January 2014 – Half marathon training with Janathon, Jantastic and Strava Challenges

After running the York 10k in August I had a colitis flare up for three months which stopped me from doing anything. Thankfully extra medication brought it under control just before going on holiday to see my sister in Australia, so we had an amazing holiday. She got me jogging again, around her local park and also along Bondi Beach and the coastal path.

In October, Jay ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon with his work mates and they inspired me to sign up to the Silverstone Half Marathon, as that was their next event. I kept it secret for quite a while incase I wasn’t well enough to train for it, so in the new year, with the occasional jog under my belt, I thought it was time to get back into regular exercise.

So two of my New Years resolutions involve running – 500km total for the year, and to complete the half marathon. I set myself up a plan, 2 shorter runs during the week with a longer run at the weekend – reaching 15km by the end of the month. To keep me motivated I signed up to Janathon, Jantastic and Strava challenges, as well as doing Jay’s January Jumping Jacks challenge.

Starting with the jumping jacks challenge to get the negative bit over and done with first – jumping jacks are bloody hard! It turned out a whole lot harder than I expected, and with the running I found it too hard on my legs. Also the sheer number of them was too much for me – I was ok up to about 200 then above that it was too many, especially when doing them daily! But still I had a good go and ended up doing 2630 jumping jacks in total, so not all that bad going!

Janathon

Janathon involved exercising every day and blogging about it – I found it surprisingly easy to forget that I was supposed to do both of those! However I did do something every day, even if it was just a gentle wander around the car park at dinnertime at work, although my intention was to do something more than that. It’s not always possible though and I was happy with my efforts. As well as the jumping jacks, the daily exercise including strength and toning work outs, foam rollering sessions (well, it did on days I was struggling for something to do!), and running. The best thing about janathon was that it forced me to think about doing some exercise on top of the running, no matter how little or small! And it’s great to have a record of my first foray into proper training for a big event.

Jantastic 2014

Jantastic 2014

Despite the name, Jantastic goes on for 3 months, so January was only the start of this one. Every month the target is increased, but for the first month the target is based about the number of runs per week, three in my case. The best thing about jantastic is that it is a big motivator to keep running, to keep to my plan – because you earn badges and see the percentage of planned runs that have been done! On the days where I really didn’t fancy a run, the thought of losing the 100% got me into my trainers.

Jantastic January Score

Jantastic January Score

Jantastic January Badges

Jantastic January Badges

Jantastic January Badges

Jantastic January Badges

As well as the number of weekly runs, February’s Jantastic targets increasing the distance – which is good for my training plan! The only downside is with my race being at the start of March, rather than the end as the Jantastic is working towards…so I will be tapering at the end of the month, and might lose the 100%!!

And finally, to ensure I had motivation over the length of my runs, I took part in two Strava Challenges – run a 10k and run 50km in the Prove It challenge. This had the desired effect and I went for the 10km badge earlier than I initially planned – to give me extra time at the longer distances mainly, but I was pleased to get my first badge under my belt 🙂

Strava Races - 10k

Strava Races – 10k

Strava Training Log for January

Strava Training Log for January

With all the motivation from these challenges, added to the support from friends and family, I ended the month on a total of 69km – very pleased with that!

Strava's January Prove It

Strava’s January Prove It

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