Returning to my pre pacemaker race pace

Does anyone have experience with how they've had their pacemaker settings adjusted on the high end to allow for road races?  My legs have felt a little heavy while I'm racing. This keeps happening at about the 9-11 mile mark in a half marathon.  I'm wondering if it can be related to lack of oxygen or something similar to that.

I have a Boston Scientific pacemaker model L331 that was installed about 16 months ago.




by AgentX86 - 2023-03-19 17:36:16

Certainly your pacemaker can let you run out of gas. Even without the pacemaker pooping out between mile 9 and 11 is strange.  Is it better before 9 and better after 11?  Or it gets bad somewhere in that range and stays?

You don't give your particulars the most obvious being that your upper limit is set too low, thought I'd think you'd hit it before mile-9.  Your heart should naturally peak out in a minute or so. 

If the reason that you have a PM is heart block, then you may exceed the tracking rate and your atria and ventricals are going asynchronous. Again, I would expect this well before mile-9.

The last thing that I can think of is an arrhythmia showing up at that point.  If you're getting a bit dehydrated or missing one of the key metals (sodium, potassium, magnesium), your heart may break into an arrhythmia which would flatten the tires, too. You might try an extra  suppliment of these before the run. Forget "sports drinks".  They do have a lot of sodium but almost zero of the others, even though they're advertised as high in electrolytes (sure, sodium).  Read the labels. Again, why it would recover is a mistery.

Strange things happen to us.  When I walk (three hours per day), somewhere in there I often get a tightness in my chest.  It lasts five or ten minutes, then goes away and I'm fine.

You might try measuring your heart rate at the point it craps out.  Take it manually. There are too many errors in the pulse measurement toys.  It's easier to make sure it's right.


Steve Triathlon

by stevebne - 2023-03-20 01:27:51

Hi D

I am 6 months post pacemaker and have just completed my third triathlon since then, an olympic distance race this time. The upside of the PM is that I am now able to compete compared to pre PM when I was increasingly struggling with exercise and not able to.. The downside is that the PM is not a replacement for a real heart and so my HR response during races is not always helpful. The biggest problem seems to be that the baseline resets after a while and then the HR response to the same amount of effort is lower. Very annoying!. There are 2 schools of thought: change the settings to marathon mode so there is no reset for 4 hours, but I have found that even a quick break for a drink overrides this and reset occurs OR use a shorter mode and once the reset occurs, further exercise will soon overcome the higher baseline and then move your HR higher. 

I suggest that you log your heart rate while exercising to help sort out exactly what your HR and hence PM is doing across the run and when you are experiencing your symptoms. You can then take this data to your cardiologist to help sort out the best plan of action.

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