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Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?


About the Author


dale7010 Very active, athletic person having lived with HOCM all my life. Septal Myectomy at Mayo Clinic Oct 2011. Never able to run before myectomy. However, as of Sept. 12' have run several 5k races, a 10k, a 15k and a half-marathoon. I'd say I'm doing better. TG for Mayo Clinic miracle! Find out more about dale7010
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  • Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

    I had septal myectomy surgery at Mayo Clinic on Oct 25, 2011. I am 57 years old and have been active and athletic my whole life, but limited by inability to sustain a run, even 100 yards without feeling extremely winded and awful chest pains.
    Now 10 weeks after myectomy surgery, I am able to run 5k (3.1 miles) in 32 minutes without stopping. Want to run a 5k race in the spring (three months from now) and finish in the middle of the pack in my age group. That would mean a 5k in 28 minutes. Nothing short of a miracle to even be thinking about this!

    Still in cardiac rehab, but I am the ONLY person in the group who tries or can even run on the treadmill at all. Just wondering if anyone else who has had this surgery has tried this. My blood pressure in the last test was is 156/70 while running on the treadmill and 120/70 at rest. Heart rate was around 160-164 BPM when running on treadmill. I'm a little concerned that my blood pressure is a little low with a heart rate that high. Might indicate that there is still some restriction but maybe I just need to train more. Feel good though. No more python wrapped around my chest.
    Tests have shown that I have some severe to moderate left and right atrial enlargement, I believe that is due to stress on my heart of years and years of fighting this condition, so I still want to be cautious.

    Is there someone else out there who has tried running to see what their new heart is capable of with the obstruction removed?

  • #2
    Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

    Hi Dale,
    Glad to hear you're doing so well! I know there are runners on this board, and you'll doubtless hear from them. I think you're wise to be cautious, but it's great that you want to see what you can do. My only comment is to suggest that you talk to your HCM specialist to see what they think. If it's OK with them, they might still have suggestions as to what to do (or not do), what signs to watch for that say you're overdoing it, and the like.

    Myectomy on Feb. 5, 2007.


    • #3
      Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

      CONGRATULATIONS on your progress. I agree with Gordon, I would run it by your HCM doc and if OK'd by them, go run and have some fun !!!!!
      Onward and Upward !

      Diagnosed 4/07 HCM with fixed & dynamic obstruction
      Myectomy with resected cordonae tendonae 4/08 CCF
      ICD 10/08


      • #4
        Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

        I had a septal myectomy in September of 2010. I am not a runner but indo like to do long hard days of gardening and other jobs around the house. I also just started doing some aggressive table tennis. Well, before my surgery I couldn't do much at all, I had angina and shortness of breath pretty much right away when I did these activities. Not being one who likes any limitations I would often keep doing the activity but made sure to hydrate and rest but I still worked through the angina.

        Now,like you, I feel much better, and I am symptom free while doing these activities. That sure is nice! However I have noticed that although adrenalin may keep me going during competitive table tennis matches I sure pay for it the next day. I feel wiped out for a few days. I am thinking of moderating these activities now. (I am 65 years old). My cardologist tells me that although I don't have an obstruction any longer I still have an HCM heart that is not as flexible as a normal heart and doesn't work as well.

        As had been said here, your best bet is to talk to your cardiologist, but I do commend you for your pursuit of new accomplishments! Life is to be lived. I still may not be able to run or walk as fast I once did but I found that my motorcycle and sports car can move down the road at a very brisk pace. Oh I love that feeling of freedom! Cheers and keep doing what you love.
        Diagnosed HCM 1998
        Myectomy June 2010
        50 mg Toprol XL


        • #5
          Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

          Dale - I applaud your ability to be able to run. I gave it up so long ago I think Ford was in office then. Others are correct - "run" it past your cardiologist. Also I think its important to remind you that while you had surgery - you STILL may have electrical issues (you made no mention of an ICD) so get your doc's approval.
          While its great to have a goal to get a good time, Just the fact that your alive, survived heart surgery, and have HCM may be the impetus to rethink the low time goal - finishing alive is just as important.
          Hoping he clears you and you get to run.
          Diagnosed @ 48
          Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
          Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
          AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
          After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
          Quietly going insane . . .


          • #6
            Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

            Wow Dale, I'm so jealous. Of course you should talk to your cardiologist. I hope you get the approval to enter the race. I am going to attempt to ski this winter for the first time in 10 years. Please keep up posted on your running and how you finish.
            Dx with HCM November 2009
            Myectomy and Mitral Valve Repair @Tuft's March 2010


            • #7
              Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

              No ICD and haven't really had any issues with irregular heart beat. Gradient was 108mmHG with exertion before surgery and now no gradient. Basal septum thickness was 2.4cm before surgery.

