I always look forward to the start of the year as I have usually signed up for a Spring marathon and so I’m usually ready to start the training. In years gone by, I’ve had a structure to my training plan of what I’m doing and when but in the last couple of years since moving into my own PT studio, my working hours have changed and so my weekday training has been a very sporadic but the Sunday long run has been a mainstay. I’m usually lost if I don’t have something to train for!
One of the things that has been a god-send for me this year so far is Jantastic. If you’re not aware of what Jantastic is, it’s a free fitness challenge where you set yourself a target and log your workouts once you’ve done them. You can do it solo or be part of a team and you can choose between running, cycling or swimming (or a mix of all 3) and really it’s a lot of fun. It’s easy to get hooked though.
I pledged to run 5 times a week and in the first week I hit my target no problem and in week 2, I just hit my target by running all of 200 metres home from a coffee shop in town wearing jeans and normal shoes last Sunday, the last day of the week! This past week has been easier as I’ve become more focused on my training for the Paris Marathon in April and completed 2 early morning runs on Tuesday and Thursday as planned as well as my regular PT session on Wednesday where we go for a run and also every day when I’ve either gone home for lunch and/or gone home to feed the cats so have felt pretty smug about fitting in 10 runs instead of the 5 I had pledged to do. I even achieved a first on Thursday by having someone roll down their car window and swear at me (I didn’t fully catch what he said) and all before 6.30am!
February’s challenge takes on a different edge with a target number of miles in a single run so I’ve gone for a 12, 14, 16 and 18 mile runs in the 4 weeks. In performance terms, I’m doing very well and I’m happy with where I’m at just now although I know I need to increase the distance of my long runs as well as make the best out of the runs I can fit in during the week which now means I will be getting up at 5am in order to fit them in. I’m starting to see the benefits of what I’ve been doing so far as I’ve been working on my cadence and I noticed on my hill run this morning that when I adopted the style I’ve been working on, I was able to run uphill fairly easily and without putting any more effort than I was putting in on the flat. All I need to do now is to build that up over the longer distances in the weeks ahead.
Jantastic is working for me as it’s giving me a focus and motivation to go for a run, even if it is for a short run into town from my studio and also thinking about when my next run will be. I like how the targets change for February from the ones set in January and am intrigued by what the targets will need to be based on for March.
If you’re reading about Jantastic for the first time and think it sounds like a lot of fun, check out the website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter. Unfortunately you can no longer sign up for this year but set yourself a reminder to check it out in December and sign up for 2016. It’s a fun and fantastic motivational tool to help you get through your training in the first part of the year.
What motivates you to get out and run?