Dossier: Running coaching

First race in Sarnen

Things got serious for Nicole Abgottspon and Christoph Banik on 2 September. Their coach Viktor Röthlin had set them their first milestone: the 4 km race at the Switzerland Marathon light in Sarnen.

Six weeks after starting their training, the Sanitas running novices Nicole and Christoph came face-to-face with the first milestone in their training plan: the 4 km race at the Switzerland Marathon light in Sarnen. They took part in a competitive race with starting numbers for the first time and crossed the finish line alongside other runners. Both agreed that it was a great experience. Marathon expert Viktor Röthlin was very pleased with his charges: “I’m impressed with how they both fared in their first competitive 4 km race after only six weeks of training.” After the run in Sarnen, Nicole and Christoph had a week off from training, but were soon back in practice for their main goal – the Silvesterlauf 2018 on 16 December in Zurich.

Nicole Abgottspon

How did you find your first race?

“I was a bit nervous at the start, of course, and I really hoped I would achieve my goals. I remember thinking before the race that I would do it as part of the Sanitas running coaching programme, but that I would never put myself through the stress of a race again. After the race I decided that I wanted to sign up again for next year!”

Did you do anything special with regard to your diet in the run-up to the race?

“I asked our dietician Sandra Johnson what I should eat. I followed her advice on the day and everything ran smoothly. Three hours before the race I ate white bread with a little butter and jam plus a banana. However, there’s room for improvement with my fluid intake. Although I drank a lot the evening before, I still felt the effects of insufficient fluids at the end of the race. Luckily, Viktor Röthlin was quickly on hand to pep me up with an isotonic drink.

How was the day after the race?

“I was really pleased with the way I ran, and the encouragement I received from friends and colleagues was amazing. It made the whole experience even more enjoyable.”

Christoph Banik

How did you find your first race?

“As with anything you do for the first time, it felt strange. You’re surrounded by other runners all waiting for the starting gun, shortly before the start someone played the Swiss national anthem on panpipes, and people were clapping and cheering during the race and along the home straight. The 4 km race has made me hungry for more – I can't wait to run 10 km at the Silvesterlauf.”

id you do anything special with regard to your diet in the run-up to the race?

“The day before the race and on the day itself until around an hour before the start, I drank far more water and sugar-free drinks than usual. An hour before the race I also ate an energy bar. Otherwise I stuck to the diet I’d agreed with our dietician.”

How was the day after the race?

“Good. “I wasn’t exhausted, but I still took things a little easier.”

Viktor Röthlin,
European marathon champion and fitness expert