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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, I've been lurking and making the odd post for a week or so.

I've been running for about 6 weeks now. I've always walked a lot so went straight in and started running a mile 4 times a week. I upped this to 2 miles about 2 weeks ago. I'd like to be able to run 10k comfortably but I seem to be struggling at the 2 mile mark.

I'm wondering if this is due to beta blockers. I'm only 37 but was born with only 1 kidney and this plays havoc with my blood pressure, so I'm on a dieuretic, an ace inhibitor and a pretty big dose of propanolol.

I feel like I couldn't take another step by the end of the 2 miles. I'm guessing that my legs are in O2 debt and I'm tearing them up a bit. Am I being over expectant? Is the beta blocker holding me back or is 2 miles 4 times a week good for the 6 week mark? Anyone with any medical knowledge have any advice as to possible alternatives to my medication that do not peg my heart at 130max and all other b.b. Side effects. All my running is off road too so my other question is what does 2 miles off road equate to on road?

Thanks.

Jason.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hi Rob,

Thanks for your reply. That's very interesting, and congratulations on your 10K!

I think that all makes sense and since posting I have kept at the 2 mile distance and have noticed it getting progressively easier so maybe like you say it's just a pain barrier stage and I'll get through it and it'll get easier. It has only been 6 weeks afterall and in that time I have gone from nothing to 1 mile and then as soon as I could do that without stopping I doubled it and struggled. It's definately getting easier now though. I feel like I can put in extra little bursts in places now. Plus I'm going to try and do the same distance on the road to see how much easier that is. It's pretty sandy where I run and there's big stones and pinecones everywhere which must be making it harder.

I also take an ace inhibitor but have no real side effects from this. My thinking was that because of the way that the beta blockers work (they block the beta receptors which amongst other things make your heart pump more when it needs to) when I run my heart rate doesn't elevate to the level needed to keep getting fresh oxygen into my blood via the lungs and then get this blood to the muscles, and to get the lactic acid away. What I have noticed though is that if I back off the pace a bit and drop to a 9 or 10 minute mile pace I can keep this up. If I push to get under the 9 minute mile pace I just burn out very quickly.

Not sure if your kidney stuff would affect the supply of blood or not. Kidneys are very complicated things doing far more than just cleaning the blood. They are the master chemists of the body, constantly monitering, producing and filtering out all sorts of chemicals and hormones to keep everything running smoothly. Quite amazing really.

Thanks also for the shoe advise. I did get them from a running shop where they make you go round the block and they want to see your old ones for abnormal wear etc so hopefuly I'm on the right track.
 

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I don't have any specific problems like you, I am not on any medication, and I am not a doctor.

However, having experienced what you're describing. To put what I did to get over it into your terms - if you fix your pace and burn at 2 miles, what you need to do is fix your pace the same as it is for your 2 miles, but only run 1 mile. Then whilst resting for 1min 30, stretch all your leg muscles, massage out any firmness, and after 1min30 do another 1 mile. At the end of this mile, stop repeat your stretching and self-massage, and see if you can continue for another mile. Or part of a mile? Build up the repeats, then reduce the rest so you are running continuously. Maybe increase to 3 x 1mile with 90sec, then 4 and 5, then start 2 x 2miles 90sec rests, then 3 etc.

This method helped me break through my 'ceiling' and although not directly relevant to your specific problems maybe gives you something else to think about?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Luthor. I will give this some thought. I have however in the meantime (well, last night actually) broken through a bit of a psychological barrier that I think I had. So I think I could be on my way now.
 

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Jason,
Beta blockers (as you know) slow down the heart rate and reduce the contractility of the hearts muscle fibres. This of course is the reason that you have been prescribed them, to control you BP.
However, the action of these drugs is to block the receptors in your heart that allow the adrenaline to increase your heart rate and blood pressure during times when you need more oxygen, like running for example.
In other words you lose some of your hearts ability to respond appropriately to exercise.
This loss of exercise tolerance is common with some beta blockers.
It is worth discussing this with your Dr as there are other effective ways of controlling your BP without losing this exercise tolerance.
It could be that you can switch to a less cardiac selective beta blocker, or switch to another drug altogether.
I hope that helps
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Andrew,

Thank you for your input. There is certainly a lot in what you say and I think the Beta blocker I'm on is a particularly cardiac selective type as it is also prescribed for people with anxiety attacks. I've made a bit of progress since my first post though and can now comfortably do about 4 miles at a time. I even once managed to do a full 10k in just over an hour so my theory of there being a 2 mile barrier must have just been partly mental, partly physical. I have decided that next time I see the GP I will discuss changing meds as the running has become quite important to me over the last few months and I've been on a bit of a spiritual journey with it.

Thanks again.

Jason.
 

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HA! Amazing!!! 10k?!

Not 5 weeks ago we were trying to help with the psychological side, and now you can do 6.2 miles in an hour, and 4 miles regularly...

That's staggering progress and I am genuinely happy for you :d
 
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