At the age of 34, you will wear the national team uniform for the first time. With what ideas and expectations will you go to Berlin?
.. actually, I don’t feel that old yet.
I am very happy to be part of the marathon team and to represent Switzerland. For me, it is a dream come true. I have worked hard for many years to get here. So many times I’ve been stuck with injuries and injuries, so it’s great that I finally succeeded. Of course, I would not just like to be there, I would also like to show that I was the right choice. It would be nice if I managed to get a good time because this will also positively influence the team classification.
You currently don’t have much experience with this specific marathon route yet, how do you prepare for the big challenge and how do you cope with pressure and expectations?
True, compared to other marathon runners I have little experience, having only run 5 marathons. I haven’t even been able to do the ideal preparation for the marathon so far, but I would be happy if it worked this time. At the moment I am totally focused on the August 12 goal. I made some training changes to better prepare myself for the European championships. Among the various measures, there are two fairly long stays that I made in the Engadine thanks to a reduction in working days, my sponsors, and fantastic alternates. My family and the sporting environment are also helping me to reach the goal of the European championships. In particular, I would like to thank my coach and her husband, as well as my club (Leichtathletik Klub Zug), who supports me very generously.
For now, I don’t feel under pressure yet, but I’m sure the feeling will come sooner or later. But I probably create the pressure myself. In the end, I will do my best anyway and hope my legs take me to finish quickly.
In the last 12 months, you have been slowed down by a few injuries. What have you learned from these drawbacks? How did you have to change your daily training?
Yes, that’s right, injuries and accidents were not spared and I had to give up racing several times. Fortunately, I practice several sports, so I was able to keep fit with cycling, swimming, aquafit, and other sports anyway. However, nothing can replace running, a marathoner must be able to run.
I learned to listen to my body and the sensations it transmits to me much more. I usually realize pretty soon if something is wrong, however reacting accordingly and putting on the handbrake hasn’t been and isn’t always easy. Here too the principle “less is more” applies. It is in fact better to stop for a day or two or train in an alternative way, rather than forcing the hand with consequences in terms of pain or fatigue. An attitude like this leads nowhere. Even after a hard day at work, it is sometimes better to do a light workout instead of demanding too much from the body or even overloading it.
Another decisive point is regeneration which is mainly based on sufficient sleep, a good supply of fluids, and a balanced diet.
I am lucky enough to be able to choose the intensity of my workouts by myself and decide what my body can withstand or not. The key thing is to train in the right way for my body. I think it’s not even fair to compare yourself with other athletes because everyone is different and needs special training. I think it’s important to train with conviction, so the results show.
In your opinion, what are the most important points that have allowed you to achieve these successes?
To be successful you need strong willpower, determination, a healthy ambition, a certain looseness, talent, and, in my case, a lot of stamina. The most important thing for me is definitely a passion for the sport. Only by practicing your sport with full dedication can you be successful in the long run.
Other decisive aspects are a good family and professional environment, an understanding coach, and excellent working conditions. After all, there are so many little pieces of the puzzle to put together to turn race day into the perfect day. You should never give up, even if it’s hard or tiring or if you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for a while. In this situation, it is important to always make the most of the situation and not wear yourself out unnecessarily. There is always a way to get what you want and there is always something that can be improved. This is what makes the sport so exciting.
Do you have any secrets you can reveal to us? A training, nutrition, or regeneration tip?
My training tip: always listen to your body and don’t ignore the sensations it gives you. Calibrate intensity specifically and maybe even skip a workout if necessary (without feeling guilty!) Sometimes it is more convenient to rest than to insist too much. The body will thank you at the next workout.
My nutritional advice: nutrition plays a decisive role. The most important thing is to ensure sufficient fluid intake to accelerate regeneration. I don’t believe in the need for superfoods. For me, a diet must be in season, balanced, healthy, and above all appetizing. Sometimes you can also afford something sweet and maybe a good glass of wine at dinner.
My advice for recovery: sufficient sleep and occasionally even a little leisure, rest and forget everything for a moment. This helps recharge the batteries. If time permits, I practice stand up paddle for example: paddling on the lake, lying down, and doing absolutely nothing for a while.