Hi guys,

I am 38 y. o., m, from Austria, EU, with emphysema due to medical malpractice during birth. I didn't know that for a long time - I received final diagnosis in 2013 after some coughing I had caught during cold never disappeared. I did a lot of cycling (road) in my teens and early 20s and always was very sporty, which obviously helped a lot to cover the influence of the emphysema to my life. In comparison to team mates I always had to train harder to achieve the same result - but back then I thought to know that I only had some pneumonia within in my first years of my life instead of a growing emphysema.

My current FEV values are around low 30s (meaning: severe COPD, roughly 30% lung capacity left), sometimes less, sometimes higher. As I didn't do a lot of sports during the last 10 years I realized I need to start training again as this will help me cope with the consequences of the ongoing emphysema.

This now leads to my question: I liked training according to heart rate and heart rate zones, and this was quite effective, I found. Would this training method apply to COPD/emphysema as well?

I started training (cycling, rowing, gym ...sometimes running, but I don't like it) again a year ago.

If you have COPD and train with using HRM devices like Polar M400, which i use, where and how did you set and determine your heart rate zones? I need to stop exercising when I reach a heart rate of 160, which i can maintain for only a few seconds before totally running out of breath (black-out would follow just a few beats later), heart rate of 150 is a rate at which i could train for 45 minutes, maybe longer - longer distances I go at a lower target heart rate.

Maybe some of you have experience in this COPD-sports area.

I am aware of the fact that there are some testing methods available at sport medicine specialists - most of them in general just refuse to test once they hear that one has got COPD III ...useless, they say ...at least that were the answers of the specialists I have contacted recently... that's why I am really interested in your personal experiences with COPD and sports and training and heart rates aso...

Cheers, Chris