The lessons from the Ommerland Trail

We’re home, on the sofa. Sara is reading, which gives me time to look at the lessons I can learn from the Ommerland Trail of last weekend.

We’re home, on the sofa, feet on the table. Sara is reading, which gives me time to look at the lessons I can learn from the 44,5 kilometers Run Forest Run Ommerland Trail last weekend.


My ankles can do this

You probably know the story of my ankles by now. I’ve told it a few times. Well, my ankles feel good today. They felt good yesterday, so I think they can handle trail running again. That’s for me the most beautiful lesson of all.

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I can keep going

I’m proud I finished this trail marathon. In sports there is something called form of the day. You can train and prepare as much as you want, but that’s no guarantee you’ll be flying on the day of the race.

I sure wasn’t last Saturday. As I told you, my legs started to feel heavy after 20 kilometers, and painful after 25. Three weeks ago I ran the Houffa Trail without any problems. I know, that one was only 23 kilometers, but it had almost 800 meters of altitude. So I expected to run 30 kilometers without any problems. I was wrong.

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Yet, I kept on going. Okay, I walked some parts, but I always found some motivation, some energy, some determination somewhere inside of me to run again. Even after falling on my injured right shoulder.


I’m on the right track

Okay, this might sound strange, as I was struggling Saturday, but I think I am on the right track for my first ultra in Sussex, next month. My legs are a bit stiff, and I felt my hamstrings when we were doing bird-dog during our abs work-out, but I don’t have any real muscle pain. A quick recovery means I’m in shape.

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I need more training

Yes, I am on the right track, but I am not ready for my first ultra run. The Ommerland Trail was 44,5 kilometers. Sussex will be 52k. That’s another 7,5. That’s a lot more. Especially when you take into account that Sussex has 1.600 meters of altitude. That’s 1.350 more than last Saturday.

The last long run I did before the Ommerland Trail was a training run of almost 37 kilometers. So Saturday I added 7,5 kilometers. I felt those. I prefer to have a smoother finish in England. Coming Wednesday I’ll have a look at my training schedule. Let’s see if I can add some extra runs now my ankles are doing fine.

RELATED: First ultra trail run test completed


I need some serious entertainment

I love running, but I get bored after a couple of hours. Last Saturday I started with my headphones on. Normally I don’t do that. I first run, and enjoy the run. Only when I get bored, I put on my headphones to listen to a podcast or audio-book.

During the Ommerland Trail I listened to A man called Ove, by Fredrik Backman. It’s a movie now with Tom Hanks. Before I go and see it, I prefer to finish the book. So if you’ve seen it, please don’t tell me how it ends. If you haven’t, read the book. It’s beautiful. Very sad so far, but beautiful. It puts tears in my eyes, constantly.

However, I doubt if that’s the best remedy to keep me going when I’m bored. Maybe I should listen to a funny audio-book.


I need salty snacks

Maurten gels are pretty good. I can digest them, they give me energy. That’s their job. Yet, they are still too sweet for me. I alternated them with Isostar energy bars. Also sweet. I crave something more salty. Maybe I should research salty gels, or salty snacks that are still easy to digest.


Trail run weekends are fun

We made a weekend out of it. We left Friday, ran Saturday, had Sunday a pampering day (massages) and came back today. It was our Valentine’s weekend. It was romantic to be in a cabin in the forest, it was beautiful to run and delightful to have a relaxation massage. I think we should do this more often.

Best of all, we were staying at Ommerland, the same place as the race started. That meant Sara didn’t have to wait in the cold for me, but could go back to the cabin.


Sara is ready for Sussex

Last but not least, Sara is ready for Sussex. She was supposed to walk her 10 kilometers (almost 11) last Saturday, but she didn’t. She ran most of them. I taped her knee and she hardly felt it. She finished in 1 hour and 23 minutes. Her fastest 10k ever, and even her fastest 5k. I think Sara is the star runner of the two of us.

Photo: Fotohast

Today's training

Yin Yoga for runners
40 minutes

Walk around the Liskes
6.52 kilometers in 1 hour and 7 minutes

Core Strength - Abs Shredder
12 minutes


John Kraijenbrink

The Running Dutchman

I run. Trails mostly. I am Dutch. That makes me The Running Dutchman.

I am also a massage therapist, yogi, sports science nerd, and journalist/writer. Everything I learn and research about trail running, I share here, on this website, with you.

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