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relationship between running performance and high blood pressure (Read 2942 times)


rhetorician

    just wondering if there is one; there's plenty of stuff out there about the preventative effects of running on hypertension, and loads on running as a way of reducing high blood pressure. But I resumed running in 2009-10 and my paces were quite a bit down on my previous ones (I'm 45, female, about 5'2" and now around 136lbs); subsequently my optician suggested seeing the doctor because she could detect high cholesterol and possibly high blood pressure from my eye exam. I think my bp probably is on the high end of ok  (my rhr is about 54) and I wondered if this would affect my pace - logic being heart has to pump harder to get blood around and to muscles, thus oxygen uptake less efficient? And if it were brought down (say by medication, as I'm not sure there are many more lifestyle changes I can make) would my paces improve? Weight loss will probably be a part of this.

     

    Not looking for a diagnosis, just any experience anyone else might have had.

     

    Happy 2012!

    2012 goals

     

    lose 8lbs

    run injury free

    run 3000k

    run sub 60 min 10k

    run 2 hour half

     

    2013 goals

     

    run 1750 miles

    run injury free

    sub 55 10k

    sub 25 5k

    sub 2 hour half

      Hi Danielle

       

      I was put on medication for high blood pressure two years ago. I am on a low dose beta blocker.

       

      It definitely does not help my running.

       

      I had to slow down and run shorter distances as I wasn't recovering when I attempted to train as I was before being put on the medication. It took me 6 frustrating months to figure this out.

       

      The good news is that it is now very easy for me to have afternoon naps. Often after lunch my BP is 100/60, my heart rate in the low 50s and my eyes just want to close for a short rest Smile

       

      Other blood pressure meds may have other effects. But I can say that beta blockers have not improved my running.

      Geoff

        Not an expert but I would certainly make sure your doctor knows that you're a runner and discuss whether a beta blocker is the way to treat elevated BP.  Beta blockers work, as far as I know, to reduce bp by reducing heart rate ... and that will affect your running in a negative way (if you're interested in racing).  

        I used to take atenolol for years, which is a beta blocker, and finally a new doctor recognized that I probably shouldn't be on a beta blocker as a committed distance runner with very low HR to begin with.  He switched me to Lisinoprol which is an ACE inhibitor and my running almost immediately 'improved'.  I've since lost more weight than I could have ever imagined I could and now don't take any BP medication at all. 

        So, yes, I believe BP drugs CAN affect your running paces.  Talk to your doctor!


        Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

          I have been running since 3mos after a heart attack in march 2008. Being a broken down (other injuries preceded running) old man of 62 when I started my pace was slow and made even slower by the limitiations that heart & BP meds caused. Beta Blockers reduce heart rate as a way to reduce blood pressure as a result my rhr is 48 and lower. I also have a measured max hr of 137 which I get close to if I push sustained pace into the 10's. 

           

          So, while beta blockers reduce heart rate, they will limit how fast you run.

           

          The good news is, however, that running will probably reduce your post run blood pressure (it does mine) - that could help you avoid having to take meds, that and losing weight of course - which is always easier said than done!

          bob e v
          2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

          Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

          Break the 1000 mi barrier!

          History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.


          Needs more cowbell!

            I wouldn't say low BP = more efficient/faster running.  My BP is generally in the 110-112/60 range and I am anything but fast.  I would say slower paces are simply an effect of age and lost fitness if you had a break from running.  Did you gain weight between a previous running life and your current one?

            I shoot pretty things! ~

            '14 Goals:

            • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              I'm on meds for my blood pressure too, but I mentioned that I just started running to my doc, and he's putting me on a lower dose because of it. After 3 months trial, I'm supposed to stop taking completely for 3 months, then have a check up ( of course I'll be monitoring on my own as well). Regardless if I can run faster without the meds, I'm hoping I'm getting healthier!


