Thanks for the reply. I'll look into this with your advice in mind!
All the runs I've seen have Simon farm 50+ hearts at the very start by going west of Jova to fight the salamander creatures. My biggest problem with this has been timing my whips so that they can't shoot the fireball at me. I've sometimes managed to do it by pure accident but I'm wondering if there is a specific visual/audio cue to becoming more consistent at it?