Running and Cycling in Holland

Katrina and I caught the 6amKLM flight to Amsterdam on Wednesday 15th October. We left our bags at the Golden Tulip Hotel and walked into the city. In there afternoon we went on the Yellow Bike Tour of Amsterdam.  It was excellent.

There were 12 in our group ….tour 5

We’ve not been to Amsterdam before but this was definitely the best way to see the city. Here is our route ….Yellow Bike Tour

We would ride for a few minutes then the guide would stop and tell us something about the city. NOVATEK CAMERA

Here is a photo of the smallest house in Amsterdam …NOVATEK CAMERA

It seems when they were built the family were taxed on the size of the front of true house so this one gets bigger the further back it goes … crafty!

We went past Anne Franks house. We did look into going there but it was sold out and involves a 2-3 hr wait to get in anyway.


We had a stop for a drink in the park ….NOVATEK CAMERA

One of our group was running the marathon on Sunday and did say she had a spare number as one of her group couldn’t run but we weren’t tempted!


On Thursday morning I went out for a run. I wanted to run 6 miles and so decided to run 3miles out and 3 miles back. I ran through a local park and ended up coming back to our hotel at about 3miles to just ran round the same loop again …run in amsterdamWhen I ran on Tuesday I had a slight soreness in my groin and while it was a lot better I could still feel it so took it steady. It was raining for most of the run but the weather got loads better from mid afternoon 1 holland

At 12noon we caught the train to Zutphen and spent the day and evening with my Mum and Sister and Brother-in-law.

On Friday morning I was up and out before breakfast for another run. This time I did do an out and back running on the cycle track alongside a main road. I was so impressed with the way Holland is set up for cycling and how everyone cycles everywhere.zutphen run route


My groin felt so much better so I pushed it a bit harder and felt good.

The wedding was in the afternoon. It was really interesting to see a wedding in Holland. They have the same parts as the UK but in a different order.

So Steve and Marlies went off for a couple of hours having photos taken around the city. Then close family and friend met at 2.30pm for coffee and cake followed by group photos.

Here is a photo of the happy couple with my Mum …wedding 2

Here is a photo of Katrina & I with my Mum, sister and brother-in-law ….wedding 1

After the group photos we went back to the restaurant for a lovely buffet meal and a short speech from Marlies’ Dad.

Then at 7pm we went across the road to the church for the service. Steve’s Pastor from Wrexham led the service which was in English with Dutch translation. Steve and Marlies play in an orchestra so they were all out side to play for them as a surprise.

We were then back across the road to the restaurant for the evening party. There were about 100 friends and family to that one. There were items from various people.

Sue, my sister, had written a song based on ‘Yellow Submarine’ which we had good fun singing ….wedding 3

Marlies’ family sang a song based on ‘Rule Britannia’ ….wedding 4

So it was a great day!

On Saturday Katrina and I hired bikes and went off for a cycle ride for the day …

There is an excellent system set up allover Holland with cycle tracks all linked together with nodes which are numbered so it was so easy to find your way round.

Here is our route …Cycle Route in Holland

At each main junction there is board with map and directions to the next junction …NOVATEK CAMERA

We came to a river and there was no bridge … but there was a ferry who came over and took us over the river ….NOVATEK CAMERA

We saw lots of Windmills and one was open to go in and have a look round ….NOVATEK CAMERA

We stopped for lunch at a lovely lake ….NOVATEK CAMERA

We really enjoyed the ride as there was a wide variety of views and bridges to cross …NOVATEK CAMERA

We covered almost 54 miles with a total of 65ft ascent!! NOVATEK CAMERA

We travelled home today arriving in Glasgow at 12.30pm to be greeted by rain!!

So we had a great time and really enjoyed our trip.

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Running in Inverness

We had a nice break in Inverness for a few days.  Jo & Jono are away so we stayed in their lovely cottage.  I went for a couple of runs and we climbed Ben Wyvis.

Monday 13th October – 6.35mile road run

I did an out and back route as it’s harder to get lost that way. I went early while it just dark and enjoyed the run. Just under 8min per mile pace.

Monday 13th October – walk up Ben Wyvis

We both really enjoyed the walk. The weather was excellent with blue skies and great views.

We went up and down the same route …wyvis route


Here are a few photos ….

Heading up the hill ….

wyvis 1


Lots of stone steps to climb ….wyvis 7

On the ridge ….wyvis 2

At  the top (it was a bit colder) ….wyvis 3

Beautiful views on the way back down …wyvis 4

One of our favourite bits walking along the river …wyvis 5

Back at the car park …wyvis 6


There were a few others climbing the Ben including a couple who ran up and down.  We both agreed how much easier it was to walk up rather than run!