              Petco Run/Walk/Wag 5k

                I'm on meds for my blood pressure too, but I mentioned that I just started running to my doc, and he's putting me on a lower dose because of it. After 3 months trial, I'm supposed to stop taking completely for 3 months, then have a check up ( of course I'll be monitoring on my own as well). Regardless if I can run faster without the meds, I'm hoping I'm getting healthier!

                If you are going to monitor your BP may I suggest you do a BP profile by taking a reading about every hour you are up. Repeat for a couple of days. You might be surprised to see how it fluctuates. It's how I found out I was a big morning spiker, drops after run/workout, then rises in the afternoon until evening medication. After speaking with my Cardiologist and showing him my results we switched when I take some meds to increase evening dosage to  reduce morning spike, moved morning meds to after run/workout to ~9am (working out speeds metabolizing of meds), and shifted two other meds to 1pm to reduce the afternoon climb. I repeat the profile periodically to be sure additional changes aren't necessary. 

                bob e v
                2014 goals: keep on running! Is there anything more than that?

                Complete the last 3 races in the Austin Distance Challenge, Rogue 30k, 3M Half, Austin Full

                Break the 1000 mi barrier!

                History: blessed heart attack 3/15/2008; c25k july 2008 first 5k 10/26/2008 on 62nd birthday.

                  Thanks!

                    Hi Danielle

                     

                    I was put on medication for high blood pressure two years ago. I am on a low dose beta blocker.

                     

                    It definitely does not help my running.

                     

                    I had to slow down and run shorter distances as I wasn't recovering when I attempted to train as I was before being put on the medication. It took me 6 frustrating months to figure this out.

                     

                    The good news is that it is now very easy for me to have afternoon naps. Often after lunch my BP is 100/60, my heart rate in the low 50s and my eyes just want to close for a short rest Smile

                     

                    Other blood pressure meds may have other effects. But I can say that beta blockers have not improved my running.

                     

                    kencamat is correct, beta blockers work by decreasing your heart rate.  You might want to talk to your doc about switching, it is unlikely that you need to be on this particular family of med.

                    Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

                      kencamat is correct, beta blockers work by decreasing your heart rate.  You might want to talk to your doc about switching, it is unlikely that you need to be on this particular family of med.

                       

                      Yes, my heart rate dropped about 10bpm when I started the beta blocker.

                       

                      I'm also on losartan potassium (25mg a day). My doc is aware I am a runner and has not increased the beta blocker dosage for that reason.

                       

                      Unfortunately high blood pressure isn't my only symptom. Both my GP and cardiologist want me on betaloc at the moment so I'll take their advice on that Smile

                       

                      Anyway I was just replying to Danielle's query about people's experience with blood pressure medication. My experience still stands: beta blockers slowed me down.

                      Geoff


                      rhetorician

                        I don't know yet whether it's an issue that will need medication; in answer to kirsten, I had about a year's break, and whilst I was certainly heavier when I started back, I'm definitely not now - I ran about 1200 miles in 2010, but probably only averaged about 11m/m - not that it matters particularly! thanks for the replies - very interesting, and if medication is discussed one of my priorities would be to not sabotage my running in any way

                        2012 goals

                         

                        lose 8lbs

                        run injury free

                        run 3000k

                        run sub 60 min 10k

                        run 2 hour half

                         

                        2013 goals

                         

                        run 1750 miles

                        run injury free

                        sub 55 10k

                        sub 25 5k

                        sub 2 hour half

                          Just one more data point which may or may not apply to you.

                           

                          I'm a consistent runner with hypertension but no other cardiovascular risk factors. I'm in good shape otherwise.

                           

                          I've had good success with ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers. I've had terrible experiences with diuretics for reasons no one can understand. I've never tried beta blockers.

