|Kor Hong Fatt|
The retired technical supervisor suffered a heart attack at the age of 70. Two years later, he ran his first 42km race. His brush with death was a shock for the man who had never thought much about exercise before. “When I was young, I would run only when I was free,” he said in Mandarin.
He used a heart rate monitor to make sure he stayed within 50 to 85 per cent of his maximum heart rate (MHR) and took breaks when he felt any chest discomfort. He attended running forums and read many books about running to learn how best to pace himself as he trained. The MHR is the greatest number of beats per minute that is safe for the heart. A commonly used MHR formula is 220 - (your age). One should not exceed 85 per cent of the MHR when exercising.
Every four months, he has a follow-up consultation with doctors at a polyclinic because of his previous heart attack. He is on lifelong medication and has a yearly heart scan.
Many runners dream of making a 'pilgrimage' to Boston to run the world's oldest marathon - if they can meet the tough qualification time. Boston Marathon is one of the toughest marathons in the world, its is a hilly terrain to run in, with the notorious 'Heartbreak' Hill being one of them.