Tuesday 14th October – off road run 6.07miles

This morning I went for an other early morning run before we packed up and headed back to Paisley.  This time I explored the woods close to Jo & Jono’s house.  Again I went for an out and back.

After a couple of miles I felt a slight pain in my groin which stayed with me until the end. I’m hoping it’s nothing serious!

Tomorrow we fly to Amsterdam for a few days. My sister’s son Steve is getting married to Marlies on Friday in a place called Zutphen.  We are looking forward to our little holiday. We have booked a 3hr cycle tour of Amsterdam tomorrow and plan to hire biked on Saturday and go for a ride.

I’m also hoping to go on a couple of runs no doubt alongside a canal!

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Steady Run

I was out at 7.15am this morning for a steady 10miles.  I started in the dim light and cold crisp morning but it soon warmed up a bit and I really enjoyed my run.

I didn’t look at my watch at all but was happy to see that my average pace was 7:59.

I’m on holiday this week so we are off to Inverness for a few days and then Holland on Wednesday to attend the wedding of my nephew so I’m looking forward to running in a few different places.

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Hill session

I decided to do my favourite run around Brodie Park for my hill session after work. It’s not the most interesting run as I have to do 4 loops to make a just over 5miles but each loop has two uphills and too downhills so the profile graph looks good ….

profile 9 oct

I run the loop in four different ways to make it a bit more interesting.  The route is like a figure of 8 so by doing the loops clockwise and anti-clockwise I can get 4 different loops!

route 9 oct


I set off with a basic aim of starting comfortable and trying to run faster on each loop. I was able to achieve that with loops (1.05miles) of 9:15, 8:53, 8:41 and 8:13

So a good session. I think I will aim to do this route once a month to give me an idea of my fitness. Hopefully the laps will get quicker!

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Tempo Run at Lunchtime

I set off for my lunchtime run not exactly sure how hard I would be able to push it as I could feel my calves from Monday’s Fartlek session.

So I took the first mile or two steady but my legs felt okay after that so I pushed a bit harder for the next 3 miles. I was slowing a bit on the final mile but it is uphill.

I was very happy with my run and enjoying pushing the pace a bit.  My heart rate strap doesn’t seem to be working very well at the moment so I’ll try and new battery and if that doesn’t help I might need to buy a new strap.

tempo 8 Oct

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First Fartlek session for a while

I was really looking forward to getting back to Kilbarchan on a Monday night.  I’ve really missed these sessions. Last December and January I did a few speed sessions and had a slight niggle in my hamstring and calves so decided to give them a miss and concentrate on the longer slower runs plus my trips up and down Ben Lomond.

Now that my ultra races are over for the year I’ve decided to concentrate on some faster running for the next few months.

There was a good group of runners who met at the ON-X centre in Linwood. John McL and a few others went off for an easy run as they had run races over the weekend.

So there were four of us in our group doing the session, David, Steven and Ryan. After the warm up and strides we did the session which was 2:30 with 1min recovery, 3:30 with 1:30 recovery times 5.

I wanted to make sure I didn’t do anything silly on my first run back so ran comfortably. As the session went on I felt stronger and certainly there is nothing wrong with my endurance!

So here are the facts of the session ….fartlek 6 oct

I’m pleased that my pace and distance increased with each set. I was also interested to see that my pace for the 3:30 rep was faster than the 2:30 rep for the last 3.

So a good solid start. As I type this the next morning I can feel that my calves have had a good work out but they are not too sore so it’s all good.  We are  away next Monday so it will be a couple of weeks before I’m back but I’m looking forward to making it regularly on a Monday night for the next few months.

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Plans for the rest of the year

Last night Katrina and I were invited to an evening with Haile Gebreselassie.  It was really good as Haile answered various questions and was happy to pose for photos afterwards.  So we got a lovely photo with the great man …Haile

This morning I was out for a steady run before I had my swimming lessons. I set off at 7.30am in light rain. I wore a jacket and was glad I did as it was pretty wet. I had a good solid run and I’m really pleased with how I’ve recovered from the Hardmoors 60 two weeks ago.

My plan for the rest of the year is basically to complete my 2014 miles in 2014. So far this year I have run 1,783.83 miles so 230.17miles to go!2014 miles 5 oct

But I would also like to do some more speed work so my rough weekly plan until the end of the year is as follows …

  • Monday – Fartlek session with Kilbarchan. I’ve only been once this year in January so it will be good to be back running a bit quicker again
  • Wednesday – Tempo or Steady Run
  • Thursday – Hill or Easy Run
  • Saturday – Slightly longer run (8-12miles)

So that should give me between 25-30miles a week so that will be enough to see me to 2014 miles for the year.

We have a number of club races over Christmas and New Year so I hope to take part in as many of those as I can this year. The last couple of years I have had a few small niggles so decided against running them to save myself for the ultras.

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