Results of a blood test

Hi All,
Just had my blood tested for the first time in a long time. I think this may highlight why I get dropped on every ride I go on. I have a follow up to assess, but wondering if anyone else has experienced similar results (low red blood cell count), and how it affected their cycling / training.

Probably not, who knows it is only a very small part of the picture. It would be better if it was in the middle or top of the range but it is only 0.03 off not being flagged. What lead to the test? Ask you doctor about it.

Could just be your plasma volume is expanded. Since it’s measured in rbc/L, you can tweak that value just by over or under hydrating.

This result does not explain why you get dropped. I would consider your result normal.

Blood result “normal values” are typically the range that 95% of a population fall in. Therefore approximately 5% (ie 1 in 20) of people may have “normal” levels out of this range.

There are almost 20 results in the panel above therefore its not surprising that one of the results is marginally out of this range.



The podcast covered a similar question this week when someone was wondering why they were getting dropped, admittedly they weren’t talking about blood work but ultimately they said it was down to fitness and I expect this is the same case here.

I suffered from Anemia back in Feb/Mar that is nasty, I couldn’t walk up or down stairs at the time, I was flagged for Haemoglobin (and it might have been Ferritin.)

I didn’t want to post about Plasma affecting RBC but as posted above that was my understanding.

Anyway as I said discuss any concerns with your Doctor. It it is a problem you’ll probably see other symptoms other than getting dropped, like extreme weakness, not able to get out of bed, dizziness etc.

An n=1 nope.

I naturally run low-normal iron/RBC/hemoglobin/hematocrit and, all things considered, have done rather well in my cycling pursuits.

But that’s just me.

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Me Too. Came as a surprise too me. Reminds me due a test.

I’m pretty sure my test was equally borderline low and my doctor said it was normal.

I think the argument was that people doing a lot of endurance work have higher than normal blood plasma volume. Thus as a group, they will skew to lower rbc per volume compared to normal population.


Do you mean PD curve?

A couple of questions

Did you ride in the previous 24hrs before this teat?
How hard was your training week leading to the blood test?

Thanks for all the responses. Very insightful. I agree, probably too borderline to be meaningful. The reason for the test was fatigue, still waiting on follow-up.

I should have clarified, I used ‘getting dropped’ for dramatic purposes, but basically meant, poor performance. I’ve been using TR on and off for a while, pretty consistently. I’ve gone through a two SSB1/SSB2/B (mid volume) blocks in the past, and am currently in the middle of SSB2 mv.

I thought the low RBC may be the reason for high heart rate. For example, today I did Tallac+3 (sweet spot), and my heart was bouncing off the rev limiter for the extent of every interval (~183bpm).

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With no idea of what your baseline is this result by itself isn’t telling anything and probably doesn’t explain why you get dropped. Now if that bothers you you my want to try spirulina. It makes a world of difference.

It’s fair enough to ask, and after all haemoglobin is essential to the whole process.

Who knows what your competition are doing, so I measure performance against myself.

Have a look at your nutrition, sleep, training, recovery, sort those out and your performance should improve, who knows maybe your RBC will increase too.

Just so you know, being fit generally means you are higher risk for getting exercise induced anemia, but it is not a true anemia. Many people confuse it because hemoglobin, hematocrit and rbc count are a calculation of concentration and what is really happening is that you have a normal absolute count, your plasma volume is just increased because of your adaptation to exercise. Also, just fyi those instruments don’t have an absolute accuracy that high. You may very well fall above it on the next test or even fall back into the normal range if they ran your specimen again. To make the conclusions you have made from this one test in incorrect. This very minor deviation from the lower bound of normal is more noise than signal.

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