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The WHY of Running – do you have it?

January 27, 2013

Why do you run? How can I help you with your why?

How can I help you to achieve your running goals?

My reasons for running have changed over the 4 years that I have been running. I have gone through a number of stages. I  can help you achieve your goals, just tell me why you run!

A sprint finish!

A sprint finish!

Here are my reasons for running:

  1. It began as the most efficient (in terms of time vs. calories vs. distance) fitness apparatus in the gym. At this stage I weighed almost  100 kg. Goal: weight loss.
  2. It progressed (painfully)  to running outside – goal was further weight loss and to learn to run at all !
  3. It then became a challenge to run for an hour. Again this started in the gym as it seemed easier to time and measure.
  4. Rather boring to run for an hour on the running band so the goal changed to running for an hour outside.
  5. The running for an hour progressed to running 10 km…and my first race – Utrecht 10 km in September 2009. I always thought it was silly to enter a race that there was little (I remain positive) chance of winning. However – I discovered that you run your OWN race. In fact in amongst the thousands who start there is only 1 competitor J
  6. “Someone” laughed and scoffed as to whether I would also be running the 15 km Zevenheuvelenloop after Utrecht – November 2009. I ran to prove that I could J
  7. A crazy thought entered my head…could I run a half marathon? I could! In fact I shocked running friends who did not know I had entered/could run, by showing up in one of the sponsor tents!!
  8. I joined a running club and wanted to improve my running technique, times distances.
  9. Having progressed from Group 3 to Group  1 the notion of running a marathon entered my head.
  10. Have set the bar at the Paris Marathon in 2010 I am now running to achieve the next challenge – the following Marathon and improve my times/ extend the time to “wall”/ find the crazy marathons and run those…

I loved running the Slachtemarathon last year in Friesland. It was really a trail marathon as we ran through a LOT of mud.

My most craziest marathon to date will be Salcombe Marathon in the UK on the 4th of May:

It includes a lot of tiny, rugged, steep coastal paths, a ferry ride, a pub lunch….

What’s really motivating me know? I see my running goals as parallel to my business goals. You achieve one goal and stretch to the next. You can achieve things that you never imagined you could (I lost 42 kg). As you achieve these things you can set more goals for unimaginable achievements (I wonder how many people actually started from NIL running with the goal of running a marathon?) and see that these too are possible.

As I have gone through all these phases I have taken care to follow training programmes and included nutrition and supplements in the preparation and execution. I would be delighted to share my experiences and help you to achieve your goals.

Are you running:

  • To lose weight?
  • Keep fit?
  • Achieve a distance?
  • For peak performance (mental and physical)?

I would love to hear from you – tell me why you run!



Preparing for the Egmond Half Marathon?

January 10, 2013

The first thing that you will need to do is to obtain a start number. If you have not already got one – hurry! There is not much time on the website for the Egmond Half Marathon there are instructions on “overdragen startnummer” tab. Its a good way to get your number AND it’s quite fun chatting to people on the way to this goal.


If you have been following me on FB and/or Runkeeper you will know that I have undertaken a few “adventurous” runs recently.


Egmond is a mix of road work, sand (soft & hard) and running in the down. Oh, and there are some hills as well.


The Sylvestercross is a “cross” over down and through wood. This year the start was through DEEP sand. It seemed to carry in endlessly and I wondered if the whole course would be like this. Fortunately we hit the wood and conditions were surprisingly “unmuddy”! You had to keep an eye out for tree roots, holes in the ground, tree branches and generally people. The last 800 meters or so was back in the sand again! Great training for coming on and off the beach at Egmond.


IMG_2584 sylvestercross 2009

IMG_2584 sylvestercross 2009 (Photo credit: in_case_of)


The new year also brought our own, Bergse Runners Club New Year’s Run. This year it was held in the woods at the Natuurmonumenten s’Graveland. The first round was almost at walking pace as we started all together. It amazing how it quickly thinned out and there were just 3 of us running together. The conditions were, well, “woody”. Quite soft not too muddy and here and there som hilly bits. Super training for the downs.


Sylvestercross was some 8,6 klm and The New Year’s Run was 10-ish klm so I am still a little short on distance.


This morning I took to the Amsterdam Bos – in the dark. Focusing on heart rate I began quite slowly. I built in a few intervals and dared to venture to places that I had not been before (my sense of direction is awful, as you know so this is always risky!). Runkeeper shows some 12,6 klm as I could not find the GPS for a while I probably ran a little over 13 klm. So moving closer to 21!


Are you running in Sunday to? Let me know if you are.
Read more…

Shift that Christmas turkey – Run TODAY!

December 26, 2012

Run TODAY! – and shift that Christmas Turkey – whatever experience you have. I have and it was fabulous – why:

1. yesterday was a whole day of eating drinking where the most exercise was moving from room to room, chair to chair and, oh yes, some weight lifting in the form of moving plates & dishes and food.