              The doc took me off beta blockers recently, so I am taking no heart meds now, which I especially am glad about.

              Does someone have experience with running after septal myectomy surgery? Wondering how much they were able to do after surgery. This is all new territory for me.
              The Docs have said if I watch my heart rate and keep it in the 150-160 range, I should be okay.
              Last edited by dale7010; 01-06-2012, 10:16 PM.


              • #8
                Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

                Dale -

                You may want to read this thread:


                There might be some information there that will be of interest to you.


                • #9
                  Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?


                  I congratulate you on your gung-ho attitude and willingness to not let HCM stop you from your goals. There are many folks on this board who couldn't even attempt something like that, so I think we all stand behind you and wish you only the best. I agree that you should discuss this with your specialist first, but given the proper information... I think you should run with it as best you see fit. Good luck to you and be sure to let us know how you do!

                  "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."


                  • #10
                    Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

                    I would offer this suggestion.
                    1. talk with your doctor and make sure he/she is OK with the level of exercise you are thinking of... once you get the all clear... then...
                    2. Try to do a 5K on a treadmill in a supervised gym... test it out if ya will.
                    3. If you try a 5K for "real" have a running partner your first time and stick together!

                    Best of luck!

                    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                    Currently not obstructed
                    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


                    • #11
                      Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

                      I had my myectomy about 6 years ago. Years ago (like 20) which was before I knew I had HCM, I used to be able to jog slowly for about 30 minutes. That was probably the height of my athletic endeavors. In recent years, I didn't feel able to even jog a little. Lately, I have gotten on a medical regimen that has controlled my chest pain (which I continued to have post myectomy) and I have lost weight, and have been able to jog short distances. Honestly, I might be able to go for even longer than the block or two that I do now, with walking between,but I am really afraid to push myself too far. I go until I start to feel tired and then walk again. I prefer to take it slower, but if your specialist gives you the OK, then by all means, do as Lisa suggests. If you are enrolled in a cardiac rehab program, then try it with the EKG sensors on and see if you have any problems. I also agree if that works out ok that a running buddy would be a good idea just in case you have any trouble. Someone to look out for you.

                      Good luck. I wish I had the stamina to even consider it,but I am sure I couldn't make it.
                      Daughter of Father with HCM
                      Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
                      Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
                      ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
                      Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.


                      • #12
                        Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

                        An update. It has now been 2 years and 4 months since my Septal Myectomy surgery at Mayo Clinic and I am 59 years old.. I read my post and it brought back memories of the recovery from open heart surgery. But what a miracle! Since surgery, I have completed 20 5k races with my wife. My best 5k time was 24:33. We have also done 4 half-marathons, several 10 milers, some 10k's and my best time for the half-marathon was 1 hour 55 minutes. I know my heart is more muscular and thicker, and less elastic than a normal heart and I will never be able to be an elite runner . However, it goes to show what can be accomplished as I could not run 100 yards without stopping before the surgery. Every person has different results and consult your doctor, for sure. This year, I plan to run a ful marathon and improve my 5k times. The doctor is OK with this as long as I know my limits.


                        • #13
                          Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

                          Very inspirational to us former runners. Best wishes for a rewarding marathon experience. Please let us know how it goes.


                          • #14
                            Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

                            I hope this might be inspirational to someone who has HCM and has had septal myectomy surgery. So when I started this thread I was 57 years old and nervous about trying to run. Now I am 60 and on Sunday I did complete that full Marathon 26.2 in 4 hours seven minutes. I don't think much about my heart anymore, just kind of take for granted that I feel better. But after the Marathon, I broke down and cried for all that I had been through my whole life of not ever being able to run. The septal myectomy surgery was nothing short of a miracle in my case. Before surgery I had a gradient of 110 and after surgery it is now 6. I ran at a comfortable pace in the Marathon and everything ached, especially the last three miles, but I finished strong. You are never too old. I hope this thread is helpful to someone.


                            • #15
                              Re: Anyone else tried running 5k or 10k after septal myectomy?

                              Dale, your testimony is just what I needed to read this morning. It has been almost two years since my septal myectomy and in just the last few months have I felt well enough enough to start running again. The commitment you've exhibited in reaching your goals is admirable all by itself. Having the confidence in yourself and your heart is quite another. Best wishes for a long and healthy life.