Aug 14

Richmond Week 7: Amsterdam

Number 7 spray painted against a concrete wallA work trip forced me to take my training on the road this week. I went to Amsterdam for a conference, and that required me to make some adjustments and be a bit flexible. But it was also a wonderful opportunity to get out of the heat and swelter of the South Carolina summer and provided a much appreciated change of scenery.

Because I would be traveling from Monday afternoon until sometime Tuesday morning, I decided to make Tuesday my rest day (it’s usually Wednesday). That was a good plan.

Wednesday became an SOS day. That required me to find a place to run where I could go for a 1.5 miles at a specific pace and then jog for half a mile to recover (My target pace was 8:13/mile, which is my goal marathon pace minus 10 seconds per mile). And then repeat that three more times.

I posted a query on the Oiselle FB group asking if any of my teammates had suggestions for somewhere to run, and of course, a couple of people recommended Vondelpark, which as it turned out was perfect. It is two miles from my hotel–exactly the distance of my warm-up–and there was a two-mile loop that went around the perimeter of the park, which also had plenty of port-a-lets and water fountains. It also had plenty of cyclists, most of them pedaling along at a leisurely pace. As it turns out, I did three of my runs, all of my SOS workouts, at the park.

I did the rest of the runs, three of them, on the hotel treadmill. I’ve never really run of a treadmill before. I’ve walked on them a lot, but if I can run, I always run outside. I opted for the mill the first time because I had an early morning meeting, and I didn’t want to get lost (I had only been in Amsterdam for a couple of days, so I didn’t have a sense of where anything was, and I didn’t want to be late to the meeting). The second two times on the mill were for similar reasons. I did this week’s long run at the park–six and a half loops–which felt like a lot, but I liked the access to water and bathrooms, even if I didn’t use the bathrooms, I liked knowing that they were there.

I don’t know that I would want to run in Amsterdam all the time. It was great if I was up early, but once the tourists woke up and started wandering about, it took a bit of dodging and weaving, and the cyclists don’t mess around. Finally, there’s a lot of smoking–both tobacco and other substances. I don’t know if I will ever understand the impulse to smoke while riding a bicycle. That just seems like a bad idea. Cyclists were generally okay once I got to the park, though there could be a lot of them. But on the regular roads, it’s a bit trickier due to intersections and other traffic. Plus, the later it got, the more pedestrians there were to deal with. By mid-day the streets were pretty crowded, unless it was raining. It only really rained my first day, but there were a couple drizzly spells, and it rained really hard on Sunday morning, hence the treadmill.

The Breakdown:

M: 6x 800m (target was 3:40-3:45; 3:40, 3:37, 3:30, 3:36, 3:32, 3:36) with 2 mile warm up and cool down.


W: 4x 1.5 miles (target was 12:20; 12:02, 11:53, 12:02, 12:06) with 2 mile warm-up and cool down. Vondelpark

T: Treadmill 4ish. Was probably more like 4.25.

F: 15 miles. Vondelpark loops and loops and loops. Well, 6 loops, more or less.

Sat: Treadmill 6ish. Was probably 6.5.

Sun: Treadmill 5ish. Was probably 5.4.

Maybe worth mentioning that I have foam-rolled a bit while abroad, but I’ve mostly been walking. A lot.

Total miles: 50.


[Creative Commons licensed image by Flickr user Leo Reynolds]


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