2. stimulate the metabolism and move some of that food out

3. get the blood going to those areas that have not been stimulated for at least 24 hours

4. in the UK the weather is great – no rain, a little warm and very little wind

5. enhance your serotonin level

6. allow you some thinking time out of the mêlée of Christmas presents(ce)


Physical Exercise aka P.E

Physical Exercise aka P.E (Photo credit: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums)

. prepare for more eating and drinking over the next few days

So HOW?:

If there is not much time  – don’t stress about the time – less time – work out more intensively – for example

For more experienced runners
option 1: with only 45 mins – run at low heart rate (D1) and stretch out to D3 (up to max.) for 1 minute with 5 min intervals

option 2: 1 hour – run at D2 (mid range heart rate) with sprints of 30 seconds/ between trees/ lamp posts at every 15 mins


Eben if you have just 20 mins – RUN! walk/jog/ sprint – with 3 mins walking. 5 mins jogging, 30 sec sprint.

Enjoy feeling the conversion of the “lazy” energy into useful “running” energy!


10 tips for running in the winter: Midwinterduinloop Egmond-binnen

December 10, 2012

What a great experience I had at the weekend. I ran the Midwinterduinloop, Egmond-binnen with friends from the Bergse Runner’s Club. It was a cold winter’s day with snow on the ground. It pushed pretty much all the buttons to cold weather running. We had some challenging choices and the following tips may be helpful for you:

  1. Find a trail run or a competition – There is nothing like a race to get your blood running. It was a great buzz to be running with a large group of people. I could also add a sub-tip here – go with a group of friends. It was really great fun preparing for the event. It was also good as various people had forgotten hats, gloves, scarves so much borrowing and sharing was done. Which brings me in to:
  2. Layer dress – thin layers are good. There are various theories about how many layers you need for certain temperatures. The best tip – is 2 – 3 THIN layers, start cold and with clothes that you can easily either remove OR open. I was MUCH too warm during the race and so struggled out of my jacket, first shifting my number, then my water bottle and, lastly my telephone for runkeeper!! I don’t recommend it. Protect your hands. My hands get too warm in gloves so a tip is to where a sweatshirt or jacket that you can scrunch your hands up into the sleeves. You can poke them out again when you are warm enough.
  3. Warm up – this gentle jog of about 1 km was great for getting the blood running. We were also able to test the ground to see how slippery it was. A few leg kicks and hamstrings were warmed up, as well as the fluids flowing round the joints to prevent injury.
  4. Take you own drink – you will already know that I rarely rely on water stops. This run was 16 something km. I use a sugar-free vitamin & mineral drink (see It’s important to stay hydrated and in the winter it does not seem as if you are losing water – you are!
  5. Protect your lungs – when we set off it was -4.5. Luckily as we arrived the day had started to warm up. On very cold days its wise to use a neck scarf that you can pull up over your mouth to breathe through.
  6. Watch where you run – and run with small strides so that you can
    Bergse Runners Midwinterduinloop

    Bergse Midwinter Runners

    keep your balance. You can also watch the other runners in front of you (assuming you are not in 1st place!) and run in well trodden paths.

  7. Deal with the wind – we were fortunate – it was a still day with brilliant sunshine. Never-the-less it would have been fine as we ran most of the race in the woods. So that’s the tip – run in protected areas. If that’s not possible then make sure that you have a hat or ear warming band otherwise your ears will be frozen off. If you have to run against the wind – run backwards and lean back into the wind. It’s very good for your core training as well as being pleasanter than facing the icy wind.
  8. Deal with the rain/snow/wet – Good socks are essential. You may like to try wearing plastic bags on your feet… a windproof jacket is all you need as you stay warm when running.
  9. Rush into the shower – I did not hang around after the race – I dashed into the lovely warm shower – and – yes, even in a sport hall it felt like luxury. I did get a call when I was half naked pointing out that there were 6 men waiting for me outside!!
  10. Recover with a protein shake – My chocolate shake seemed to warm my insides and will enable you to avoid that after race “dip” .

An easy solution is  – scrap all this and run in the gym – BORING! There really is nothing better to compare running in the crisp cold, still environment, in the snow with blue blue skies all around. So use the tips and ENJOY your winter running!

Closer & Closer to 10k in 45 mins…

November 16, 2012

Part of life and so business and so running is just about doing it. It’s not just “learning by doing” that I learned in the organisation that I met my husband in – JCI , its more about growing by doing and always changing.

I was juggling dates and, whilst I had registered for the Sevenheuvelenloop, we selected this day to run our business planning day. Then up popped another opportunity – the Olympisch Stadionloop in Amsterdam. Recommended by fellow runners in my club, the Bergserunnersclub it was also in aid of Unicef. I have for a while been considering how I can link all the running I am doing to a charity – after all it does seem a lot of kilometers to be running that I could be sharing to help others.

