HR is higher than expected during exercise
On-X aortic valve installed on 3 Nov 2017 due to BAV; Pacemaker installed a few days later because of permanent heart block. I'm naturally paced according to the reports, and I'm trying to determine if the PM is optimized and if there any improvements possible. I've not had a deep technical discussion with the EP or Boston Sci people, but will in the future. Next office visit is some months away, though.
I've been biking and weightlifting consistently all year, and regained all my strength and stamina. (I have averaged 4 hours of workouts per week since January). But, I continue to be limited by my max heart rate even at medium intensity outputs - meaning that I cannot push to medium-high intensity levels without getting to 180bpm. My heart rate is definitely higher now than pre-surgery, when comparing at similar power output levels, perhaps by approximately +30bpm at medium intensity.
Since I have been pushing hard to get back in good shape, I was expecting that my heart rate at medium or high intensity exercise levels would match pre-surgery levels (or even lower since I now have a functioning AV !). But it is not the the case, and I'm starting to be concerned about 2 points:
>Is the Pacemaker limiting the heart function somehow? Is the ventricle being fully actuated with the pacing signal (can you tell that I'm an Engineer?).
>Am I damaging myself with having my HR at 150-170 for 2 hours a week?
Would appreciate any help / feedback or recommendations on how to approach this with the EP or Boston Sci techs.