Trailrunning Kootwijk

Since the return from New Zealand the training is picked up again. Coming March I would participate in a half marathon together with my dad.

The past couple of months he has been focussing on trail running. As a preparation for next week, he invited me over to run a trail. It would be around 16K through a forest, about a 20 minutes drive from here.

So early sunday morning I got ready en picked him up. We were in luck, as it promised to be a really good day. Even though it is early march, temperatures would rise to somewhere between 15-20 degrees.

As the weather was good, the forests were crowded. Lots of families going for a walk, cyclists on their Sunday morning ride, and motorbikes going for a spin. We were lucky to snatch the last parking spot. We grabbed our nutrition, and were ready to go.



The first K’s were easy to get into a rhythm. We were aiming for a 5.30 min/km pace. The track was easy. Later on the car wide track would turn into a single track. At some points we ran into sand drifts/heathland, which we would be running along.


About halfway we would have to cross the highway so the track converted to a paved path.

Shortly we were into the heathlands again. If you look at the picture below, conditions were perfect for a run!

The last few K’s was all single track again. As I was messing around with the camera, I missed one of the roots and went down flat. Luckily me and the camera survived as proven by the pictures.

Here is the final stretch of single tracks

We ended up running about 18K in 1.40 hours. Not to bad for an easy Sunday run. Despite the crowds at the parking lots (about 2-3 cars were waiting for spots to open up), we barely encountered people during our run. We drove back to my dad’s place. In typical trail run fashion, we enjoyed a nice cold beer in the sun, before I went home.

Winter training

We are back in the cold and freezing Netherlands. It is time to ramp up my training again. As all the nice warm weather got left behind in New Zealand, it was back to indoor training.

In short my schedule looks like this:

Swimming – Regular training with the local club. Mostly focused on technique and shorter intervals (up to 500 mtr’s a time)

Core stability training – More on this in a bit

Swimming – Same as Monday

Cycling – Done on my TACX. Depending on the time I have I fit in an interval training or a low heart rate endurance training. To keep it more fun and entertaining I watch TV/movies/series.

Rest! – Time for friends and anything other then training.

Running – In winter mostly endurance runs, lower heart rate zones. Sometimes mixed up with Sunday.

Cycling – TACX time, mostly lower heart rate workouts


So, the core stability training. At my club the amount of people showing up for running in winter drops quite a lot. To give the training a bit of a mix up they introduced core stability training at a local gym. The setup is pretty straightforward. Circuit training.

The amount of exercises depend a bit on the amount of people. In our case it ranged from 7-12 exercises. Could be anything from push-ups, squats, lunges, core workouts on exercises mats etc.

Then the circuit itself:

1-2 minutes for each exercise, 20-30 seconds rest, then move on to the next. Repeat until you complete 1-2 laps. The intensity of the exercise is all up to you, most of the time it is self limiting. Make sure you have 1-2 trainers walking around, to be sure your form is good throughout the exercise.

The training results you will enjoy in two ways. Long term with a good and stable core, and short term for the next couple of days!


Other options can include:

– Going on holiday to warm places. But as I just returned this is not an option for me at the moment.

– Cycling can be done on ATB’s as well.

– Speed skating (ice) instead of swimming

All together proves to be a good schedule for your cross/winter triathlon, or a good preparation for your summer season.


Note: Don’t force yourself to stick to your schedule. Be sure to listen to your body and adopt your plans accordingly.