For context I’m a 51yo cyclist with a good few years of structured training under my belt. Had a strong year last year with good weight loss and a decent rise in numbers across different durations although FTP topped out at around 253 (using KM Protocol) which is about as high as I get.
I’ve recently been following the HIT plan on TR to add some high intensity to my training prior to getting into my training cycle for 2021 (SSBMV, SPBMV, RRRSpec). I heard coach Chad saying that he often adds in 3 weeks of VO2 Max training prior to starting a plan and as that type of work is definitely my weak point I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve now completed the first three weeks of HIT LV and i’m in the recovery week.
During this three weeks, I’ve completed a couple of Zwift races which I’ve used to replace one of the HIT sessions. I’ve also added in some circuits twice a week (avg TSS ~38) and some 12 - 15km walks at the weekend. In the last week of the plan my Garmin advised me a couple of times that I was in the red and needed 72 hours rest. I’d rest maybe 48 hours.
Last week I noticed I was getting quite frequent palpitations (without any pain, dizziness or breathelessness) and the day after Eisen my HRV (using Elite HRV) was in the toilet at 2 (sym).
I took myself off to A&E (ER to our US cousins) just to be sure it wasn’t anything sinister and they kept me in for a few hours under observation. Other than the usual concern about my ECG (I have an inverted T-Wave which has been checked and is fine, plus a right bundle branch block which is also fine) the ECG did not show anything signficant, or at least they haven’t advised of anything I should be concerned about, other than they had some concerns that my Troponin levels were around 0.28 (although had dropped to .24 about 3hrs later).
I understand anything over 0.04 is considered of interest and anything over 0.4 means you’ve essentially had a heart attack. I am still getting occasional palpatations but my HRV is back to booming levels and I otherwise feel fine. I’m going to do an easy ride today (Petitt probably) and some light mobility and core work.
I’ve scoured the internetz but can’t find much on how exercise can elevate Troponin and what that actually means for long term Heart health. Does Troponin release indicate heart muscle damage and if so can those cells regenerate (apparently regeneration is slow and so most damage is replaced by scar tissue)?
I’m not overly concerned by the palpatations, as they are not present with any pain or dizziness, although they are a bit of a nuisance and I’m looking forward to them going away. So my question is less about those and more on what higher Troponin levels mean and what actually is high for an endurance athlete. Maybe a question for the team on AACC but I suspect they’ll be busy these next few weeks with other matters…
Any scientists in the room have a view?