Running in cold weather after AVR

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DachsieMom

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Mar 3, 2015
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i have a mechanical valve with valve conduit - will be 2 years in April. I used to be an avid runner, but then kids and life made me a weekend jogger. I have noticed that I have discomfort post AVR when I run outside in cold temperatures - less than 30 degrees F. It isn't the speed - I was running a 7 minute mile in rehab (treadmill) only 8 weeks after surgery and am fine all other times. It's just the cold. It's strange - almost like I can feel my valve inside of me. I don't know how to describe it other than that. Not pain, but it scares me enough that I switch to walking. It happens with the slightest speed. I have run outside all other seasons with no issues, but it has happened each time I run outside in the winter. Anyone else? I have shoveled plenty of snow and played in the snow with my kids with no issue, so don't think it is just the cold. Something about running in the cold.
 

SumoRunner

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Dress more warmly above the waist, add a layer or two. Cold constricts all the surface and near surface blood vessels making the heart pump more forcefully, not only faster. Playing in the snow doesn't count because you aren't raising the HR much. Shoveling warms up all the upper body muscles whereas those are just along for the ride when running and shed heat prodigiously.
 

pellicle

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Nov 4, 2012
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Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Hi
DachsieMom;n871438 said:
i have a mechanical valve with valve conduit - will be 2 years in Apri... I have noticed that I have discomfort post AVR when I run outside in cold temperatures -
...
It's strange - almost like I can feel my valve inside of me. I don't know how to describe it other than that. Not pain, but it scares me enough that I switch to walking. It happens with the slightest speed. I have run outside all other seasons with no issues, but it has happened each time I run outside in the winter. Anyone else?
well no, although I don't jog (I truly hate jogging for reasons I can't explain) but I do ski on the local track and along the river / around the lake edges. To be honest one of the reasons I'm back in Finland is that I can actually exersize better in the cold than I can in the heat. I normally XC Ski 90% classic with an occasional "skate style" as I'm on a down hill (for a break in rhythm) or on steeper uphills (cos I'm crap at picking the right wax), but as my skis are classic (longer without the sharper edges or ankle supports) its normally nor more than 100 meters

I'm a bit "lost" about what you're feeling ... perhaps if you could have a go (colourful metaphors encouraged) at describing it more I could pick something.

For myself I feel a throb or "pulse" more when I'm stopped but nothing when I'm going. Are you breathing differently? Less deeply? Some people breath differently in the cold. Are you breathing deeper or shallower?

So far the coldest I ski in is about -23C (or about -9F) and the only thing I can remark on is that if its windy my face gets wind burnt if I didn't put some grease on my cheeks before going out.

Of course layers in dress ... I wear a thin "technical" long john set or merino wool (also thin), a micro fleece shirt and pants and (if its much below -10 then also a loose light cotton coat and pant suit (ex army stuff which was white and I tie-dyed orange) to give me an additional layer that allows moisture out but cuts wind and reduces temp losses.
 

spartangator

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Jun 11, 2007
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Austin, Texas/Dublin, Ireland
I can't say I've experienced anything similar in winter, either. While as I get older, I'm a lot more particular about dressing correctly, I haven't experienced anything cardiac-related. As pellicle suggests, maybe try a bit more description.

As always, though, if you're that concerned, it could be worth ringing up the cardio's office just for peace of mind. Sometimes, in those first couple years, there are oddities as we settle in, and a quick chat with a doc can be helpful as settling things down.

Congrats on getting back to the amazing speed, though.
 
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DachsieMom

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Mar 3, 2015
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315
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CT
Thank you so much. What a terrific forum. I will try adding extra layers. And spartan gator, I mis - typed - meant 7 mph not 7 min mile. Whoops! 7 minute mile was 20 years ago when I was 23......those were the days.
hard to describe it further but I will try running outside again and see if I can describe it. Today's it's a sheet of ice, so I will be back on my treadmill.
I lurk everyday but only comment when I have helpful feedback. I love this site.
 

RunMartin

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Oct 20, 2003
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Pendle Hill, North West, England
Are you on beta blockers?. I had lots of discomfort whilst running in the cold early on after AVR. My hands and feet got painfully sore in the cold and I could hear the new valve more clearly. Most of this stopped when I was taken off beta blockers. Before being taken off beta blockers I bought warm waterproof mittens (Seal Skinz) and wore two pairs of socks and a hat. I find even now that as long as my hands are warm I can run in a vest or tee shirt when it is fairly cold.
 

DachsieMom

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Mar 3, 2015
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No, I am not on beta blockers. Just aspirin and warfarin. And iron and thyroid meds.
 

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