I just donated blood yesterday although I will continue training for the next 3 weeks before taking my offseason break. Of course it is well documented that there is an acute drop in performance for several weeks.
However I was wondering if there’s any research that perhaps shows a long term benefit from continued endurance training during the 4-6 week lowered RBC period akin to “live high, train low” with respect to altitude or “train low, race high” carbohydrate/glycogen approach. Curious if the body somehow develops some beneficial adaptations.
Thanks in advance!
This was the only study I could find that seemed relevant:
Effect of Repeated Whole Blood Donations on Aerobic Capacity and Hemoglobin Mass in Moderately Trained Male Subjects: A Randomized Controlled Trial - PubMed (nih.gov)
“Training adaptations seemed somewhat lowered by repeated whole blood donations as endurance capacity did not increase following multiple maximal exercise tests in the donation while it did in the placebo group”
I also can’t think of any mechanism through which ‘training low’ in this sense would drive any adaptation, although someone with more knowledge of physiology may be able to come up with something.
Thanks for the reference Christian. I’ll check it out. I was just curious if maybe the body supercompensated in some way perhaps by upregulating hemoglobin production or oxygen carrying capacity. I guess that only happens if you freeze your blood for future autologous transfusion