Everything you need to know about Iron Deficiency (courtesy of Coach Dalby of Vista Nation XC)

posted Aug 18, 2018, 9:14 PM by Levi Huseman
Start Here
Start by looking at this slideshow (Thank you Coach Dalby from Mountain Vista and Coach Griffin from Lees Summit West).  It contains a lot of information about serum ferritin and why its important to monitor as a cross country athlete.

Iron Deficiency Pp

Educate Yourself 
Educating yourself on these issues is very important. Here are a few things every family should be thinking about in regards to iron/ferritin levels:
  • Educate yourself on what iron does for you as a runner, and how it can hurt when you are lacking.
  • Get your ferritin levels tested 2-3 times a year by your medical provider, and know your numbers. The off-season is the best time to get your levels checked. 
  • Set a goal for yourself to get your ferritin levels to at least 30. 40-50 is better, and gives you a nice surplus of iron. 
  • If your ferritin is under 20, you are most likely not going to be able to perform at your best as a distance runner. 
  • Eat lots of iron rich foods daily such as red meat and spinach. 
  • Take an iron supplement, and talk to your medical provider about how much you either should, or should not be taking. 

Articles about Iron for Distance Runners:
I have included several articles below about this very important issue to help you educate yourself on the matter. Please feel free to talk to the coaches if you have additional question. 

Talking to Your Doctor
In the coaching staff's experience some doctors are hesitant to test for ferritin levels because they do not fully understand the critical role ferritin plays in endurance athletics. Below is a letter from Dr. Kim Colter (Washington, MO) w/ references, about ferritin levels for endurance athletes that you can take with you to your medical provider when you ask to get tested. Please take this letter with you so that your doctor fully understands why it is you are asking to have your ferritin levels checked.