I'm now 7 weeks post-pacemaker implant, which was done to prevent blackouts I was suffering due to low resting heart rate. It only kicks in if heart rate drops below 50bpm.

I'm a very keen cyclist, 33 years old. I was in good shape before this but lack of training over last 3-4 months is starting to show and I want to get back to full fitness.

Now that the device is in and has been checked my doctor has basically said I can start to train to get back to where I was fitness-wise to get back to partaking in endurance events but I still feel very aware of my breathing/pacemaker/heartbeat etc and therefore a bit nervous about getting back to normal.

From other's experience of getting back to a strenuous training regime, should I have any concerns about potentially 'over-doing it'? Or am I overthinking things and just need to get on with it?!




by kforinas - 2020-09-13 19:11:45

HI James

I had a PM put in for the same reasons, bradycardia, and I'm also an avid road cyclist (but not a competitor). It took me about a year to get back to the condition I was in before the PM. I'm a little more than twice your age so you will probably recover faster. My doctor advised me to 'take it easy' which I have. Like many on this list, it is very stressful to go through this and you second guess yourself a lot at first, worrying about how much to do (or not to do). For me, building up slowly was best and eventually I got to where I would just exercise and not think about it so much. I use to have bradycardia events if I pushed myself too hard on the bike so I now don't do that, I just do what feels good (slower on some days, more on others). I think I enjoy it more and am in better shape that before. As long as your doctor says its ok I would say go for it (but listen to what your body is saying).

Good luck.


Pacing with exercise

by PacedNRunning - 2020-09-13 22:03:08

Do you need pacing with exercise?  That may be interfering if you don't need it and it's trying to pace you.  It took me a little bit to get use to pacing with exercise but I rely on my PM to exercise.  Breathing should be the same as before PM but maybe slightly more uncomfortable but not much difference for me. 

Paing with exercise

by AgentX86 - 2020-09-13 22:15:07

Pacedmyruns has a good point.  If you don't have chronotropic incompetence (heart doesn't respond to exercise), your pacemaker should make no difference to your workout.  Simple Bradycardia  just means that your (resting) heart rate is too low.  Your pacemaker will only kick in when this happens. 

OTOH, if you do have chronotropic incompetence, you really have the wrong pacemaker for cycling and it may take some work to get the settings dialed in well enough for all aspects of your lifestyle. Medtronic pacemakers only have an accelerometer based "rate response".  When cycling, your upper body doesn't move much so the PM may not register the amount of energy you're actually expending.  If you don't need RR, this doesn't apply.

Resuming Training

by Ironman5000 - 2020-09-14 06:36:50

Hi James

I'm in a similar position and also a keen but older cyclist. I was lucky to be able to train up to the day before the pacemaker implantation which was on Friday. I am planning to take 3-4 weeks off the bike completely and then gently get back to it with low intensity work at a reduced volume first, presuming I am cleared for exercise. Do you use a heart rate monitor that way you can reassure yourself that you are in the correct zones 

My pacemaker will monitor only above 140bpm and work to correct low rate rate below 40bpm mainly at night caused by my 2nd degree heart block 




by TheWickerMan - 2020-09-16 16:17:37

Thank you for the responses, very much a  learning curve for me.

My issue is solely resting heart rate bradycardia and I've been cycling since the PM fitting with no major issues (except my own lack of fitness!) so I guess I should be ok to gradually get up to a more taxing training regime.

Anyone have any issues swimming? I've been for 2 short swims in last couple of days and the action obviously uses the shoulders and upper body a lot so feels like it "pulls" in the area of the pacemaker. Just another new thing to get used to I guess!

You know you're wired when...

Your friends want to store MP3 files on your device.

Member Quotes

It's much better to live with a pacemaker than to risk your life without one.