RED October

Achieved a minor victory running everyday

After using September as a full month off after my recent heart issue. My coach started rebuilding me one KM at a time. Jo has had her hands full keeping me in check and stopping me from over doing it. To keep me from obsessing with my pace, I switched from miles to kilometres so I had no idea what pace I was actually doing.

For most of the month my focus was keeping my average heart rate under 150 BPM this meant my runs were much slower then before the attack but at the same time it was good just to get out and run again be it slow and short. By the middle of the month I was able to keep my average heart rate around 146 BPM and pace was just over 5:00 per KM. This was all good but then my cardiologist said my heart reading on my wrist strap running watch would not be correct as the algorithms the watch uses to workout my heart rate would not be able to account for my ectopic heart beats and would give out a false reading. Basically he said my average heart rate was much lower and proved this as during October I was fitted with a 72 hour ECG and ran 3 times each one my average HR on the ECG was under 140 yet on watch was closer to 150.

I fed this back to Jo (my coach) but personally at the moment I cant put my faith into data that is not giving me the true picture. So the last 10 days I went to the RPE scale when judging my runs. The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is a way of measuring physical activity intensity level. Perceived exertion is how hard you feel like your body is working. So 1 is sat doing nothing and 10 is a flat-out 100m sprint. Most runs should be 4 or under on terms of effort and feel. For me as soon as I ran to feel, it felt more natural in terms of running rhythm and stride. It just all felt better and I was more in control.

The one thing I wanted to achieve is RED October, in other words to run everyday and despite a stay in hospital I still managed to achieve it. I’m still low in terms of overall mileage but how Jo and I look at it is that we are building towards spring 2021 and I would actually like to get there in one piece.

Below is how October played out:

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Miles
28/9 5K 3K 5K 10K 23K
5/10 6K 5K 3K 5K 5K 3K 10K 37K
12/10 5K 6K 3K 5K 5K 3K 12K 39K
19/10 5K 3K 6K 8K 5K 3K 15K 45k
26/10 3K 8K 5K 8K 5K 3K 15K 47K

November aim is to slowly increase the weekly distance but also to dip my feet back into some speed sessions. I mean dip and not full blown intervals. I personally want to get the MRI scan done (looking likely to be mid-December due to lockdown) and be given all clear as mentally I still worry what’s wrong and I am scared to death I will just drop at any moment as I still get heart palpitations and chest pain at rest which isn’t normal. Hopefully come December I will have some answers. The best thing is I have an amazing coach who has been nothing short of amazing this year, plus watching me daily is my long suffering wife who is constantly there making sure I behave myself. I do think she deserves a Queens honor for putting up with me.

If you would like to know more about Jo, please check out her website

Remember you can follow my progress daily via social media and Strava

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