Jantastic Update

Jantastic continues to prove that it’s a great motivator but I’m starting to feel the pressure a little. After my first update at the end of January, February’s training went well and it was great to finish off with a new Half Marathon PB. The challenge progressed by not only suggesting an increase in the number of weekly sessions but also in specifying a target distance for a single run each week. (The fact that it was for a single run is key – I read a tweet by someone saying that last year, they thought it was total mileage for the week and, desperately wanting to make sure that they completed the challenge for the week, found themselves unwittingly running an ultra in training to hit that target.)

So continuing on from that first post, here, slightly belatedly, are my stats for February:

Total number of runs: 16
Longest single run: 10.26 miles
Total distance run: 105.2 miles
Total time spent running: 14h55m

I’m pleased with this although I also notice in looking at my training calendar that I skipped 8 of my planned sessions – not that I’m going to regret that in anyway. I managed to get some solid miles in and finished the Jantastic month with a Half Marathon PB.

So where’s the pressure?

The day after the Half, I went for my scheduled 6 mile run which was meant to be at an easy pace. After 3 miles, I found I was running faster than the day before. Not so bad – but the day after that, I had an interval session (4 x 1200m with 400m RI). The session went well – really well – but during my cool down jog, my right foot started inexplicably aching. In fact, more than aching – it really hurt. Two days later, I found I couldn’t really get going because of the pain, so I took a week off and went to see my friendly neighbourhood physio. Because the pain had put the kibosh on my planned training, I forgot to log that week with Jantastic. D’oh! So no gold medal for me this month! Hey ho.

Rest seems to have done the trick though – a couple of days ago I ventured out for a short run and while there was still an ache, it was tolerable, so later that day I went for another run. On Friday I managed a good 10 mile run on the canal towpath and today I explored a new 7 mile route mostly on trails and managed that in a respectable time. Whatever the issue was, it seems to have been muscular and has disappeared as quickly as it came.

But as much as everything feels okay, I wonder if I’m not trying to push too hard just because I’ve got Jantastic targets to hit. This month, the progression goal is a single timed run with the intent of hitting a set speed. I’ve elected to try and beat my 5km PB (currently 22:00 on the dot) but I feel that this last couple of week may constitute a setback. I shouldn’t feel that way – I’m at the point where training is becoming a habit so Jantastic has done it’s job. I just need to not sabotage my training by trying to hit some arbitrary goals because that is unwanted and unnecessary pressure. Or maybe it’s not Jantastic and it’s the knowledge that today should have been twice the distance that I actually went and that’s the pressure I’m feeling.