Didn't have heart problems but did have a major respiratory issue which dropped my oxygen exchange rate to under 25% this past spring (never dreamed I'd have to use an oxygen tank to walk around my house, but I did). How long did it take to recover? I still haven't hit 80% of where I was 6 months ago.
My "solution" - just ride - slower and taking more rest breaks than I was used to doing, if necessary - but ride. I absolutely carry a cell phone for emergencies everywhere I ride and have a emergency pickup plan before I go out on any ride. I push easier gears than I used to and consequently ride slower as I don't "spin" efficiently or effectively; doing so has me hyperventilating.
Results wise, I've worked myself to where I rode 30 consecutive days of metric centuries last month. It was far slower riding than last year yet only twice did I give thought to not finishing the day's ride. Just sat, waited to recover my breathing (as long as 45 minutes) and got back on the bike.
Btw, I started riding again way before my doctors wanted to clear me to do so. Their plan was a lot of walking, no riding until August and/or reaching 70% of my prior respiratory efficiency. Shrug - what do they know. I know how I feel. :grins
Best of luck finding what works for you.
Last edited by drmweaver2; 06-30-11 at 02:02 AM.