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Pots Vs. Endurance Training. Who Will Win?

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I am curious to hear from the folks who are trying to or refuse to give in to the obvious that POTS and its effects have on your endurance training goals and what happens to you.

I am at the tail end of my training for a sprint triathlon and I am curious if other athletes with POTS suffer like I do when trying to get themselves ready.

Normally if I have a big day of training, I must sleep 1-2 days of 16 or more hours just to recuperate, what about you?

What times of training do you do in combination to prepare? I

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I feel my best after I have worked myself to exhaustion. It makes me so I can't sleep very long but I get more rest in that sleep. Also my heart palps are alot less. I gave up training for marathons since I got ill but still do some long hiking and working my butt off sawing lumber and moving logs around.

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I'm just starting to get back to the gym and have had a rough few weeks just barely able to keep a slow walking pace where I'd pass out shortly after exercising. The other night I just got fed up with my body and basically ignored it's complaining and just beat my body up on the elliptical for an hour. I had my SO with me and didn't care if I passed out, threw up, or anything else. 1 hour later, I survived. My body was shaking/trembling, heart rate was erratic, I was dizzy as h*ll, but managed to squeak out 4.2 miles. I was shocked to realize that a 5k is only 3.1 miles. I never thought I'd be able to complete a 5k; I've always wanted to do a marathon.

As far as the aftermath, my BP and pulse were substantially more "normal" even when I slept. After 16 or so hours my body went back to its normal weirdness. I actually felt quite good, despite being exhausted. I'm hoping to give it another go this coming week and see if it was a fluke and if it's possible to improve.

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SO? S. Officer? How long have you had POTS bunny or a condition like it? I get it and when I started I had that mentality but now its about keeping upright and at pace over distance. I do not take losing well if I feel like I can do something about it.

The elliptical is rough even for normal people.

And I am not sure your level of anything (treatment, illness severity, so forth) but you may want to check out UT South western's clinical study where they did a clinical case study to see if certain exercises worked better over time for POTS folks. Also, I happen to luck out and have a pretty solid circulation issue (who doesn't these days), they make these air compressor leg wrap things. I try and get in there a few times a week and it makes a HUGE diff.

How do you stand 4.2 miles?

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SO = significant other. I've had POTS since my pre-teen years, maybe even earlier. The level of symptoms has varied widely over the years from being mostly bed-bound to almost feeling normal. I have a long medical history and to this day the Drs can't explain why I'm still alive. I had one say I was just too stubborn to die. The most true thing one of them said was to throw out the medical textbooks as they no longer seem to apply to my body. If anything, some of the worst health I've had has been when Drs try to force my body to act normally.

Do you have any other info on that study? I'm always interested to see what others have seen/learned.

I'm not sure how the heck I pulled 4.2 miles off last week. I had been doing ~1-2 miles and that would wipe me out for a few hours afterwards. I was walking around today outside and maybe did a mile and ended up sleeping for 2 hours afterwards. Go figure.

I'm not sure if this is true for anyone else, but the most difficult time for me with exercise is immediately when I stop exercising and afterwards. My pulse drops almost immediately and the dizziness hits hard. Sometimes I'll pass out, other times I'll just feel terrible for an hour or two. Literally, my pulse will go from 140 down to 65-80 in just a couple of beats.

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  • 2 weeks later...

First... Thanks for responding. I think there are very few, if any people similar to my mindset on life then we toss in some POTS and Syncope with some Brady and tachy crap and before you know it the Bar dares come out...

As far as the UT Southwestern, google this "pots ut southwestern " and it is best to draw your own conclusions. A lot of new articles have come out since saying some different things but the basic idea of compression on your extremities then exercise to prime the pump and keep the blood where it will do the most good.

I myself take it one step further and receive air leg compression that those with lymphedema use to push the fluid and blood from their legs to the rest of their body. It is HEAVEN!

I would say if you are not taking a beta blocker you may want to ask. Mine keeps me upright 90% of the time.

Keep working hard and no dying ;)

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I just had surgery last month so I haven't been training for awhile, but in the past years I've played roller derby, completed three Tough Mudders, a half marathon, and dozens and dozens of smaller races.

I've likely had Dysautonomia my whole life, and my diagnoses are all over the place (POTS, NCS, IST, OI/OH, MVP and more), so I've never really known what it's like to feel normal. I was never very athletic growing up, but I decided when I found roller derby that I wanted to make fitness a part of my life.

I find that while exercise does seem to take a lot more out of me than others, in a strange way I actually feel better. So, while I need longer to recover, ultimately when I'm exercising regularly I generally have fewer or less severe symptoms. However, light exercise doesn't seem to make a huge difference. It's usually the really long, strenuous endurance training that gives me the most benefits, hence my addiction to things like Tough Mudder and half marathons.

I've been involved with a Facebook group for Athletes with Dysautonomia, look us up if you are on Facebook. It's a touchy area, because so many people with Dys really can't get to the point where they can exercise, but there is a stigma of Dys being caused by laziness or deconditioning. And yet, it also seems that strenuous exercise really does help. It's a catch-22 for many.

With Dys, if I fall out of a regular routine with exercise, I drop out of shape much more quickly than others, and it takes longer/harder work for me to see the same gains. But - it's totally worth it, and one of the only ways I can find myself experiencing long stretches of relief from my symptoms. When I am able to train hard regularly (lots of cardio, plenty of strength training) I come as close to feeling normal as I'm going to get. But when I slack off - it's a slippery slope back down into dizziness, fatigue, and everything else that goes along with a wonky nervous system.

It's a blessing and a curse :/

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