200x200_Jantastic 2015Today is the first day of Jantastic, a three month fitness challenge designed to keep you motivated to achieve your goals through winter and spring. I decided to join up because, although I have been working to improve my fitness over the last few months in preparation for this year’s races, I’m still only running about twice a week on average. So, this month I have set my Jantatsic target to run three times a week – a challenging but achievable step up!

As today was Day 1 of the challenge, I wanted to get my first run logged. My aim was to run an easy 5K on my usual seafront route on Hove promenade. After last Sunday’s run, I felt confident that I could cover the distance without taking any walk breaks. However, I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t over-do things in terms of pace, as I would have two more runs to complete later in the week.

I headed to the seafront just after 7:00 pm. It was predictably cold and windy, but I was layered up enough for it not to matter. As it was dark, I decided not to worry about checking my pace on the Garmin (I’d have to wait until I passed under a lamp post or keep pressing the light button, which I really couldn’t be bothered with) and resigned myself to simply running along at what felt like a comfortably slow pace.

As I was taking things nice and easy, I decided to use the opportunity to think about my form. It’s not something that I have bothered with much, except maybe in the beginning when I was heel striking too much, or when I first started running up and down hills, but on the whole I don’t really give it much thought.

I know that I generally land front to mid foot and that I have a very short stride so, as I was going fairly slowly, I started to try to lengthen my stride a little bit to see how it felt. At first, it felt kind of weird and almost exaggerated, so I was glad it was dark and there weren’t too many people around to see what I was doing, but I soon started to get the hang of it and it felt ok – like I was running more than jogging, even if I was going more slowly than usual.

In the end, I finished the 5K in a time of 33:47, giving me an average pace of 6:45 per kilometre, which is fine for an easy run; but more importantly, I didn’t overdo things the way I usually do. The next four weeks are all about building a routine, and if that means taking it easier on the mid-week runs then so be it.

Besides, training isn’t just about improving pace or building distance, there’s consistency, form and a whole load of other things to learn about. And I have a feeling that this month is going to be a bit of an eye opener for me in that respect!

Have you joined Jantastic? Do you think about your running form? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


12 thoughts on “Jantastic!”

  1. I wish I was. I’m doing what I can to continue running through injury, so placing extra stress on would just be silly. I’m actually quite proud of myself for saying that; I used to be stupid enough to try every challenge going! Good luck!!

    1. Thanks Julie. You’re right to take it easier at this stage. It took me two months to get from one to two runs each week after injury, but I’m glad now that I didn’t push it. Here’s to a strong recovery. 🙂

  2. I signed up for Jantastic too but as they have included swimming (and cycling) in the goals this year I’ve decided on 2 runs and 1 swim per week.
    Well done on your continuous run x

  3. I’m doing Jantastic and since my marathon training programme has me running 4 times a week, that’s my target this month. One of those runs is cadence drills to work on my form so, like you, that’s something I’m thinking about right now.

      1. Thanks.
        Yes I have joined a team. My husband started one for his PT clients to join so I’m part of that. I think it’s good to be in a team for something like this to get a bit of extra motivation.

      2. Definitely! Being part of a team gives that extra sense of accountability and (dare I say it?) an added element of competition – although I’m only down to do 3 runs a week. 😉

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