Saturday, 2 February 2013

The benefits of sharing

I have just finished a record month of running, for the month of January at least, having run 130 miles.

So why during a month where we experienced some less than ideal running weather in the UK, did I choose to run more miles than I have previously? Well, it was down to two main things. I had signed up for #Jantastic (for those not familiar, the podcast @marathontalk set a challenge whereby you had to commit to a specific number of runs for the month of January and log those runs on the Marathon Talk website: I had already decided to step up to 5 runs per week (from 4) as part of my training for the Milton Keynes Marathon, so set this as my weekly target.

I have also recently joined the training log/social website @Strava ( and they were running a January challenge called #basemileblast which encouraged you to run as many miles as you could for the month of January.

Now, lets be clear, there are plenty of people who ran a lot more than I did for both challenges, so I was never going to be topping the leader board on Strava, where the top #basemileblast runner logged over 580 miles in January! For #Jantastic there were people running 7+ runs per week but this challenge had more emphasis on participation, which gives the person who is running 3 times per week the same opportunity to score 100% as the person who is running 7+ times per week. In addition, you can also join a team, which is where the real camaraderie comes in.

For me, What really came out of being involved in both of these challenges was the benefit I gained from the encouragement of being part of something bigger than just logging miles on your own. Anyone who follows me on Twitter (@runrforlife) or who listens to Marathon Talk will have heard about the friendly rivalry that has sprung up between the teams of Colwick Parkrun and Conkers Parkrun, which has given rise to a multitude of hashtags: #teamcolwick, #colwickconkers, #conkercolwick etc.

So, it has been the benefit I got from being part of these team challenges and sharing my experiences with those also going through similar experiences that really encouraged me to keep going. On those mornings where the bed was cosy, when it was cold and dark outside and the rain was pelting down. It was the encouragement from I got from sharing my experiences on Twitter that got me out of bed and allowed me to log a record month for January and maintain 100% in Jantastic!

So thanks to everyone who has supported me and as we move into #Febulous let's continue to support and share and let's see if we can get ahead of that Conkers lot! #teamcolwick #colwickconkers

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