Throwing up after running...

Hey all,

I was wondering how often y’all throw up from running? Does anyone know exactly why it happens (obviously, I’m assuming you haven’t had a steak 30 minutes before training ;))?

Is it from the lactic acid?

Forgot to add this, my bad:

Charlie, what was the case with Ben? Were there any sessions that specifically made him vomit?

I find any reps greater than 3 with incomplete recoveries (30sec-2min) over 150m.
This year in SPP I had a sessions like 5x200 @ 25sec or 4x200 @ 24sec with 2min recovery vomited after both. Not cool seeing breakfast twice.
I think it happens because the build up of lactic is perceived by the body as a poison. The only way a poison can get into the body is if it’s ingested and so the body gets rid of the stuff in the stomach. I think that’s what happens??

Never happens to me. Of course, I don’t do high intensity sprints without (nearly) full recovery between reps.

We used to have a 400m kid that threw up a lot after intensive tempo workouts. He was in great form by the end of the season though. Ran 49.39 off of a mid-high 23 200m pb.

I see no real reason to run until one trows up. Does not mean you are getting more out of practice.

I posted my hypothesis about the physiology behind this phenomenon a while ago, but it somehow got deleted. Here it is again:

Your body uses bicarbonate to buffer acids, producing water and carbon dioxide in the process:

HCO3 + H+ -> H2O + CO2

Bicarb is produced by cells lining the stomach using the reverse reaction:

H2O + CO2 -> HCO3 + H+

The hydrogen ion (acid) produced in this reaction is secreted into the stomach, while the bicarb molecule enters the bloodstream where it can do its job (i.e. buffering acids). Bicarb is thus always produced together with hydrogen ions. If you want to produce more bicarb, you have to remove the bicarb and hydrogen from the reaction to push the equilibrium towards its product side. Under conditions of acidosis, the bicarb is easily used up because of all the acid it buffers. The hydrogen ions, however, build up in the stomach until their concentration is so high that no more acid can be secreted. The fastest and most efficient way to get rid of the excess hydrogen ions in the stomach is by vomiting, which will remove stomach acid and thus allow the body to make more bicarb.

I thus believe that vomiting is a physiological mechanism to combat acidosis.


Never happened to me if I listen to Charlie. But, now, what I understand to be the origin of that 350-type workout that you see:

SMTC had a workout for 400 that was 3X400 at full speed with 3 min rest, which was cut to 3X350. The reason they cut it down (many years ago) was there were too many people throwing up on the track. HSI uses that 3X350 for 400 guys (late in the season) BTW.

In one of the Clyde Hart articles is mention of a 300-300-350 for women done with something like 4 min. Clyde said the reason the 350 is done last is so they have all day to throw up on the track. There is also a fairly well-known 3X400 with 4 min for 800 runners done just slightly slower, and, once again, this can make you throw up on a warm day.

It’s usually this type of workout–hard lactate tolerance with short rest–that does it. Even if you go back to Charlie’s old 2X300 with 30 min that Ben apparently refused to do, I don’t think it happens.

It comes from pushing too far into oxygen debt, and would obviously carry serious effects on muscular and CNS recovery.

Yeah, I can’t imagine doing it all of the time a good thing, but the question remains:

Is it overall a good thing to sometimes (maybe once a fortnight?) push yourself that far? So the body reaches some new level of tolerance maybe?

I feel the only thing different between athletes and everyone else isn’t ability or potental, but the will and mindset to push yourself to your physical limits. As a sprinter, if you don’t vomit then you aren’t achieving this - which is straight boring. Thats why short sprinters 60/100m sprinters are so dull and uninteresting to me, they don’t need to, nor ever seem to want to, push themselves truely hard. Asafa Powell is one of the most gifted indviduals to ever walk this earth but from what we hear about him (even from his own mouth) he misses trainings and dosen’t like running 200’s cause they’re hard. Pathetic. Thats the whole fun of being an athlete - pushing yourself to your breaking point, otherwise you may as well go home. 200’s aren’t even hard.

Besides, vomitting after a workout makes you feel pleased, proud and hard.

i would think working that hard would be maladaptive. The only benefits it has is on building a more tenacious person, improving mentally. When i was a boxing i would train to my limits, in sprinting i don’t think its necessary. To each his own i guess. Some people like to go to the brink of defeat, others could do without.

fair enough, sprinting is a ‘quality’ activity after all. Still, I can’t stand the fact that some of the quickest humans alive seem like lazy poofs.

I think It’s good to completly smash a system occasionally.

Thanks for the info Robin

and then there’s people who throw up a lot easier than others…
I’ve pushed myself very hard in the past with some illogical workouts during college times, but never throwed up once, while teammates were running towards garbage buckets (indoors)
One incident I distinctly remember is wanting to throw up really badly before a race, perhaps I was extra nervous? (it didn’t happen though)

i remember doin an 800m once, i walked about 100m after it, fell against a fence, and about 1min later, infront of a mate, thrown up Red. He pannacked and ran away. I stumbled back to just off the start area, and passed out on an ants nest for 15min, before being awoken by painfull ant bites… i was laying there right behind some people, why did they just leave me on an ants nest??? People…
anyway, later that day, i realised what the red stuff was, i ate Red Jelly an hr or two before hand… :smiley:

Also, if such a session is planned and its potentially likely you will throw up, try eating Dry carbs of some sort, will help Soak up some of the bad stuff and make your Guts feel somewhat better.

What makes you think lactic acid is a “poison”? And how long can a “poison” stay inside your body? Can a product of CHO metabolism be the preferred energy source in many instances by your own heart?

I highly doubt anybody could throw up after doing sprints with full recovery(the CF style). I believe that it is best to have your food properly digested and the right nutrients to avoid throwing up. At my school last year, my lunch was scheduled 55minutes before my athletics period. Every other day in there was 30-40minutes of short bursts and jogging with not even 20sec of rest to recover from(“Football off season game shape training”). If I drank milk or ate shitty, I would just be asking to puke during the workout. Not much accomplished with this type of training, but I still managed to do some CF style workouts with full recovery on my own and made some great improvements.

You didnt get much from the team workouts, they seem similar to the stuff Odell had you during but better weights?

The weights were better at school I admit but the conditioning was not. The school “summer” conditioning program wasn’t enough for me when I did it 2-3 years back. The conditioning that I did with Odell was great. I will try to ask Odell to change the weights next summer.

If i remember correctly your school winter conditioning had lots of short sprints, sled work, agility drills etc vs odell gassers, shuttles etc?