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1532 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Sep 8, 2010 4:23 PM by ThreeBeez
ThreeBeez Amateur 10 posts since
Feb 8, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 3, 2010 6:13 AM

Has anyone successfully run following Takotsubo heart event?

Hello.  This is my first post here, although I have been reading the site for about a year.  I am a woman in my early 40's and had an episode of what seems to be Takotsubo while in a high adrenaline/adventure situation.  The first set of cardiologists said I could run in a matter of days, once the angiogram entry site healed.  However, I have felt like a trip to the grocery store is strenuous, and my outpatient cardiologists indicated that I have to act like I've had an actual heart attack and it definitely takes longer to heal than the few days I was originally told.  I've read a lot on this, and am hopeful, but petrified of recurrence.  Particularly because the episode which brought it on was not grief.


I've gradually come to the realization that my first half, in three weeks, is not going to happen for me.  There will be other races and I will accept that.  I am not running right now, and will do a stress echo next week, and work with the cardiologists, however my confidence in my future of running is completely blown.  This syndrome is usually for post menopausal women and often related to stress or grief, but it can be related to heavy physical activity.  Obviously the very nature of running IS heavy physical activity.  Does anyone have any advice on getting one's confidence back after an episode of Takotsubo, or any major health event for that matter?


Thanks so much! ThreeBeez

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,282 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009

    Sorry there hasn't been much input on this, but there is truth to  what all the doctors have told you, though the advice may seem  contradictory. At one time, rest was considered to be the best form of  recovery from adverse cardiac events, but even recent patients of open  heart surgery are now encouraged to exercise in moderation. True,  statistics show there is an increased risk of sudden death during  strenuous physical activity, but as you know, the overall risk of  death   decreases as activity level increases, at least to a moderate  level. There is no point in waiting for unchallenged tissue to grow  strong. As with all athletes, your heart will benefit from a reasonable  amount of activity.


    My system crashed during my research of  takotsubo,  but I recall a ballpark figure of two months of recovery time  before  "normal" activity could resume. Of course, what we runners call  "normal  activity" can vary quite a bit, but I would advise you to purchase, if  you haven't already done so, a heart monitor (strapped  type) to wear  during all your training, as I do. I keep a log of average and peak  heart rates for every workout. In your case, a target number should be  established by your doctors for what is most therapeutic. As a rule of  thumb, I would say that 400 meter sprints at  maximum capacity are not  recommended, and walking is not vigorous  enough. You'll probably be  told to keep things between resting and max  heart rates, up to 80% max  after a while.


    Treat this as  another form of heart disease and follow the outpatient cardios' advice. Of course there will be discomfort until things are back to  normal, but activity will accelerate your recovery vs. inactivity.  However, you are correct that competition is not a good idea at this  point in time. Psychologically, if you trust your training and know  you   have put in the time and effort it takes to prepare, the  resulting  exhaustion should keep you on an even keel going forward.  Don't worry about trophies because they will happen as much by accident  as on purpose. The very best lose all the time. When you are back in the  saddle again, just run your race.

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