Tag Archives: Janathon

My own personal #Febathon

Unfortunately I was ill in January and so I couldn’t complete Janathon. But I loved the idea of it and the focus and discipline that it brings, so I wanted to try and recreate that on my own. And so #Febathon was born.

As you can tell, I’m not blogging every day, and I certainly don’t have the great support of the Janathon community. But I do have my own determination and the rules of the ‘athon to keep me going. Those rules are quite simple – do some specific and dedicated exercise every day (ie don’t count something you would do anyway). And so far in February I’ve stuck to those rules:

– Sat 1st – we went to watch the world record swim, so it was just planking and press ups
– Sun 2nd – I went for a run, an actual run in the outdoors and everything
– Mon 3rd – a swim session, but I wasn’t feeling great, so just 2.4km
– Tues 4th / Weds 5th – a couple of days in London for work, but I planked and did press ups on both days
– Thurs 6th – a gym session, which includes the bike and the treadmill (as well as a set of core strength exercises)
– Fri 7th – a swim session and this one felt good – 3.4km
– Sat 8th – a quick [stationary] bike session followed by a quick swim

And later today I plan to do a gym session, followed by a quick swim.

The totals so far are:

– Planked – 270 seconds
– Press ups – 120
– Swimming – 7.05kms
– Running – 5.87kms
– Cycling – 23.88kms
– #LETJOG14 total – 32.99kms

I’m currently 0.34kms behind my monthly target (not including the amount I was behind in January), but I should be well ahead of the pace after tonight’s gym session.

Getting there… slowly.

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Janathon is over…

… for me at least.

It all started well and I ran for the first three days – not far, but further than I’d run probably since Janathon. Then I had a couple of days where I couldn’t fit a run in, but I still managed to plank and do press-ups. A swim on day six and I felt like I was kicking Janathon’s butt. But then I got my butt kicked.

I caught the horrible cold / flu that seems to be going round. What was even worse was that it had already laid me low just before Xmas. That time I put it down to being generally run down at the end of the year and ready for my Xmas break. I had assumed that the break had done the trick and the first few days of Janathon were great.

But then it came back and it came back hard.

The big hit was the lack of energy and the flu-like achy feeling. Although I didn’t have the energy to swim or run, at first I tried to keep with Janathon and plank and do press-ups, but eventually they had to stop too. It was hard enough getting out of bed and going to work (and I even admitted defeat with that one day and spent the day in bed).

Fingers crossed and touching wood I think I’m over it now (I even managed to swim 1km this afternoon – although I was worn out afterwards), but Janathon is clearly over. Not only that, but I’m already well behind in my #LETJOG14 target too.

I love the idea of Janathon and so I’m going to try and do a full month of exercise in February instead. It’ll be mainly swimming and running with planking and press-ups on days where my schedule doesn’t allow for anything else.

Good luck to the rest of the Janathon participants.


Filed under Motivation, Running, Swimming

Janathon day 9

I’m feeling a bit better today – still not 100%, but well enough to go to the pool for a very gentle swim this evening.

I did 50 lengths, so 1,250m.

I do have another category to add to the list of bad pool etiquette (see previous lists here, here, here and in fact here – a bit of a bug bear of mine!). This one is the “This is what I always do” – you know the person, the one who always swims the same routine no matter how busy the pool and no matter how many people they are obstructing.

The pool was very busy tonight with a lot of “real” swimmers in the fast lane. As I only wanted a gentle swim anyway I decided to go in the medium lane and do a mixture of breaststroke and crawl. In the medium lane was an older guy that I’ve seen before, but I’ve never paid much attention too (cos I was in the fast lane before). Well, he was doing a little routine of 1 length breaststroke, 1 length front crawl and 1 length backstroke. This would have been fine except for 2 key points:

1 – his backstroke was as slow as an arthritic snail
2 – the medium lane was full (cos the fast lane was so busy) so he kept holding everyone up

Of course he hardly ever let people past and continued to do this annoyingly slow routine for about 30 minutes. Oh well, at least I was only doing a gentle swim.


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Abdominal crunches

One of the great things about Janathon is that the group mentality encourages you to try new exercises in a bid to be active every day in January. I think this qualifies as a new exercise… yesterday I spent all day doing inadvertent abdominal crunches.

Let me explain…

Unfortunately I’ve caught that horrible cold / flu thing that is going around. What is even more annoying is that I had it before Xmas too. Anyway, I swam on Monday morning and had a good day in the office. I left early to do more work from home and by the time I got home I felt awful. And then I felt even worse yesterday. If I didn’t work for myself I would have spent the day in bed (and should have done anyway). But, as I spent most of the day with a wracking cough – one that doubled me up for 30 seconds each time I coughed – I gave my abs a great work out.

