The Winsome Run

a running blog

Juneathon Day 9 – Post Race Nausea: Advice please!


WARNING: Much talk of vomiting follows, but not too graphically I promise!

I mentioned on Sunday, when I was posting my brief race report, that I was suffering from my usual post-race nausea but it appeared to be passing (4 hours after the race). It turns out it was not yet over and I was plagued with nausea through dinner and into the evening. I ended up returning to the B&B and bed while my friends headed to the pub. 

This has become a consistent problem after long races and I have to say it is starting to really take the fun out of it. Of the four half-marathons I’ve done: I was perfectly fine after the first race, the second involved several hours of vomiting starting about an hour after the race, and the third race was followed by severe nausea immediately after that lasted for about four hours (the fourth race was Sunday). After my marathon I vomited immediately after the race and then at regular intervals for the next four hours.

I occasionally have mild nausea after training runs but it is easily managed by eating something. During the actual race I’m absolutely fine, though I remember starting to feel a wee bit nauseous at the very end of the marathon and last year’s half-marathon.

Things I’ve Tried:

  • Zero or Nuun rehydration tablets: after training runs and races but they have not stemmed the nausea or vomiting after the races and I don’t find them particularly palatable. 
  • I only drink water while racing. While training for the marathon last year I got a hydration pack so that I could drink regularly without having to carry a bottle. I still don’t drink a lot (about 300 mls on Sunday!!) but I also don’t sweat excessively and all the races I’ve done have been in temperatures below 20C (I live in Scotland after all!).
  • After long training runs I usually have a chocolate milk immediately, followed a bit later by a light meal. Trying the same thing post race has not worked.
  • I’ve varied what I eat during runs, from jelly babies to gels, jaffa cakes to Shot Bloks. On Sunday I ate 2/3 of a Honey Stinger Waffle. 
  • Salt has been suggested, and certainly salty crisps take care of training run nausea, however Sunday night I had very salty nachos for dinner and if anything felt worse after than before. Soon after the marathon I ate salty chips and they stayed down for a nanosecond.
  • After last year’s EMF Half-marathon nothing passed my lips for hours (except sips of water).
  • Reflecting while I type, I remember that during my first half-marathon I drank about 400 mls of Powerade diluted slightly with water – the only time I have used a sports drink, the only time I’ve not had any nausea…

I’m clearly getting something wrong! If you have any experience, suggestions or advice it would be very grateful received.  I’m considering seeking the advice of a dietitian, the sports clinic I go to for physio has one, but is this overkill? I feel like I should be able to sort this out myself. 

Anyway, after rambling at you for many paragraphs, I should probably tell you about today’s exercise: For Juneathon Day 9 I went for a nice easy 2 mile recovery run in the sunshine. I then did my calf raisers and hopped about the living room for a minute on each foot. This brings me to 22.44 running miles for the month so far.


11 thoughts on “Juneathon Day 9 – Post Race Nausea: Advice please!

  1. I truly wish I had some advice for you, but don’t. I wonder if you may have a drop in blood pressure? Any headaches? Does lying down help at all? May be it’s an inner ear/ balance issue

    Maybe it’s time to consult a doctor? Or sports scientist?

    Finally, is the nausea becoming more frequent?

    • Thank you for the suggestions. I’ve had experience with inner ear problems & this is different, more like a tummy bug. I suspect salt/electrolytes will be involved somehow – I think it might be time for expert advice!

  2. I too have no advice but recently I have been feeling sick during my runs especially if I am running hard. Will be interested to see what people say.

  3. I think it’s motion sickness! Bear with me here people…
    I suffer the exact same thing with anything more than 5k. And it’s not restricted to distance either, I know a sprinter who has suffered similar issues. If you think about it, that constant pounding for X mins/hours OR especially intense sprinting etc, then you suddenly stop, comparatively speaking. Your body still thinks it’s moving, it hasn’t had time to settle… anyhoo, I took motion sickness tablets for longer runs and that helped… that and I don’t run more than 5k any more : P
    (Disclaimer – I have ZERO idea how motion sickness actually works but thats how it felt to me so on that basis of that single assumption I took motion sickness tabs… please consult a doctor… I am not a doctor)

    • Hmmm, that is an interesting theory (and I’ve had to read it twice to check how serious you are!). The only thing is that it doesn’t happen on long training runs, when the time jostling about would be the same (if not longer), so I still think there is something about the intensity of the runs as well. I wonder if it’s the ‘anti-nausea’ component of the motion sickness tablet that made it effective for you rather than the cause (jostling about) being the same. But it would be nice to get rid of the nausea and feel human after the runs so I will give that a go!

  4. Sorry to hear this. One thing that strikes me is that despite this pretty debilitating issue you are still out there and it hasn’t stopped you. A solution must be out there somewhere. The only person I’ve heard who feels ill after a race is a lady at parkrun. She swears by chewing chewing-gum immediately afterwards, but that’s 5km. Have you tried ginger beer? Ginger is supposed to be good for settling the stomach. Other than that much wishes for a solutions but not really good suggestions.

  5. Could it be due to dehydration/salt balance? Think I’ve heard somewhere before that that can be the cause.

  6. Saw you’d posted this. Nothing to offer I’m afraid but interested to see suggestions. Keep us posted as to what, if anything, works for you.
    Good luck.

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