Im 36 years old, male. I started running November last year. Prior to that I was into mountain biking and bike commuting, averaging about 130 miles a week.
There are many things I discovered about my heart when I started running and wearing a heart rate monitor. First, is that I have a maximum heart rate of 221 as recorded by the HRM! I could not believe it that I even bought a more expensive HRM only to get the same results. At conversational pace, I am at 190 beats per minute.
Second, I experienced skipped beats last March. It woke me up at midnight. This coincided with runs of about 13 miles long. The pattern is random but could be as frequent as one skip every 2 to 5, and last from 15 mins to an hour. I consulted with a doctor who did EKG and blood tests. Results were all normal except for a "first degree heart block" which he said not to worry about, and I can continue with running.
Last August, I consulted again with another doctor just to make sure, because I was planning to run a marathon this January. He ran a lot of tests, including EKG, echocardiogram, stress test, and blood tests for thyroid, ca+, etc. Results were all normal. There were no recorded the skipped beats. I was cleared to run.
Now I'm halfway into my marathon training, and the long runs are about 15 miles. The skipped beats are back!
Is this something to worry about? Should I stop training? The skipped beats themselves don't scare me now unlike before. What I'm scared of is dropping dead during my training runs or the marathon. They have become a nuisance because I don't get enough sleep at this stage of training.