Wanting to run again despite having an ICD

I am a 58 yr male that has had 2 heart attacks and VTach with an EF of 28.  I also have RA  I had an ICD implanted 2 years ago.

I used to be a long distance runner and completed several marathons.  While not realistically thinking this is in the cards I would like to run again.  Walking is OK but I long to be able to run again. My Cardiologist has encouraged me to exercise.  It has been nearly 8 years since the last time I ran any distance.  It's like an itch that I can't scratch.

Am I fooling myself?  Any one offer any encouragement?  Thanks


go for it

by Tracey_E - 2019-08-12 19:59:46

If your cardiologist cleared you to run, and the doctor you see for RA is ok with it, go for it! If walking feels good now, start with something like Galloway where you are doing run/walk intervals, sign up for a shorter race so you have a target, lace up your shoes and get out the door! If the short race goes well, pick something longer next time. Think of it as a clean slate, don't compare your performance to what you did before. You may get back to where you were, you may find that's not realistic, but you won't know how much you can do until you try. 

I'm the opposite of you. I'm congenital and couldn't even consider running  most of my life, wasn't able to do anything active before being paced. The pacer opened up a whole new world.  I decided to do a 5k five years ago to celebrate 20 years being paced. I'd never run except to get out of the rain and my goal was to not finish last lol. And I did not!  I can't handle all running, intervals work best for me.  I've religiously followed a training schedule for 2 years now in addition to doing Crossfit but still can't get under 12mm. I will always have to do short run/walk intervals but I've done two halfs and am doing back to back 10k and half in November. It's not pretty, I'm not fast, but I can do it and feel good. I'll take it. 

Maybe you'll walk more than you run and be with me at the back of the pack, maybe you'll place in your age group. You won't know until you try. I can tell you that overcoming obstacles to cross that finish line feels amazing, whatever your time, whatever the distance of the race. Just do it :o)

My Opinion

by Piggers365 - 2019-08-13 06:34:27

I think the best medicine is exercise and a healthy life style. I have been fitted with an ICD and have had mixed reviews from cardiologists about what exercise I can and should be doing. A couple have told me to avoid the gym and don’t lift anything heavier than 20KG. Im 27 years old, 6ft3 and weigh 100kg, 20Kg is nothing. Others have said go for it and as long as you listen to your body you can do as you please. 

You have an ICD to protect you, I decided to have mine as a precaution and to help prevent any serious arrhythmia whilst exercising. 

I suggest you follow your passion, start slow and work with your body to push yourself over the coming months. Perhaps you can find a compromise and run again however not to the extremities as you used to. 

Good luck and Good health

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I'm 44, active and have had my device for two years. I love it as I can run again and enjoy working out without feeling like I'm an old man.