Running into a Dutch summer
The running season has begun in the Netherlands! Personal trainer Lorna Wilson selects some courses to aim for, from Rock and Run to Amsterdam Marathon.
After completing the London marathon four weeks ago, I am looking for my next challenge, which shouldn't be difficult.
The elm seed confetti piling up in Amsterdam signals the start of summer and the running season! Challenge yourself and your friends and sign up for one of the local races in and around Amsterdam. Get fit and get to know Amsterdam and surrounding areas. I‘ve really enjoyed the local races over the years.
My experience of personal training tells me that clients who want to keep fit or lose weight achieve their personal goals best when they have a training goal to work to --like aiming to complete a particular run.
I've selected these as good runs to do in the coming months:
Feel free to contact me to help you with registration, and for those runs I'm taking part in, I can organise for us all to meet up at the venue.
Mokum Twiske-loop www.acwaterland.nl/Main_Rondje Mokum.html 15 May 2011
Organised by a local athletics club. Just north of Amsterdam in a place called Landsmeer. I haven't run this one before but the area is lovely.
Distances: 10km and 5km and 3.5km for children
Parkstad Run www.parkstadrun.nl 27 May 2011
Organised by a local athletics club. Run through nature round the Sloterplas (a lake in Amsterdam).
Distances: 10 miles and 5 miles
Rock and Run www.rockandrun.nl 29 May 2011
A reinvention of the famous Grachtenloop that hasn't been held for many years now. It does 6km loop(s) around the Amsterdam canals, starting and finishing at Lijnbaansgracht/Westerstraat.
Distances: 6km, 12km and 18km
Zuidas www.zuidasrun.nl 29 May 2011
`Work hard, Train harder! ` Organised for the businesses in the Zuidas area (office area between the ring road and Amsterdamse Bos), but anyone can sign up and run. Runners are normally in teams. Afterwards there is a great party atmosphere under the tall buildings of the Zuidas.
Distances 10 miles, 4 miles and 1km for children
Asics Ladies Run www.asicsladiesrun.nl 19 June 2011
A ladies-only run which starts and finishes in the Olympisch Stadion. In previous years the 10km has included running round the Bosbaan (rowing lake) of the Amsterdamse Bos.
Distances: 5km and 10km
Midzommernachtcross www.midzomernachtcross.nl 24 June 2011
Organised by a local athletics club, this run goes through the Amsterdamse Bos (forest south of the ring road). It´s on a Friday evening and (in good weather) the atmosphere is very friendly and relaxed.
Distances: 10 miles, 10km, 5km, 2km for children
Dam tot Damloop www.damloop.nl 18 September 2011
The most popular running event of the year in the Netherlands. The 10-mile run from Amsterdam to Zaandam sells out within hours of going on sale. Places are still available for the shorter distance of 4 miles. It‘s a bit of a crush in parts but the atmosphere from the crowds is the best I have experienced in the Netherlands. People living on the course come out and cheer on the runners and there is a real party atmosphere.
Distances: 10 mile, 4 mile, 2.2km for children and 800m for children
Amsterdam Marathon www.amsterdammarathon.nl 16 October 2011
Aside from the marathon there is also an 8km and a half marathon so most levels of runners can take part. The marathon starts and finishes in the Olympisch Stadion but also takes in the nature reserves on both sides of the river Amstel, the Maritime Museum, the historic canals and the Rijksmuseum.
Distances: marathon, half marathon, 8km and 1km for children
So, if you're inspired to start running--here are my top tips:
- Have a good pair of running shoes. Runners World and Run2Day are both in Amsterdam and can help you find a pair that fits well.
- Start slow. Many people are put off running because they run as fast as they can for as long as they can. They exhaust themselves and don't make any progress.
- Start with a run/walk programme.
- Don't increase your running distance by more than 10 percent a week.
- Calculate your runs by time, not distance. I find this to be more motivating.
- Pick a short run, like a 5km run, as a goal to train towards. Once you can run for 30 minutes without stopping you will be able to take part in a 5km run.
- Keep a diary. It is good for motivation and to look over and find out what works for you.
- Wear lights and reflectors when you run in the dark.
Wilson's Workouts holds a license for Buggyfit exclusive to Amsterdam.
By Lorna Wilson and Pippa Metcalf
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