Spring has definitely sprung, and despite the number of people who are sneezing their way through this season, there are even more who have laced up those (neglected?) trainers and are out jogging through the many parks of Eindhoven. There are running buddies, running groups, and of course, the solo runners.
I became one of those solo runners when I moved to Eindhoven a little less than 2 years ago. I could not manage to convince my Melbourne running buddy Caroline to move over here with me. So a few months ago I thought I’d try out one of those running groups.
Running Team Notenboom.
With a motto of Run and Be Happy, how could I not give it a go?
Running Team Notenboom started back in 2005. Gerard, the founder, wanted to make running approachable and accessible for everyone and help runners with their technique. The group has two experienced and certified trainers and one assistant trainer, and there are sessions almost every day of the week in locations in and around Eindhoven.
The meeting point of the session I joined was the Stadswandelpark; picturesque and easy to get to. The group was made up of about 10 runners, some beginners, some more experienced, but all pretty friendly. We warmed up and did some rounds of a few minutes running to one minute of brisk walking. We also did some pair work and focused a bit on our technique, which was quite varied among us. Gerard was full of tips and advice on how to improve this, as well as endurance and strength, and we did different exercises to support all of these things.
My Dutch also got a good workout with one of the other runners who was also a former teacher, but if your Dutch is limited, it is not a problem to ask questions in English. There is always someone to help out with that.
Benefits of a Running Group?
I later asked Gerard what is the point of joining a club when it is one of those sports that is so easy to do on your own, in your own time. He pointed out that a running group is good for social contact, and you also get into a better exercise pattern which helps improve fitness and prevent injuries. The group often gets together for a drink after training, and Running Team Notenboom periodically organizes other social meetings and trail running events. They also participate in the Eindhoven Marathon as well as the Half Marathon in Barcelona.
If you would like to try it out, Running Team Notenboom offers 4 weeks of free training to see if it is something you’d really like to do. Further information and contact details can be found (in Dutch) at their website.