Today I’m still pretty rough, but managed a 60-sec plank and 20 press ups this morning. Unfortunately I’ve lost a bit of ground on my #LETJOG14 targets though.

– Janathon day 7 – inadvertent abdominal crunches
– Janathon day 8 – 60-sec plank and 20 press ups

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Back to swimming

Yesterday morning I was back in my usual territory of the swimming pool for my first swim of the new year. I’d spent the first few days of Janathon and #LETJOG14 running and planking, now it was time for some proper exercise :-).

I did:
– a gentle 200m warm-up.
– a 400m swim. The original intention was to increase the pace every 100m, but I got caught behind some traffic in the lane, so I kept it nice and easy – but I still did it in 7:35. Not so long ago that would have been a great time for me, yesterday it felt slow.
– 20 x 100m at 1:50 with a 10-sec rest between each.
– a 400m cool-down swim.

I started a bit late as I was a bit slow getting up and off and the lane was full of “tourists”, so I didn’t get quite as much done as I thought I might, but still a solid 3km.

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Planking and Pajamas

I excitedly started January with a run every day (see the evidence here, here and here) as part of Janathon. Other than a couple of kilometres on the treadmill now and again I’ve hardly run since Juneathon, so it was good to have the motivation to start again.

And that was great for three days…

Traditionally the Xmas period ends for us with a big family party at my parents house on the first Saturday of January. We all get together and spend the day eating and drinking, we swap presents and then finish off with a big game of Trivial Pursuit (or similar). There can be about 20 of us most years.

This year half of us gathered on the Friday night, so I had a few drinks and a late night on Friday too. Saturday’s run was always under threat even before my son woke up at 3:45am because he wanted to get into bed with me – but spent the next 45 minutes before he actually fell asleep. So I gave up on Saturday’s run and assumed that my participation in the daily activities of Janathon was over.

However, I checked on Twitter and had a read of a few of the tweets with the #Janathon hashtag. One of them was from who had posted a photo of them planking (see it here). A couple of jokey tweets later and I’d been talked into giving it a go – and posting a photo.

Planking in pajamas

Planking in pajamas

It turns out that actually the planking should be in pajamas, so on Sunday (after another late night and no run) I planked in my pajamas.

So on Saturday and Sunday, instead of doing nothing I did a 60-second plank (70 secs on Sunday) and 20 press ups. It might not be much, but it’s more than nothing and it was all because of the community of Janathon.


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3 days running

I’m still away, but I decided to do a different route today and went a bit further. It was early(ish) in the morning and it was a nice time to get out, although I felt a bit slower today as my legs are still stiff.

I drove the route later in the car and it turns out it was fractionally under 5kms – but that would be the furthest I’ve run since Juneathon. In fact in the last three days I’ve very possibly already run further in a month (13kms) than I have since Juneathon – it’s certainly the first time since June that I’ve been out running three days running!


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8 / 2 down; 1392 / 29 to go

The same route as yesterday, although today it was a beautiful day.

I didn’t quite enjoy it as much today – that was due to a mixture of a little bit of stiffness from yesterday and the lack of the joy of rediscovery that I had yesterday. But I did it and I’m pleased I did.

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4 down, 1396 to go / 1 down, 30 to go

It was wet and windy out there, but I braved it anyway. I’ve signed up for both #LETJOG14 and #Janathon, so I needed to get out. In the end I was lucky with the rain and it was the standing water that was worse (it forced me to run in the middle of the road in places).

I’m staying away from home for a few days, so I didn’t have an exact route planned, nor do I know the exact distances. Instead I just set off and went with how I felt – which actually was pretty good. In the end I ran for 22 minutes and 45 seconds. At the gym I normally do a slow 5 mins 45 per km, so I’m rounding that up to exactly 4km (I’ll try to walk the route with my phone to get a more accurate reading).

A good start – and I’m glad I signed up to both #LETJOG14 and #Janathon as I probably wouldn’t have gone out if I hadn’t.

Those of a nervous disposition look away - that's my sweaty leg in the background!

Those of a nervous disposition look away – that’s my sweaty leg in the background!


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Earlier this year I joined in with the Juneathon movement. Well, the original concept is Janathon and the idea is simple – you need to run (or do some other form of exercise) every day and then blog about it. Part of the inspiration for it is to help shift some of the turkey and mince pies that we have all packed away of the last few days (me especially).

I didn’t quite manage every day in June (I think I did about 23 out of 30) and I suspect that I won’t manage every day this month either, but it will be a great start to the year and will hopefully see me off to a good start with a good base level of fitness (as well as a great start to getting to John O’Groats).

From what I learnt in June, the trick is not to feel pressured by the expectation to run (or whatever) every day, but instead be inspired to get out there as often as possible. That’s what I intend to do. Wish me luck.

PS – Having read the History page it turns out that the June version is the original and the January one joined the “family” in 2011.


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