Ultrarunner fighting Atrial Fibrilation (AF)

This blog has pretty much always been about running ultras, mostly Hardrock. It still is but now it is also about running after AFib. I was forced to miss Hardrock in 2011 due to the onset of AF but my long term goal was to get back to running milers. And hopefully help any other runners with AF who stumble upon this site. I never made it into Hardrock in 2012, or 2013, or 2014. I didn't have a qualifier for 2015. I ran Fatdog in Canada instead. That was tough. I finished my 4th Hardrock in 2016 and now I'm back to try for the magical number 5.

If you want the history of my AF the heart problems all started back on May 25 2011: http://howmanysleeps.blogspot.com/2011/05/out-of-hardrock.html

Monday, June 13, 2016


Since the shock of scoring another Hardrock entry last December, my running focus has been solely around getting fit enough to have a chance of completing my fourth Hardrock. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since my last finish in 2010. Besides now being in my 50s, I have had a major health event with my year of AF (2011), I lost a year of running to plantar fasciitis (2013) and last November I suffered a low back injury that took months to overcome and still limits some of my movements, not the least my descending on technical trail.

With less than 5 weeks to go it is time to review where I am at, if for no other reason than to help reassure myself that I am on track. I have listed my weekly totals. Not the full picture as there is no measure of quality, effort or terrain but a good indication of volume. Pretty much all of the runs are at relatively low heartrate (except the 1/2 mara) and most of the long runs are done fasted (except Razor and Prom and latter parts of Maroondah). The non-event weeks I have listed the length in time of my long run for the week once they became significant. I look like achieving a solid block of around 3 months of averaging 100km per week. Not big miles but consistency is key and lots of long slow runs in there.

I have been supplementing the running with a physio guided pilates class most weeks and regular massage with Bengt. I wish I had started both of these sooner, they make a huge difference. I have no doubt that the pilates has improved my back massively. And the regular massage helps iron out niggles and helps with recovery heaps. Here's hoping it's all enough.

Week 24   65km  (Frenchman's Cap Tas 45km)
Week 23   75km
Week 22   71km
Week 21   88km
Week 20   93km
Week 19   88km
Week 18   84km   (Razorback 64km 12:15hr)
Week 17   76km
Week 16   96km   (Geelong Half Mara in 1:29)
Week 15   80km     (3hr)
Week 14   102km   (4:29hr)
Week 13   104km   (Maroondah Dam 50km -sweeping 9:27hr)
Week 12   102km   (5:32hr)
Week 11   102km   (5:43hr)
Week 10   96km     (Mt Macedon measure 54km 10:20hr)
Week 9     102km   (7:05hr)
Week 8     102km   (Mt Macedon 50km -sweeping 9:42hr)
Week 7     116km   (Prom100 17:32hr)
Week 6     111km   (5:32hr)
Week 5
Week 4                    (Surfcoast marathon -sweeping)
Week 3
Week 2                    (course marking Hardrock)
Week 1                    (course marking and taper Hardrock)

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