Running after an ablation

I am a relatively fit 52 year old who has had PAF for about 9-10 years now. It was infrequent when I first noticed it and did not know what it was until about 5 years ago when I started getting it about every 3-4 months. Now it's on a 2-3 week schedule, lasts anywhere from a few hours up to about 10. Doctor has me only on a low-dose aspirin, no other meds. I am having an ablation on March 3. I am told I don't really need to have it done because the only risk is stroke which is very low given my other risk factors. I run about 25-30 miles a week. Pushing the running (I am an age-group semi-competitive runner), stress, alcohol, and caffeine seem to be my PAF triggers. The cardiologist says that the ablation should allow me to get back to where I can do speed work again. Don't care about the caffeine or occasional beers. Anyone out there able to re-start the speed work after an ablation?

7 Replies

  • I'm building up to it.

    I had my ablation 5 1/2 months ago. I didn't run for almost 3 months after the procedure as I wanted to give my heart the best possible chance to heal. When I started running again I was careful to take it very easy. I've slowly built up my mileage and my fitness is improving. I must say that it has been a slower process than I expected and i was really slow at first.

    I've recently started to do some basic speed work (fartleks etc) and I plan to do more. Mostly it's all zone 1 and 2 easy running. I'm doing about 40k a week.

    I've been very cautious in my approach but it is working and I've had no signs of AF at all.

    I'm still slower than I was but getting faster all the time. The way things are going I think I'll be at least able to match my previous level.

  • I'm coming up for 3 years post ablation. (I was 58 when it was done). My AF was exercise induced so pretty much stopped any training. I started some gentle running after a month and built up from there. After 3-4 months, I was back doing all the speedwork that I did previously. My EP did put me on warfarin for a couple of months prior to ablation and kept me on it for 6 months post ablation. I then swapped to rivaroxaban which I've opted to carry on with although I probably don't need it. Good luck with your procedure.

  • Interesting that your GP put you on low dose aspirin. That's what my GP is suggesting but when you did deep through the many articles online there seems plenty of evidence that aspirin is a waste of time for AF. Why, then, are some GPs prescribing it? Is there misinformation about? Surely GPs are up to speed with all the latest recommendations. I just don't understand it.

  • GPs are very busy and do not have time to keep up to speed with the advances in every illness they come across. Sometimes we have to take our findings to them, and perhaps request an alternative approach. That's why the help of a cardiologist, or better still, an Electrophysiologist is so valuable.

  • Obscure conditions I can understand, but AF is almost becoming an epidemic in the over 50s from what I read.

  • Thanks for the replies. I asked whether I could run a month after and the doctor said three days if I felt like it. I don't think I will have the confidence to do that. However, I do know a few bikers who have had ablations, all said they were biking a week afterwards. Biking is obviously different than running.

  • Had my cryoablation eight months ago and am now just starting to implement speed work. Gradually build up my weekly mileage .. 20 miles weekly ... speed work . running 800 and 400 repeats nothing too extreme .

    Takes a long time to get the speed back. Before a fib I was running 22 minute 5K's now I can barely break 27 minutes !

    It's hard to be patient but we must remember what our bodies just went through !!

    Good luck to you


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