A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
The new year is already one quarter old, can you believe that? As for me, I don’t really know where time went the last three months. However, spring is springing in full blossom, making the world all shiny and promising, and maybe the new year only really starts now, in fact! At least it’s a good time to check on your New Years’ resolutions again, pick them up (finally or again?) or just start new habits now, leaving winter’s mood, belly and dust behind and start afresh!
Running is a great habit for many reasons! It keeps your body from rusting from the endless sitting at your desk and gives your mind a little rest, fresh air makes you happy, and pushing your limits and completing a tough run gives your confidence a great push. And the best: Running is a really great anti-stress method and can help you a lot to keep in balance with your study stress!
As with many things in life, also running can be easier when you set a clear goal and, more importantly, find a way of commitment that keeps you motivated! For this, you can set fixed running days and set yourself reminders, or make running-dates with a friend – or sign up for a public run!
Leiden has big two runs to offer in spring: The Singelloop and the Leiden Marathon (don’t stop reading yet, you can also take part in the Marathon and just do a 5 or 10 km run!). I took part in both last year and it was one of the best things I did in 2013 I think!
The Singelloop is great fun and I promise, taking part will make you feel a little tiny bit more like a real Leidener. It’s called Singelloop because you run around the Singels – all the big canals around the heart of Leiden that form the circle that you see when you look at Leiden on a map. It’s about 7km long, and it’s a lovely route, also for your running practice. It’s already on the 11th of April, and you can sign up until that day in most gyms and sport shops, it only costs 3 Euros and you will get a nice and well-deserved medal at the end! It’s fun, sign up! More info’s here.
The Leiden Marathon is a bit later in the year, on the 18th of May! You can sign up for the whole or the half marathon, or for 10 or 5 km. I have never been a great runner, but last year I took the challenge and signed up for the half marathon. I never ever believed I could run 21km, but signing up way in advance and following my training schedule got me there! I did it! I still sometimes have to check my running app or look at the medal to see whether it actually happened. Anyway, this year I only signed up for 10km, since the training for 21 is quite time consuming and a thesis doesn’t get written on its own. But I am sure, without signing up, I would just always use the “thesis” excuse not to go out at all, and I know running actually helps your stress and doesn’t add to it. Depending on the run you take part in, it is between 8 and 35 Euros (for the whole marathon), but you get a discount if you sign up before the first of April – so do it NOW! Here or here.
And whether you want to take part in the contest or just run for fun by yourself, if you look for a nice round to run, I can highly recommend the Cronesteyn park: a lot of space, a lot of green, and you will always discover something beautiful or meet someone friendly:
So, put your shoes on and run away from your stress!