs?

Postby Konstantin » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:25 pm

It's possible that your body is losing salt through sweat and it's not being replaced. If this is the case your body cannot retain fluid efficiently. I had this bad about 20 years ago and got some bad headaches.

Salt isn't to be avoided entirely, cutting down on salt is good advice if you're a meat eater with high blood pressure who lives off burger and chips.

It may be nothing to do with salt, but there's a possibility.
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Re: why do i tend to get headaches after long runs?

Postby Herbsman » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:26 pm

I used to have the same problem after cycling. Not sure what the problem was or why it went away, but I do know that I used to drink too much liquid; I used to have to go to the toilet within 30 minutes of cycling, despite going twice before leaving the house. Now, If I'm going to have a drink with my breakfast it's either water or coffee, not both.
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Re: why do i tend to get headaches after long runs?

Postby doggles » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:51 pm

thanks for the replies

it's possible that i did lose quite a lot of salt as i'm a bit overweight and do sweat quite a lot when exercising.
i didn't feel like i drank excessive amounts of water today, but maybe it was too much. i did do a wee a lot more frequently this morning/afternoon than i usually would, so it probably is something to do with salt/amount of fluids. (sorry that's probably a bit too much information :oops: )

i haven't sorted out what i'm doing yet with carrying drinks with me on a run, so maybe i should be doing that. i was probably overcompensating so i didn't get thirsty whilst running. how much water would you have to drink before you have to start worrying about hyponatremia? is there some kind of formula for knowing how much water/sports drink to take and how often, or is it just a case of practice and knowing your own body?

and how do you guys replace lost salt?
sorry that's a lot of questions. i never thought running could be so complicated - i always used to think it was just putting one foot in front of the other!
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Re: why do i tend to get headaches after long runs?

Postby Herbsman » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:52 pm

It's as simple as just drinking when you're thirsty. Don't try to drink more than your thirst tells you to.
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Re: why do i tend to get headaches after long runs?

Postby ross88guy » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:43 pm

Could it be how you are running or your running shoes? I went though a phase of heel striking in flat shoes (no cushioning) and would get a headache every time.

I always tend to get headaches in half marathons but have found that sunglasses and sports drinks really help. Also havfever was a big one for me and that could lead to headaches - just a thought!

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Re: why do i tend to get headaches after long runs?

Postby Konstantin » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:45 pm

[quote="doggles"]
and how do you guys replace lost salt?


Now I just have some in my rice, veg, sprinkled on stuff like boiled veg. You could dissolve it water and drink it. I use unrefined sea salt, its got 83 elements, table salt has 2. It's the off-white suff that doesn't sprinkle easily.
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Re: why do i tend to get headaches after long runs?

Postby ha » Wed May 09, 2012 2:05 am

Id say dehydration. If you're not wizz'n CLEAR every 2 hours you need to drink more WATER. Get rid of the tea as that acts as a diuretic and will give you false urination samples by making you pee more and give you the false impression you're hydrated but you're not really and just going to burn out via dehydration.

Also if you're using a back pack it could be making your neck tight.

Also running hard surfaces if you're not used to it.

I used to get a head ache after going to the beach as a teenager. My doctor said it was 'salt allergy'. My karate teacher asked me what colour my urine was. I told him 'normal'. That night I learned that 'normal' should be clear NOT yellow or straw. That changed my life.
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Re: why do i tend to get headaches after long runs?

Postby AndieB » Tue May 15, 2012 1:36 am

[quote="doggles"]
and how do you guys replace lost salt?

I have the same problem and after any run longer than 6 miles I'm literally covered in salt crystals that I sweat out. Now after long runs I go for some veg sushi with a generous helping of soy sauce. :D It seems to help.
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Re: why do i tend to get headaches after long runs?

Postby Prime » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:53 am

I get this too. I sweat a lot and I'm covered in salt after my long runs. Water doesn't cut it so try an electrolyte drink like Endura (http://www.endura.com.au/products/endura-rehydration), either during or after your run. I used this when I was training for a marathon and during the marathon. Very good.
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