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Low Heart Rate During Running!

I has been more than two months since I had the Ablation and I'm easing back to running. My average heart rate is slowly going up during the run and staying about 120BPM after 30 minutes of continuous running at 9 minute pace and I feel very tired. One time last week, during the run my average HR suddenly went up to 149 and I felt great that I thought I can run forever. The last few runs, I got up to 120BPM max. My question is, how do I get my heart rate to go up during running? I feel great at 150BPM and feel miserable at 120BPM. By the way, my RHR is around 50BPM. Thanks, Glen

11 Replies

I am having the same issue. I blame the beta blockers. My resting heart rate is about 55-60. When I do daily walking, I can hit 80 going up a hill. The times I've tried running I am lucky to hit 120 at the end of the run and going up a hill. Yesterday I ran for 30 minutes and barely broke 110. When I had a stress test I was on the treadmill for 16 minutes trying to hit 140. I think it's going to stay this way until they take me off beta blockers, which will hopefully happen over the next few months.


I'm never on beta blockers and stopped all medications over a month ago. Right now, I am on baby aspirin one per day. Just one time that I hit 149BPM during the run and I felt great. But most of the time is below 120BPM.


My HR has been low during exercise after my ablation 8 years ago. It max's out at around 120 on a stationary bike. It may go a bit higher on my road bike on a hill but I don't measure it as I don't want to obsess too much about it.

I'm not on beta blockers, just warfarin.

I thought it was just me!


Thanks Marks, based on what you said, if my heart rate peaks at 120, then my marathon days are over. I feel more comfortable and less fatigue at 150 than 120.


You may already know this site - but in case you don’t



I had AF and AFL ablations Jan 29th and Feb 26th Respectively. I have been off all meds since 15th May and have had very few heart issues since. ( just a few missed beats every so often).

I have also had issues with the HR when running. I was previously 155 bpm average on 4 to 6.4 miles runs. 8:15 to 8:30 minute miles. I could peak much higher if I needed to run faster. However it is difficult for me to exceed 142 ish now and there is nothing beyond that normally i cant really run faster. I am lucky to do 9 min Miles. I did think think that my running HR issues were owing to the drugs i took previously and it is better now but not so much as I expected. I have deliberately not pushed as hard as I would have previously but I don't think that explains it all either - currently it's not there. I am wondering if it is just a general weakness owing to 12 months of poor activity and just a general difficulty in getting fit again.


Following my flutter ablation in February i started doing some running training on a treadmill after a few months, and recently have started back on the pavements

My HR fluctuates wildly for approx 5-10 mins upon starting a run and then with no change in pace/ effort it drops to 120's/ 130's for the remainder of the run. Relatively low effort at the mo' just to increase the miles and endurance (approx 10min/mile pace)

I requested a treadmill/ stress test due to the strange HR readings i am seeing. The hospital wouldn't agree to do it, but they did allow me to have a 48hr holter monitor.

I am currently waiting to see if there is any feedback, but they did say that i may not hear anything if they have no concerns.

UPDATE: just got home after writing the above and have received a letter to say that 48hr monitor has been reviewed and nothing untoward seen. I did run during the 48hrs and included a copy of my HRM report when I returned the monitor and diary. That’s a bit of a green light for me to up my efforts 🤞


Hi Jon, HR fluctuates at beginning of the run is normal. It takes a mile or two to get the HR stabilized.


I've been running with a HRM for over 20 years, but i guess never been so focused on the initial readings until now.

I've looked back at some of my historical readings and never noticed any wild fluctuations upon starting a run. When i run now my HR will shoot up to the 150's/160's (according to my chest strap) almost immediately before settling down.

I have to accept that there are changes due to the ablation


You may feel great at 150 bpm but your heart won't in the long term. An ablation is just a temporary fix and stressing the heart is the best way to undo that fix. Running what sounds like seriously after just two months isn't on anybody's recommended recovery plan either. As others have pointed out beta blockers are designed to stop the heart achieving very high bpms, and they are prescribed for this very reason.

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Beta blockers was my immediate thought too. I ran the GNR last year on beta blockers and my HR wouldn’t go above 110 (170 would be normal for me). Felt great the first half, then like death the second half... perhaps the lack of oxygen caught up with me. The answer must lie in what causes HR to elevate when exercising - I believe the vagus nerve and Adrenalin are the 2 factors. From this point on, I am out of my depth.


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