This was not an event that I had specifically trained for. I had been running in Dallas and my usual minimum 3 times a week but not really goal driven. It was to be a test of my underlying fitness. AND my basic training scheme.

I have been recently focusing on how much my business runs parallel to my running – and vice versa. Throughout this year, alongside our internal training, I have been attending the Business Bootcamps provided by Open Circles Academy. One of the many things that I have learned here  – and it underscores one of the key areas in our own training – is the value of having a system and using it consistently. The Olympisch Stadionloop was to be a test of this AND – another real changing point – my own belief system.

I first met up with a friend who is running Amsterdam Fit, a running organisation that meets by the Olympic Stadium. It was good to see a friendly face.

As we started the race I joined the 45 min pacer. I just wanted to feel how fast I really had to go to reach this milestone. We introduced ourselves. We started and I was “in touch” and keeping up the pace for c. 3 km then I gradually moved of pace – initially by 10 – 20 seconds – then a little more…. I did manage to speed up a at the last 1.5 km but still not up to pace. HOWEVER there was value in the underlying training and thus the SYSTEM as I took some seconds off my 10 k Utrecht time and came in at 48,12 so I was quite amazed!

What was even more incredible is that my pacer found me at the finish and asked me how I had performed. She herself is an ultramarathon runner (something that I seem to be coming across more often) and will run in the 65 km Olne-Spa-Olne in Belgium – certainly something to aspire to!

The final results  – my pacer, who ran within 45 mins, was 5th and I was 11th in the women’s recreational run:-)

Swapping Running notes with Friends from USA and Australia

November 2, 2012

So I am in Dallas, Texas, at a Gala event. It’s 5:30 am and I agreed to run with a friend (ironman competitor) from the USA and another Australian friend (who has just qualified for the World Champion half ironman).

Sue was already waiting in the foyer of our hotel. Sandy arrived soon after with the map of the running trail. We agreed to run about an hour. That would give time to shower, change and eat breakfast before our seminar.

English: Seal of the City of Dallas

English: Seal of the City of Dallas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was pitch black. We set off in the direction that Sue & Sandy had previously run. We had met each other a few year’s ago through our businesses. We had all begun running roughly about the same time. As we ran we swapped notes about what we were all “working on” in terms of running.

Sue had recently attended a day’s training on Chi running. She explained to us how she had learned in one session to run more efficiently and with less effort and chance of injury. Posture (heard up, chest out, not learning too far forward), foot strike (mid-foot to toe), kick-back – in other words rather than lifting your knee kicking your foot backwards and using your hamstrings. Arms are at 45 degrees, thumbs are up and they slide naturally along your body – I hope that comes over well… It also made me think of the Tarahumara or “running people” that I had just read about in Scott Jurek‘s book “Eat & Run”.

Sandy is a vegetarian.  Whilst I have certainly benefited from increasing fruit & vegetables in my diet, I am always a little scheptical about the amount of protein that you can take in with such a diet. She talked about Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) which she said were a great source of protein.

Español: Semillas de Chía (Salvia hispanica)

Español: Semillas de Chía (Salvia hispanica) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I shared my recent training programmes incorporating increasing amounts of interval training, core and weight training.

We also discussed the great food supplements that we benefited from. In additional to the financial advantage of running our businesses, we have experienced reduction/nil in injuries and better recovery through using these products.

The hour quickly went by – we had a few stops to check where we were and it was still pitch black when we came back!

A short session of warming down in  the gym and we were set for the day!

Is your training pace to fast?

October 20, 2012

This morning I enjoyed a training with my club, the Bergse Runners, in Nederhorst den Berg. It was a simple training and still it made me ask a question: in my quest to run faster am I training at too fast a pace?


We ran for about 1,5 k and then warmed up.


Nederlands: Nederhorst den berg

Nederlands: Nederhorst den berg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The training was simple: 5 x 4 minutes at just under 10K pace with 2 minutes rest.


I am focused on a pace of 4,30 in order to reach the 45 mins goal.


Henk, our trainer, asked me if I knew what my 10K pace was. I answered – ummm – I have a “goal pace” but whether that’s my pace at the moment is another thing.  Henk knows my goal and said that I should be running NOW between 4,30 – 4,45 and he estimated that I was running at closer to 4.


He was right! An analysis of my runkeeper confirmed this.


I slowed the pace down for the 4 minutes. I really need to get this to a comfortable pace so that I can sustain it for the full 10 k.


The run ended up with a relaxed pace and a chance to discuss the various aches and pains of other runners – for which I was able to provide a pot of WINOmega3.


Lesson learned: Find the right pace – which may not be as fast as you think!






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