Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Early heart failure-training advice

  1. #1

    Early heart failure-training advice

    Hi

    I was fitted with a pacemaker 4 years ago for Sick Sinus Syndrome, (heart pauses, slow heart rate, beats not all getting through). Things were amazing the first year, never felt better. Recently I found out one of the leads isnít working so theyíre trying to sort that but itís not causing symptoms.

    Completely separately, Iíve now developed early heart failure. Iíve been running and racing on the fells for 20 years, mileage and pace obviously decreasing as Iíve aged. Iím 57 now, a young 57 in my opinion :-).

    I also run with a local road club in winter. In November my running pace started to deteriorate until a few weeks later I was 4 minutes a mile slower for no apparent reason. No matter how hard I tried I couldnít get back to my previous pace. On top of that I began to feel I couldnít get a big enough breath and had to repeatedly stop running to try to take a bigger breath. I felt as if I was pushing a bus in front of me on every run.

    Anyway suffice it to say Iím beginning to come to terms with this although itís been a real unexpected blow.

    The medical people have said itís fine for me to carry on running. Itís really hard to run, (and bike now too), but I certainly have no intention of ever packing it in and still hope to carry on racing.

    Iím after any advice on training from anyone in similar circumstances and any tips, shared experiences etc would be fab too.

    Thanks in anticipation

  2. #2
    Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Ambleside
    Posts
    2,888
    Early heart failure - do we know why?
    What is your maximum heart rate - is it so slow it is limiting you? Does your pacemaker need adjusting/replacing?
    What drugs are you on - particularly are you on beta blockers?

    I suspect all these things have been explored.

    How often do you run? It is important to remember that rest is very important - don't run more than every second day. And pushing yourself into a distressed state is unlikely to help - slow and steady is surely the way. And try not to gain weight.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Thanks so much Mike that’s really useful.

    Max heart rate is pretty much ok. Pacemaker settings are pretty much spot on for me.

    No Beta blockers or other medication as yet but beta blockers are coming 😢

    After I had my pacemaker put in I cut my runs down to 3 a week to be more sensible, but 2 of the 3 are pretty intense which has been ok up till November. You’re suggestion re slow and steady sounds like one I will take on board as to be honest when I,ve tried to run hard recently I,ve felt awful and had to pack it in half way through anyway.

  4. #4
    Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Ambleside
    Posts
    2,888
    In “Uphill Athlete” Jornet refers to the aerobic deficiency syndrome. I had not heard this expression used before, but was aware of the “run slow to run fast” philosophy, though I had little time for it.

    Bear with me - we need an analogy.

    In the magical future there is a low emissions hybrid car. It has two different engines, with two different fuels. The slow engine uses a cheap energy dense fuel, and produces just water as its final emission. The fast engine needs a bulky and expensive fuel, and some of its emissions need to go into the slow engine, or it pollutes - to prevent this the fast engine can only go fast for a bit, and if the slow engine is underpowered, and so the fast engine is needed sooner, then the vehicle is forced to slow/stop, so that the slow engine can cope with the emissions from the fast engine.

    In the show room people can choose to have well matched engines, or to have a smaller slow engine. Many, thinking they only want to go fast, opt for the smaller slow engine. As a result, they find themselves trying to go fast, but using up the bulky expensive fuel, potentially producing toxic emissions, and being forced to slow down.

    Replace slow engine and energy dense fuel with slow twitch fibres and fat; fast engine and expensive bulky fuel with fast twitch fibres and glycogen, and the toxic pollutant with lactate. This is - very roughly - how our muscles work, and why trying to run too hard all the time actually limits our potential. Our under-developed slow twitch fibres are under used, and the fast twitch fibres turn on too soon, making lactate and slowing us down - we are making lactate too early, and cannot deal with it as it is hard to deal with anyway, and our slow fibres, which normally help to mop it up, cannot do as good a job as they should. And of course, as we all know, our glycogen supplies are limited compared to our fat stores.

