Five Outdoor Fitness Challenges in the Nyon area suggested by a local fitness coach
Thanks to Sean Seale for this article on how to keep fit using the lovely town of Nyon and region as your outdoor gym!
These five different fitness challenges are all beginner-friendly and can be done at your own pace. From running up the steps near the castle, to swimming in the outdoor pool (in warmer weather!) to running round the track at Colovray, or cycling through the vineyards, there’s plenty to choose from.
Sean is in charge of the strength and conditioning programme at Nyon Rugby Club and he also offers private training services through his company Upside Strength (you can read more about Sean at the end of this article)
1. Running near the castle
Photo above – starting point of the run
Right next to the castle, there is a steep path with set of stairs that takes you all the way down to Rive, (the lakeside) area of Nyon. These stairs provide the perfect training ground for those who are looking for a tough running challenge.
View from the top of the steps
In the Ruelle de la Tour, you will find 60 steps (78 if you go up the last 18 steps to the castle terrace) for a total elevation gain of 13 metres. 13 metres might not sound like a lot, but believe me, it won’t take long for your thighs to start burning!
Safety note: For all the workouts listed below, make sure you consult with a medical professional before starting a new exercise routine. Always start with a thorough warm up and don’t attempt anything that you are not comfortable with. Safety first!
Start from the very bottom of the Ruelle de la Tour. Run up the narrow street and up the stairs without skipping over any of them, at a pace that you can maintain all the way to the top. Once you get to the top, turn around and walk back down at a slow pace while catching your breath. Once you get to the bottom of the stairs, turn around and start over again. Repeat for a total of 5 rounds.
If you want to quantify your progress from week to week, you can time your ascent and try to match your time on all 5 rounds (that is, do not start too fast on the first round, and try to not slow down on later ascents). Once you achieve this, you can start increasing your climbing speed. Always give yourself enough rest before starting the next ascent.
2. Swimming Pool of Colovray
The outdoor pool of Colovray is located directly opposite the Colovray Sport Centre (a 5-minute drive from Nyon) and is open from early May to mid September. The pool has a total of three swimming areas, each one of them destined to different age group. If you’re looking for a serious swimming workout, head to the 50 metre swimming pool on the south end of the pool ground.
For this workout, you will alternate between freestyle and backstroke depending on which direction you’re swimming in. Rest for 30 seconds between each interval. Repeat this circuit for 3 to 5 laps (300-500m total).
One lap is composed of:
Freestyle 50m, rest 30 seconds
Backstroke 50m, rest 30 seconds
A good way to end the session is to finish with a dip in the lake, located just metres away from the main pool and easily accessible on foot.
3- Colovray Sports Centre
The sports centre has seven sports fields (6 soccer + 1 rugby) and a national level 400-metre track. The track as well as the public changing rooms are open every day from 07:00 to 20:00 (best to check the seasonal opening hours).
Right next to the track, you will find a set of stairs and an inclined ramp that will help spice up your workouts.
Safety note: Always start with a thorough warm up!
Start at the bottom of the ramp. Sprint up the ramp. Come down the small stairs in a slow and controlled manner. Then, from the bottom of the large steps, make your way to the top with consecutive jumps. Walk back down using the small stairs again. Then get onto the track and run a fast 400 metre (1 lap). Rest 3 minutes and repeat for a total of 3 to 5 rounds.
Small steps and big steps
4 – Cycling the Route du Vignoble between Gland and Rolle
The vineyard area located between the heights of Vich (above Gland) and Rolle is the largest wine producing area of Switzerland (2000 hectares). The road that cuts through this domaine is called the Route du Vignoble and offers a majestic view over Lac Léman and the French Alps. Don’t forget to stop along the way to enjoy the view!
Leave from Nyon, biking all the way to Rolle along the Route du Vignoble (route de l’Etraz) and back along the lake (route du Lac) makes for a very nice ride: you will cover around 25km which should take you between one and two hours.
5 – The Parcours Vita in Trelex
The Parcours Vita in Trélex is 2.5km long with a total elevation of 40m. Its whole length is in the forest which makes it an ideal (and cool when its hot outside ) running location
There are many work stations along the Parcours Vita each focussing on strengthening, stretching, jumping or balancing exercises.
Start a lap of the Parcours Vita at a slow pace. Stop at each station and perform the exercises that are recommended.
Once you’ve completed the first loop, take a 2-3 minute break. Then, start a second lap of the loop, this time running a time trial without stopping at any of the stations.
Once you’ve completed the fast loop, compare your time to the chart that is displayed next to the Parcours Vita exit.
To help you visualise where the different locations are, I’ve created an interactive map that you can use.
What is your favourite outdoor activity in Nyon? Do let us know in the comments below.
About the author: Sean is a personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach and a fitness consultant with over half a decade of experience in the fitness industry. Having started his journey in Vancouver (Canada), he is now based in Nyon, Switzerland where he offers private training services as well as individualised remote programming services through his company Upside Strength. He is also in charge of the strength and conditioning programme for the Nyon Rugby Club. Sean has competed in many sports over the years including Rugby, Olympic Weightlifting and Erging (indoor rowing).
Got any questions? Call Sean on 076 394 96 73 Sean also writes a fitness blog