Ventricular tachycardia / heart scar

Hi all

I've been paranoid about my heart since I started running and always wear an HR monitor.

Completed my first marathon last November in Athens and planned to do Paris this Sunday. Training has gone so well but...

Dr has picked up ventricular tachycardia and an MRI has shown a tiny scar on my heart. He has advised against running any more marathons, but says I can continue runnig and going to the gym as normal?! 

I'm gutted as I'm 36, felt like I'd found my event/sport, and I'm at a bit of a loss as to what my goals should be from here on out.

Trying to be positive, and very grateful for the doc's advice and that I didn't keel over mid race from overdoing it, but still...

Anyone else out there had to re-assess? Anyone out there made a comeback from something like this? Wondering of another distance or sport would fill this void. 




  • Is this doctor your GP or a cardiologist?  I'm guessing that the initial diagnosis was by ECG?  If the ECG was taken during marathon training then it's not uncommon for it to show 'features' that can be read as abnormalities when in fact you're fine, just in training.  Tiny scars on the heart aren't unusual in endurance athletes either, they're not necessarily a sign of impending doom.

    I would suggest seeing a cardiologist if you haven't already, who'll be able to tell you whether whatever was picked up is (a) a genuine issue and (b) a permanent condition.  It could be that you need some downtime, especially if you've rolled from training for Athens into training from Paris without a proper break.

  • Thanks. It was a cardiologist and I did say as much to him. "Couldn't it be due to training?" But he said it was unlikely, not likely to be Anything i do with my lifestyle and more likely genetic. The MRI picked it up and he says I'm back for another one next year to make sue it hasn't got worse. So tempted to run anyway. I never go over 165 bpm and my max is 184 bpm. Id need to find a French Dr quickly though to sign my form.
  • Sounds familiar - I had a scare a few years ago, and one cardiologist was convinced I had a genetic heart condition and wanted to fit me with a pacemaker.  Fortunately his boss told him that there was no way I could run marathons in the times I gave him if I had that condition.  Yours doesn't sound like an immediate issue if they only want you back in a year, but at the end of the day you have to go on what the docs are telling you.
  • Yeah fair enough. I trust the Dr. He said he knew he was being overly cautious perhaps, but they he wasn't willing to give me the go ahead....anyway, onwards and upwards. I need some knew goals now an eventual Boston marathon is out. Not sure what else I fancy doing. It's taken me this long to find out how much I enjoy training for marathons. Golf maybe...LOL 
  • How did he find it ? Was this a problem for you or just found out at a check up ? 

    I'd think there are a lot of people going round with hearts in worse shape than you - but they just don't know.

    Hope you find something to suit you.
  • MRI was performed after a heart monitor I wore for 7 days picked up the VT. There was a slight anomaly on my ECG that had never been picked up, that's how I ended up being refered to the cardiologist. Stress test was fine, and echocardiogram showed now structural problems. I only went to the GP last year as I thought I was having panic attacks! 

    Anyway...decided on running 35 mins 3 times a week and maybe longer on Sundays. Trying to keep it to around 20 miles a week continuing to use the HR monitor. I have a short weight routine to do after each run, see how that goes.

    Also looking into:
    Hiking/hill walking
    Martial arts - BJJ, Aikido, Tai Chi

    Have given up alcohol and caffeine completely. Have massively reduced sugar intake. Dr says it's unlikely to be a lifestyle issue - but why take the chance!?
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