Heart Muscle Damage (and Troponin levels) from High Intensity Training

Coffee appears to contain a load of magnesium and potassium, at least according to Cronometer, so that’s something positive…my wife is not convinced this is the most nutritious path to fixing a nutrient deficit.

In all seriousness, when I track my diet carefully, I can see that my magnesium and potassium fall short. Both of these are important for muscles I think.


I`m 47. I also have been diagnosed with mild LVH. This accompanied by occasional chest/heart discomfort. This happened after a serious of fasted cycles back in May 2020. I’m sure I had CV19 in March20, as i have long covid symptoms since the cycles.
I also have constant lightheadedness and fatigue after any exercise, my question is, do you have any concerns when training regarding the LVH?

I don’t have any concerns. My cardiologist thought that the slight degree of LVH was a normal physiological adaptation to exercise and I was given the green light to carry on as normal [just drop the caffeine down!]

I also had Covid in September last year - confirmed by PCR. I’m fortunate in that I had mild symptoms with no lasting ill effects.

I might suggest you review your symptoms with your doc/cardiologist just to be on the safe side. Sorry not to be more helpful; good luck!

I could be very wrong as this is not my area of expertise, but medical guidelines in general steer away from diagnosing things based on a single lab value or vital sign abnormality. @old_but_not_dead_yet also linked a good paper to demonstrate, but having elevated troponins may be meaningless if you don’t also have other clinical manifestations of heart disease (shortness of air, radiating chest pain, evidence of hypo-perfusion, etc).

Troponins are a biomarker, not a diagnosis, and what they “biomark” can be different in different contexts. It’s certainly something to keep in mind and investigate, but just because you have a single abnormal lab value doesn’t mean you necessarily have to be super-worried.

I’m really not sure that this is a suitable forum for this discussion. Do not take advice from people online about this - there are too many variables we can’t know about, and the consequences are potentially significant. It could still all be nothing. I don’t think TR should allow these threads.

I wouldn’t do any training until you’re signed off by your cardiologist.

Hey can I ask what your palpitations feel like? Are they throughout the day or only at night?

The range of experience that medical professionals have with endurance sports and cycling specifically is very low and occasionally absent. I think it is acceptable to ask for experiences from fellow athletes with the caveats that have been added to posts almost continuously in this and other threads. I’ve read more than a few posts here, and I know TR coaches have mentioned it multiple times, that finding a medical provider with experience is crucial…how is one to know this without consulting fellow athletes?


The only sensible course of action in the OP’s situation is cardiology referral and assessment by them.

I have nothing further to say on the issue; other than best wishes to the OP, of course.

Mine felt like a momentary flutter or skipped/ sudden hard beat. I felt them at all times, day/night, at rest and during activity. Holter testing revealed that much of what I was feeling may have been largely psychosomatic, as the most disturbing attack I felt during my halter test registered as a completely normal sinus rhythm. Whatever it is, I still feel it when I pay attention to it, but the testing and all-clear has allowed me to ignore and generally no longer notice it.

Relating to the HRV aspect of this… I had some heart issues after a virus and I noticed that my HRV sensor (the finger thing that Elite HRV sell) would pick it up as signal irregularities that needed fixing.

Whilst I was sick and for a while after it would say that my signal quality was poor and a significant amount of my measurement would be artifacts. I’ll have to see if I can dig out one of the traces, I don’t know how long it keeps the data for.

This seems to me a false choice. There’s nothing at all wrong with gathering information before going to see a cardiologist so you don’t have to operate from a position of total ignorance. Modern medicine is amazing, but one has to be an informed advocate for oneself.


I’ve seen 4 different cardiologists over the last decade and a half about my steadily worsening heart arrhythmias. Had two full workups: ramp test, heart ultrasound, the works. Got a diagnosis of “benign palpitations” originally. A few years later when I’d have arrhythmic episodes that would last 10-15 minutes I was told “benign palpitations.” A few years after that, when the episodes would last hours, I was told “benign palpitations” but if it gets really bad, we can try an ablation?

After reading as much as I could about the subject, capturing episodes with one of those Kardia devices, etc, etc… I finally found a “sports cardiologist” who sat down with me, looked at my charts and said, “Sounds like afib” wrote me a prescription for a calcium-channel blocker (usually used for hypertension), and within 9 minutes of taking a pill, my heartbeat was as steady as a grandfather clock.

Talk to a cardiologist to make sure things are structurally sound, but absolutely gather information on your own. I wish I had earlier.