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Low HR – When is training no longer advisable?


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Here is some basic info:

Age: 38

Resting HR: 32 bpm

Predicted HR max: 182 bpm (assuming the 220 – age thing)

Actual HR max: 152 bpm

BP resting: 110/66 mmHg (can get my max systolic up to about 200 mmHg if I really push)


ECG shows:

- 1st degree AV block

- Incomplete LBBB, progressing to what appears to be complete as I get fitter

- Occasional PVC’s at rest, but disappears with exercise as HR increases

Had echo done about 8 years ago, which showed no wall motion abnormalities.


I am still reasonably unfit, and have only really been training again for the last 3-4 weeks following rest for most of the winter with injuries. During last weekend's Engen race my average HR for the race was 116 bpm (with a max of 149).


With my current training my resting heart rate should drop below the 30s within the next month or so. I have had my resting HR down to about 26 or 27 bpm, but that was about 10 years ago when I could still run a 2:35 marathon.


So at which time is training no longer advisable where the possible complications may out way the benefits?

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I think you should rather ask a sports doctor. Your HR is extremely low and this could be either dangerous or advantageous.

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Best advice is for you to see a cardiologist in your area if you don't have one already. Were you diagnosed with 1st deg heart block by physician or gp? You would probably need a stress ecg to check on changes in your ecg. Are you on any meds currently like a beta or calcium channel blocker? A 1st deg heart block in lamen's terms. In the upper chamber of your right heart is a firing mechanism that consists of two nodes. The first one fires an impulse which has to reach the second one in a specified time in order to transmit down to your lower heart chambers which then contract to pump blood to your lungs and organs. When the impulse does not reach the second node or your lower heart an impulse will be generated from elsewhere in your heart. The pvc's are a result of this lower down. Thats why when you speed your hr up the pvc's go away.

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Was diagnosed by physician. There is no significant ECG changes or complications on stress, and no further blocks or ectopic foci due to the AV and BB blocks (besides for the occational PVC). Previous visit to sports doc it was suggested to follow it up if symptomatic, or HR drops below 28.


Currently not on any meds (and those listed would probably reduce contractility/heart rate further?).


Current waiting period to see cardologist is exetremely long (unless emergency).

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Definitely go and visit a specialist cardiologist as soon as possible - with expertise in endurance trained hearts - those conduction anomalies really should be studied in some depth to see if intervention is required or not.


If you need a name I can provide one for you - let me know.

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