Interview with Anita Weyermann

3. January 2018

Twenty years ago, Anita Weyermann experienced the greatest success of her career and won the bronze medal in the 1500 m at the World Championships in Athens. Today, the Bernese athlete is the mother of four children and is just as fast as ever: at the beginning of November, the 40-year-old left everyone behind at the GurtenClassic!
As soon as a starting number hangs on your chest, you get into racing fever again and even win races. What does your everyday life look like today?

No two days are the same and apart from the 1-2 days I spend each week working as a radio editor or self-employed private coach, my everyday life is determined by my children. We spend time outside in all kinds of weather and discover the world, which I like very much.

I do my personal training while the children are in the crèche, or on the home trainer when they are playing in the garden. It is also becoming more and more possible to do sports with them: we either go ice skating, hiking, skiing, or biking.

In the evening, recovery is usually the order of the day for me.

For several years you have been offering running courses, running weeks, and private coaching. What are your training principles?

The joy of doing what you do stands above all else. Furthermore, I consider the following points to be crucial:

  • Regularity: if you are pursuing athletic goals, you should train at least two times a week. 
  • Variation: if you want to become faster, you must vary your training and not always run the same route at the same tempo.
  • Intensity: if you want to become really faster, you must be willing to leave your comfort zone.
  • Recovery: when you have finished your training, you need to recover afterwards to ensure that the training has an effect.
  • Periodisation: incorporate training breaks and easy weeks to enable you to train over the long term and make progress. However, a training break should not last longer than 4 weeks.
  • Tapering: you need to reduce your training before a race in order to get the maximum out of your potential.




You ended your impressive career 10 years ago. What would you do differently if you could turn back time?

I wouldn’t change anything about the first part of my career. When it comes to the second part, I would be much more careful and patient. Since I always started competing too soon after an injury, I practically went from sustaining one injury to the next. I have always trained my “engine” through alternative training and each time I made a comeback, I immediately overtaxed my chassis.

What tips do you have for all those wanting to successfully take part in a race in 2018? Can you give us 3 tips for the preparation and 3 tips for the race itself?

My tips for the preparation:

  • Train throughout the year, apart from the maximum four-week training break.
  • Follow a strength training program with stabilisation exercises in parallel to your running training. 
  • Make sure your training is regular and varied.

My tips for the race:

  • Do a warm up that is as long as necessary and as short as possible.
  • Start your race carefully and by no means too fast.
  • It’s okay if it hurts a bit at the end of the competition.

Do you have a secret tip you would be willing to share with us?

Don’t get agitated about external conditions – make the best of the situation instead.


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Foto: ZVG