    The commonest mistake runners make is to do their fast runs too slow, and their slow runs too fast. This isn’t just because the too fast slow runs make us tired, but, as outlined above, because our slow twitch fibres are under-developed, and so we use our fast twitch fibres too early and the consequent lactate production slows/stops us.

    So don’t under-estimate the usefulness of those long slow runs, and don’t feel you have to suffer to benefit. So often long slow distance is under valued, or regarded as junk mileage - wrong. 80-85% of our running should be slow and steady - our breathing so comfortable we can talk freely.

  5. #5
    Grandmaster Stagger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Leeds. Capital of Gods Own.
    Posts
    10,579
    After having my pacemaker fitted I competed for another 2 years before divorce and drink set me back a little.
    When going up hills (running or bike) I needed to keep below 164bpm.

    158 to 162 was perfect and that's I used to check for on the Garmin. Worked a treat. I was 53 to 56 year old at the time.

    My pacemaker max/min was set at 175 and 45 allowing to drop to 40 between 10 & 6am

    Bradycardia and irregular beat was my diagnosis. 2 leads fitted and its checked annually by the researchers at Leeds General Infirmary.

  6. #6
    Master Daletownrunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Out Running
    Posts
    1,134
    Quote Originally Posted by Stagger View Post
    After having my pacemaker fitted I competed for another 2 years before divorce and drink set me back a little.
    When going up hills (running or bike) I needed to keep below 164bpm.

    158 to 162 was perfect and that's I used to check for on the Garmin. Worked a treat. I was 53 to 56 year old at the time.

    My pacemaker max/min was set at 175 and 45 allowing to drop to 40 between 10 & 6am

    Bradycardia and irregular beat was my diagnosis. 2 leads fitted and its checked annually by the researchers at Leeds General Infirmary.
    How was that picked up Stagger? Did you have issues that made you go for a check or was it just a regular checkup that picked the problem up?

  7. #7
    Grandmaster Stagger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Leeds. Capital of Gods Own.
    Posts
    10,579
    Day after Rivington Pike many moons ago, I started feeling strange in the middle of the night, similar to butterflies in my stomach.
    Every 5 to 10 minutes I had to take a deep breath.
    When I checked it with my Garmin chest strap it read 35bpm.
    Phoned 111, fast response arrived and wired me up. 33bpm he said.
    Ambulance arrived 31bpm they said.
    Dropped to 28bpm while travelling.
    Then after 3 days in hospital went back to normal with not a pill or injection administered.
    After a year of monitoring I asked for a referral. Got sent to LGI and the fell walking Doctor said 3 out comes. Pacemaker now, pacemaker in future or obituary.

    Easy decision. He showed me his Statistics and he had 100% success rate.

    They did an interesting test on a treadmill. Every minute it got slightly fast and inclined.
    Max was 20minutes. The technician pressed the emergency stop at 19.5mins. I was fully wired and my HR was 176, I did tell him I could max at 184 but he wouldn't risk it.

    When the consultant got the results and heard I had complained about not being able to max he laughed and said are there many like you. I said no, I usually finish in the bottom half of the field the others are better than me.

    He concluded that because we train on hills and work in oxygen debt we don't show the symptoms of normal people.

    I should have felt light headed or dizzy similar to being drunk but I felt perfectly normal all the time. (Well as normal as a fat welder can be)

  8. #8
    Master Daletownrunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Out Running
    Posts
    1,134
    Interesting, thanks for that, I’ve had instances of fainting in the past and also like probably a bunch of us on here have a slow heart beat, enough for the nurse last time I was in hospital as a day patient to ask me if what she was getting was normal as she wouldn’t let most people out if it was that slow, I have had instances of real lethargy when running which I’ve put down to fatigue/ overtraining, I might just pay those episodes a bit more heed in future, plus sometimes feel the butterflies/ racing heart, I normally put that down to too much caffeine. Definitely food for thought Thanks

  9. #9
    Why not try aerobic exercises include walking at fast pace,jogging, riding a bike, jumping rope, and water aerobics.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •