What could be the cause of near-feinting during a run when over 50? (Read 150 times)


    Good day everyone! I am a new member of the forum. I was looking for advice if anyone else has had feinting or near-feinting spells during running, even though you feel amazing.

    I am a man of 57, I usually run 3-4 times a week on a treadmill when the weather is not nice. Occasionally and semi-frequently, I am running along, and feeling fantastic, when all of a sudden a tsunami sized wave of dizziness that makes me want to feint immediately. Most of the time I collapse, or sometimes I can just place my feet off the treadmill and hold on until the discombobulation goes away. Usually about 30 seconds. I don’t understand it because I feel so great before it comes on. I went to a cardiac specialist doctor, angiogram came out great,  they strapped me with sensors to monitor my heart activity during a normal day and he saw no problems. I’m 6 foot and 165 pounds and in good shape, otherwise.


    Has anyone had similar experiences?

    Half Crazy K 2.0

      Sort of. I've tried running on the treadmill when my allergies were bad, it didn't go well. I assume with all the sinus pressure it messed with my inner ear. I also can't wactch TV or look around while on the treadmill.


      Has this ever happened outside or is it just on the treadmill?


      I'm in my mid 40s. I have found as I've gotten older, things that used to not bother me (like roller coasters) now do. Last time I went on one, it made me sick. I also get motion sickness on planes & boats, so I have always assumed there is some tie on with the treadmill.


        No,,i'm only running on a treadmill because i live in a very hot country, and it's faster to just come home, jump on the treadmill, get in 30 minutes and have it over with and get back in the house.

          Could you be dehydrated without realizing it?

          Out there running since dinosaurs roamed the earth



            I have pondered that possibility, and /or some comments I've read that maybe a snack with sugar is required before running. Though lack of hydration might be more probable. I live /work in KSA

            Half Crazy K 2.0

              I'm assuming you're not in the US? Would the cardiologist be willing to send you for a stress test? Often those are on a treadmill, so possibly it would capture an episode.


              The other option is to start with a primary care doctor to see if there are other issues that are causing it like inner ear.



                The way you describe "sudden" dizziness makes me think it's not dehydration, but more like a sudden drop in BP, arrhythmia, or weird sudden change in electrolytes.  Inner ear is also possible, but not likely if you don't experience it during other similar activities, only when physically stressed while running.


                The only times I have fainted related to running have been after hard efforts at altitude (6,000'-10,000' elevation) and it was a pretty sudden sensation.


                I second the advice to talk to your primary care doctor and go from there.  Did you run with the cardiac monitor on?  It would be telling for the monitor to capture what happens during an event.

                Not running for my health, but in spite of it.

                  I'm surprised no one said it might be due to Demon Sperm. According to one licensed doctor, that's the cause of many, if not all, illnesses.


                  Seriously, people touched on the usual causes; dehydration, low blood sugar, disorientation. It's very possible the action of running on a treadmill and the visual feedback you're getting (static) are causing a glitch in your brain. And there are a lot of people who are prediabetic or undiagnosed Type2 diabetics. And of course there could be weird heartrate things happening.


                  I guess you need to monitor a bunch of stuff and find the cause.

                  60-64 age group  -  University of Oregon alumni  -  Irreverent and Annoying

                    It could be vertigo.

                    Runners run

                    an amazing likeness

                      I have no good information to share on what may be the cause, but I can relate to what you are describing because something similar happened to me for a period of time.


                      I would come home from work, change up and head out the door for a work-a-day routine run workout. Easy effort. Just logging base miles. Usually same boring old route.  Then at about 2 miles...after I was warmed up and just plodding along...I would get dizzy and 'woozy' to the point where I felt safer if I stopped and took a knee, or leaned on tree or bench. My heart rate wasn't elevated, it was actually lower than earlier in the workout. Then after this 30-60 second pause to "gather things up", the rest of the workout would be fine. The wooziness didn't come back.


                      Unscientifically, and without precision, the trends I arrived at were that it was more likely to happen on colder days (-5C to -10C), and on days where I had raided the office sweets late in the day, a couple hours before the workout.  I came to believe it was related to blood sugar. It seemed that my body didn't "click" into delivering energy from stored carbohydrates before something "crashed".


                      It seems to have just gone away on its own, hasn't happened recently.


                      modified to add:  I see now you're in Saudi Arabia...so I doubt the cold temp thing is at all relevant.

                      Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.


                        Half Crazy:  yes, the cardiologist did put my through a stress test, on the treadmill. Nothing conclusive came through,(mostly because the sensors kept falling off due to my sweating) but he thought there was slightly diminished electrical activity on the left side of my heart, but not enough evidence to conclusively point to that issue. And i did go to a ENT specialist  and they could see no problems with inner ear, gave me an ear cleanout and sent me on my way.

                        And yes, i did spend 24 hours with a cardiac monitor on, during a regular work day. Nothing conclusive.

                        Milk Truck:  Thank you! You had the closest similarity to my symptoms. After the episodes, i would not continue running for that day. And after 4 episodes,i have stopped running completely, because i figure, eventually my luck will run out, and it will become a complete feinting situation and in a battle between my head landing on a ceramic tile, i'm sure i won't be the winner of that outcome.

                        Your point about the blood sugar, not Processing through my body, efficiently and before the run, does sound to make sense,, therefore the question remains, how to ensure, or take something that will accelerate or ensure that the blood sugars do process effectively, prior to my run.

                        Half Crazy K 2.0

                          With the blood sugar, for me it depends on when & what I last ate. In what seems like forever ago when I was actually going into the office, I would eat lunch around 1pm and then have a snack around 3:30 or 4. I'd make sure the snack was more than just carbs. So like a Lara Bar or Rx Bar. If I just had simple carbs (like Milktruck's raiding the office candy jar example), I assume it would make my blood sugar spike & then crash. A lot depends on what you can tolerate before running--a banana & peanut butter may work, an apple with PB may cause other issues due to the fiber.


                            Timothy, if it makes you feel better, i have had several past experiences exactly like that, but i just gave up the treadmill and stopped running inside, i only run outside now. i figure it had more to do with motion sickness type of thing, legs moving but eyes not recording movement. good luck! hope you figure out what triggers it for you


                            Mother of Cats

                              Have you ever been tested for diabetes?  If not, it might be worth adding that to the follow up list.

                              Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.


                              And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

                                Last summer I used a treadmill to run for the first time. It faced a window and I thought it nice to look outside as I ran. I found it made me feel a bit disoriented and dizzy, most likely motion sickness as others here have had problems with. The disconnect between seeing a static scene and yet running fast can cause a conflict in the brain. Next time I used the treadmill I focused on the TV screen and had less problems, or maybe I just got used to it.

                                Long distance runner, what you standin' there for?
                                Get up, get out, get out of the door!