The latest question in our Ask a Coach series comes from a college athlete suffering from anemia.
Question: Since I know this is fairly common among female runners, I am interested in knowing how long it typically takes for people to start racing well again after beginning supplementation. Additionally, should training be altered? And if so, what kind of changes would you recommend?
Run SMART Coach, Alicia Shay: First of all, knowing that it is difficult for many female distance runners to keep their iron in a normal range, it is imperative that you are always proactive so that your iron doesn’t get too low and you have to dig yourself out of a hole and lose time training. You can do this by taking a daily iron supplement and also always eating a diet rich in iron. I am a huge proponent of trying to get as much iron as possible through natural source and then as a last resort, taking supplements.