                           

                          I've never noticed a performance difference with the ones that work for me. With diuretics, I feel terrible 24/7 and can't do anything well, including running. Smile

                          mdolley


                            In relation to blood pressure and cholesterol you could read Caldwell Esselstyn's book on preventing and treating heart disease through natural diet-related methods not using medication


                            rhetorician

                              thanks m dolley - will look into that - I'd rather avoid medication if possible, but I do have a family history too, and two very small children, so I am willing to go down that route if that seems to be the best option

                              2012 goals

                               

                              lose 8lbs

                              run injury free

                              run 3000k

                              run sub 60 min 10k

                              run 2 hour half

                               

                              2013 goals

                               

                              run 1750 miles

                              run injury free

                              sub 55 10k

                              sub 25 5k

                              sub 2 hour half

                                just wondering if there is one; there's plenty of stuff out there about the preventative effects of running on hypertension, and loads on running as a way of reducing high blood pressure. But I resumed running in 2009-10 and my paces were quite a bit down on my previous ones (I'm 45, female, about 5'2" and now around 136lbs); subsequently my optician suggested seeing the doctor because she could detect high cholesterol and possibly high blood pressure from my eye exam. I think my bp probably is on the high end of ok  (my rhr is about 54) and I wondered if this would affect my pace - logic being heart has to pump harder to get blood around and to muscles, thus oxygen uptake less efficient? And if it were brought down (say by medication, as I'm not sure there are many more lifestyle changes I can make) would my paces improve? Weight loss will probably be a part of this.

                                 

                                Not looking for a diagnosis, just any experience anyone else might have had.

                                 

                                Happy 2012!

                                Danielle:

                                 

                                A friend of mine had some sort of high blood pressure issue or high HR issue (can't remember because it was yeeeeeears ago) and she was taking some medication to bring it down.  I remember I ran into her after she was playing tennis and she told me that she really can't play too much or too well because the medication is supposed to bring it down unnaturally (well, medically).  I know this is not what you are asking about but this was the first thing that came to my mind.  As you run more and as you get fitter, your resting HR comes down.  Some more prominently than others but most likely, it will come down some.  So there's a definite relationships between higher fitness level and lower resting HR.  Suppose you give this medication to someone who's unfit and his/her resting HR comes down due to the medication.  Do you think his/her running improves because of that?  Of course not!  In your case, the effort to bring your BP down is to relieve your heart for extra work, that is not going to help your running because, in the case of running and improved fitness due to running and lowering of BP that is associated with that is because your heart has grown stronger and it can now do the work more efficiently.  Lowering of BP might be the same symptom but the causes of those two situations are actually pretty much the opposite.  Imagine these two situations; one guy is so strong that he can lay down 200 bricks a day.  The other guy is not so strong he could lay down only 100.  So you bring in another guy to help this second guy so they could lay down 200 a day but it's not helping this second guy to be any stronger.  That's your heart.  Bringing in a helper (medication) is not going to make your heart any stronger.  Same outcome.  But two completely different situations.

                                 

                                I haven't read the entire thread and I noticed some people actually claimed some medication actually improved his/her running.  I remember a couple of decades ago when Salazar had some depression issue and was taking Prozac and he went on and won Comrad ultra marathon that there might be some relationship between taking Prozac and running performance.  There may be, I don't know.  Perhaps this is more of a Trent question; but what I CAN tell you is that; this is almost border-line PED question.  Salazar is supposed to be known as someone who might try ANYTHING as long as it's no illegal.  Actually, to me, that doesn't speak too much because there are, I'm sure, some things that we don't quite know that may or may not be illegal in 5 years time but, just because nobody is paying attention, it's not on the illegal list yet.  To me, anything not natural--meaning, you try to use some chemical substances to bring about the same "physiological effect" of training to your natural system--is border-line illegal.  

                                 

                                I saw a debate about whether or not technique like blood doping or EPO works or not.  It's such a ridiculous question; of course it works!!  If it doesn't, they wouldn't be using it.  And, unfortunately, I do have some proof to it too.  So is it worth trying it?  Well, if prize money is at stake, it may be so for some people regardless of ethical or not.  I'm personally more interested in finding what we CAN do to actually improve one's running performance naturally.  In other words, it's not fun for me.  In other words, Danielle, I'd be more interested in improving my own running by including, say, hill training or tempo-ish running or making it more systematic before I'd look into what sort of medication may help improve my running.

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