Interview with Natascha Baer

5. November 2019

At her first flat marathon, Natascha Baer was deemed Swiss champion, clocking in at 2:52:27. The former ski racer has been running only for a few months now and is really craving more.

How was your experience of the marathon in Bregenz? Can you tell us about your race and the emotions you felt?

Considering that it was my first flat marathon, I was more tense and nervous than usual. However, I also looked forward to the race tremendously, and I felt great too. During the race, I consistently felt pretty confident and simply let everything come at me. I didn’t struggle with muscle or energy problems. Just the fact that I had to run virtually the entire 42 kilometres on my own really got to me.

I was exhilarated once I reached the finish line. There is no way I could have expected everything to work out so wonderfully the first go. The race made me hungry for more. I’m sure I have further room to improve and would like to prove that next year.

Until 2011, you were still competing on skis. What made you decide to change sports? What areas from your past can you benefit from?

I had to end my career due to injuries. Two knee injuries and a bout of mono were too much for me. I went on to complete vocational training and reoriented myself athletically. After all the intense years as a skier, I needed a break first before I felt like jumping back into competitive racing. However, the desire to move remained. So I soon began running regularly, motivated by my mother, who was physically active herself. As of 2016, I began participating in competitions again and felt the competitive spirit and ambition return. I enjoyed it and thus continued down that path.


There are a number of areas where I reap benefits. First of all, I know my body very well and listen to it, whether in training, during competitions, or while recuperating. Secondly, I have created a basis that my muscles now remember from all the years of strength training. And thirdly, I have learned to fight and push myself to the limits.

Your performance has developed wonderfully. In your eyes, what are the three keys for your success?

  • The great joy in running
  • The fact that I know my body well
  • The genetic prerequisites

This year, you ranked high in cross-country skiing and mountain runs. What are your goals for the next year and how do you plan to approach them? 

So far, I have been training very much according to my own urges, without adhering to a training plan or completing intervals. I haven’t had any ‘typical’ training weeks. I simply went jogging as I pleased, headed off on many long hikes, and sometimes ran perhaps a bit faster if I didn’t have much time at my disposal. It was a rather unconscious process. This will change now with my new coach, Richi Umberg. The training is to become more structured and recovery will also be diligently planned. The medium-term goal is to take part in a major event.

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

If you take pleasure in running, you can move mountains.

Foto: ZVG