Jantastic is back!

Jantastic was relaunched this week. Its been heavily hyped on Marathon Talk almost since the end of last years, and I for one am very excited about it.

Its a very simple honesty based motivation challenge. You sign up and tell the website how often you are going to run each week in January. In February, you need to tell it distance of your longest targeted long run, and in March you try and predict a race time and see how close you get to it in order to see how in tune you are with your fitness.

Yes, it sounds simple, because it is. Its incredibly cheatable. But much like cutting a corner on your local parkrun, the only person you’d be cheating is yourself. But now if you use Strava, you’ll be able to link your profiles and, I imagine, it will automatically add your Jantastic runs as they get logged through Strava.

The key as I see it is about making yourself accountable. By telling Jantastic you are going to run 5 times a week, the idea is that you want to meet those targets to achieve the cool badges they award, and to try and maintain an elusive 100% record. Because you set your own targets, you are far more likely to want to go out and hit them than if someone else told you to go and run 3 times a week!

Last year I was relatively new to running, and when I heard about it I used it to maintain my motivation throughout my Marathon training. It worked spectacularly, not least because of the concept of “Teams”. By joining a team you are also contributing to the success of your team – you miss a run, your team score gets affected. So not only would you be letting yourself down, you’d be letting your team down too!

And this is what drove me to keep running through the cold, wet, miserable winter months.

Its cleverly designed to finish right in the middle of “Spring Marathon Season”, but you could just as easily want to use Jantastic just to get out and run ┬ámore often. Maybe you just want to improve your parkrun PB. Its great for helping you set and keep the dreaded “New years resolution”, and really is suitable for anyone.

I can’t say that without it I wouldn’t have completed my marathon – I probably would have – but by remaining accountable with Jantastic I was able to run more consistently which is the key to improvement in any activity.┬áThis in turn had a tremendous effect on my weightloss and a year on I am a completely different person – In a positive way, obviously!

I still have a stone and a bit to lose to reach my perceived “optimum” race weight for Manchester Marathon, but I know after Christmas I’ll have Jantastic to watch my back, shift the pounds and help drive me on to that 3h20.

So sign up and join a team. No team to join? Hop in with the Yeovil Montacute parkrun team, we’d love to have you!

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