Fighting Peripheral Arterial Disease At The Track

Fighting Peripheral Arterial Disease

fighting peripheral arterial disease

Almond meal, flax meal, oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies, by Deb. Great post-run snack.

Means Fighting Claudication

fighting peripheral vascular disease

Pace steadily dropped from sub-12 minute to 14+, then had to pull out. Interesting! As you can see, Deb pulled away, leaving this old guy to hobble along as best he could. Good decision.

Limping: A condition in which cramping pain in the leg is induced by exercise, typically caused by obstruction of the arteries.

The trick to fighting peripheral arterial disease is to build collateral circulation, through exercise. Painful exercise. Things have improved considerably over the last couple of months. Even ran a few hundred yards, uphill, for a bus without leg cramping. Branches of my popliteal artery, below my right knee, are pretty severely blocked (stenosed) due to peripheral arterial disease. That’s no reason to give up training!


We headed for the track today, for a seven-mile run, as we prepare for the Maine Marathon. I learned several interesting things.
  1. Heat made claudication worse, though the prior 15-mile bike ride may have contributed. The intense heat (full sun, 90ºF, perceived temperature due to humidity 99ºF) made the claudication worse. Probably due to blood being diverted to deal with thermoregulation? What do you think?fighting peripheral vascular disease
  2. When my calf locked up, about every quarter-mile, sitting on the ground for 10-20 seconds helped a lot. The foot tingling and numbness, and calf cramp, would disappear much more quickly than while standing or walking.
  3. I had to pull out at five miles, due to complete right foot numbness. However, after about five minutes, I thought, maybe I can change the way I run. Did a quick quarter mile at 8:36 pace, and there was no calf cramping or foot numbness, at all. Maybe this is the best way to run. Modified Jeff Galloway? For 26.2 miles this will require a lot of conditioning.

I’ll keep you posted.

Need to think about the biomechanics, in relation to peripheral vascular perfusion dynamics. I know that plodding-running beats up one’s feet more than a brisk run. Maybe the answer is fast runs interspersed with steady walking, plus the odd 20-second sit on the ground to re-perfuse that right foot.

Fighting peripheral arterial disease is interesting stuff. Got to keep moving, to stay young at heart.

Never give up.

kev aka FitOldDog

PS. It’s weird that my aorta is too dilated and my popliteal artery branches are too narrow. What the hell!

PPS. Just play with the strings you have, just like Scooter.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.