HTC and Us and Helsinki
In a strange city, it would be fun to go running. The HTC run is a good way of getting started. Our routes are chosen to best accommodate the running. This means that in planning the routes we have tried to avoid junctions as well as traffic, and the routes go through refreshing forests and seasides as much as possible. At the same time, we introduce you to the best parts of Helsinki, the northern forest starting near downtown, and the seashore. The scheduled tours are mostly organized as basic runs. During these runs the instructors also tell about different possibilities and good training places where you can practice things suitable for your own training program, such as intervals, hillside runs, and other such things, on your own. Besides that we can also arrange interesting variety to your practice. Have you ever run in a swamp? Or up a steep hill with sticks?
We can arrange true extreme exercises according to your wishes. In the winter, running can be challenging in Helsinki. But with the right gear, it is possible to do so quite well, apart from the worst frosts (it is not recommended to go running in weather colder than -15 C/5 F). It is, however, possible to run indoors on 200-1000 m tracks (218-1090 yards) in Helsinki. Contact us, and we will find out how to arrange this.
Helsinki Training co is the passion product of three active endurance sports enthusiasts. Our goal is to get people excited about practicing running and other endurance sports, as well as exercise in general. We also want to help hobbyists in getting successful sporting experiences in a strange city. Running is at the moment the most important sport that all three of us practice on our own.
Pasi does track races and is five-time Finnish champion in the veteranclasses and medalist of the Nordic countries Championship in middle distances. Riitta and Visa mainly run longer distances, half and full marathons. Different circumstances and our children´s hobbies have, however, led us to other sports, too. The Finnish winter interrupts the best running season, though in a pleasing way. In the winter, cross-country skiing is the most popular way of exercise in Finland, and all three of us like to switch sport for the winter. We ski actively, also in competitions.
Pasi is the chairman of Vantaan Hiihtoseura (Skiing club). The club organizes the Finnish national cross-country skiing championship event in the spring of 2014 and several other races during winter time. Riitta is a two-time champion of the Nordic countries parliamentary skiing competition, in addition to being a winner in relay skiing. Visa has ranked the podium several times in the same competition, too. Visa also plays floorball (which is a popular indoor sport in most hockey-playing countries).
Helsinki as a running city, the weather and seasons
Finland is often thought of as a wintry country, and Helsinki likewise a wintry city. This is not the whole truth about Helsinki, though. The winter and snow often last quite a short while in Helsinki. And most importantly, the winter is not an impediment to running. The streets are being cleared of snow very well, and the running trails are often in an even better condition than they are in the summer. It is only at times of frost and melted snow that the streets can be icy and slippery. And because the sea is so close by, even the frost is not that bad in wintertime. On the other hand, the summers can be quite hot in Finland sometimes, but again, it is the closeness of the sea that balances the climate of Helsinki. Mostly the temperature is very pleasant for running.
The nature of Helsinki
When it comes to the surroundings for running, Helsinki has two great advantages. First of all, Helsinki is a cape in the middle of a sea. This means that there is lots of coastline. Secondly, the shores are in public use and the walking routes go along the shorelines. It is slightly windy on the shores most of the time, and the air is bound to be fresh.
Right near the Helsinki downtown, there starts a whole network of parks. The parks in Helsinki are quite forest-like, as opposed to artificial, man-made areas comprised of meadows. There are solid walking routes covered with gravel in the parks, and they are extremely well-suited for running. Furthermore, you have good time to relax your mind in the soothing forests of Finland.
The downtown of Helsinki is the only place badly-suited for running. Junctions and traffic lights interrupt the run frequently. During rush hour, the number of people alone will prevent running in some of the streets.
Photo: Merja Ylihärsilä & Tomi Mäkelä