Interview with Louis Heyer

12. July 2022

Swiss Athletics is experiencing a real high. Week after week, top performances are being achieved and records are being broken. We talked to the head running coach at Swiss Athletics

How do you explain the boost in performance in the Swiss Athletics scene?  

There are several reasons to explain this pleasing development:

Firstly, there have generally always been technological developments over the past 100 years that have positively impacted performance levels. Now, as with carbon shoes, they are simply significant and have an unprecedented breadth which has triggered an enormous boost throughout the scene. People are now more confident, motivated, and willing to invest a lot. There is a completely different mindset.

Secondly, the adoption of the European Athletics’ easier entry standards has created an incredible dynamic. The sudden, seemingly achievable goals motivated many people to commit themselves to this path. The figures are impressive: The number of athletes who achieved the entry standards from 20 years ago is now four times greater!

Thirdly, social media should be mentioned. Thanks to Instagram, Facebook, and others, it’s now possible to see what others are doing and become inspired to follow their lead. Of course, this can also take you down the wrong path if you train too much or prioritise the wrong things. But it basically has a positive effect on our athletes and their performance levels.

Technological progress aside - what do you believe are the three most important keys to success

  1. Consistency in training. All the decisions you make should serve to bring consistency to your training. Performance is the outcome of this.
  2. Link up with a group where training together with the other athletes and coach is fun and highly motivating.
  3. Don't forget to play. It’s all a game. Try to improve, but don't define yourself by your performance.

What general advice do you have for an amateur athlete wanting to optimise their training?

Set long-term goals, devise a finely-tuned training programme yourself or with a coach and then try to put this into practice with regular, effective training doses.

Do you have an insider tip you would be willing to share with us

In principle, there are no secrets. However, I would like to share two tips:

  • Buy the shoes you really want. I am convinced that this will motivate you so much, you’ll want to train 3 times instead of 2.
  • Do intervals. If you want to improve your performance, you need to shock your body once a week. By doing so your performance capability will adapt.
Foto: zvg