He’s definitely THE ALLROUNDER among our Gold coaches: Gabriel Lombriser. Orienteer, mountain runner, triathlete, duathlete and, most preferably, trail runner – successful in different disciplines. His longstanding experience as a training guide and coach is noticeable in the interview: you can find more background information about his passion for running, as well as a lot of tips here.
What reputation and importance does running have in the country that you live in?
There’s probable no bigger popular sport in Switzerland than running. That’s not too surprising, considering that running probably is the most primitive of all sports. All you need is a pair of shoes, a shirt and pants. You can do it wherever you like, it is easy to learn and progress can be easily seen, even at a higher age. Switzerland is a country of runners and the run-ning scene is steadily growing. People run for reasons of health, because it’s just good for you to be outside and to move. The many popular running events also motivate people, as you can experience them in a huge crowd, which in turn encourages you to push your own limits and to perform at your very best. The current trend in Swiss running clearly goes towards more trail, less road, more adventure, experiences and emotions in nature. The aspect of time keeping and the cracking of certain time marks, like in mara-thon, are becoming secondary concerns.
At the age of 18 I took up running, or athletics. Before that, I had been ac-tive as an ice hockey player and in the gymnastics club. While, at the beginning, I mostly did middle and long distance track running, I gradually started to run more on the road and in nature. My specialty still are runs requiring a lot of strength, such as mountain runs or cross-country runs. I even was an orienteer for years. Time after time, my love for multi-sports evolved and I
have been able to finish numerous Gigathlons or Ironmans up to now. At the moment, I am rather going a bit more «back to the roots», and back to simple running. It simply is the most natural sport still. It doesn’t require a lot of equipment and it is easy to be executed. And, above all, I can almost get anywhere by foot. I love the long trainings in the mountains – over hedge and ditch, up on hills, enjoying the views and the calm, and then going down again.
What has been your favourite running experience so far?
Difficult to say. I’ve had so many great moments in my career so far, both in trainings and in competitions. The most emotional one has probably been the run in at the Gigathlon 2012 in Olten, where I managed to cross the fi-nish line as the second runner after two days and almost 24 hours of com-petition. Other highlights were the finish at the Ironman Hawaii and the cra-cking oft he 24h world record on the treadmill together with 11 friends of mine.
What is your next goal? How do you prepare for that?
Results have become a bit secondary for me. For 2017, I am rather looking for challenges such as a longer trail run in Switzerland. I haven’t decided on any specific one yet.
What is your favourite type of training?
I love training in a group and I even guide a training myself for the STB in Bern. It’s a pretty cool thing if up to 30 fast guys and girls smash an intense interval session together – Kenian style. My favourite training type for the group is the binary session: 1x4min, 2x2min, 8x30s, 16x15s, where the break should always be half the time of the interval.
Which is your personal piece of training advice that you can share with us?
That one I only share with my Gold athletes, of course! Very generally, and important for runners of all ages: if you want to be able to do a sport free from injury, to do it for as long as possible, and to always keep improving, I recommend you to do a strenghthening programme in any case. Even regular stretching or yoga help to keep your body smooth and agile!
Do you have any ritual which you do before a competition?
Nothing special. A coffee one hour before the race, then a good warm-up and lining up only shortly before the start. That way, I can make sure the level of adrenaline is appropriate right from the start!
What is your personal tipp for competitions?
Go to the start well prepared. Make yourself familiar with the route/ task beforehand in your thoughts. If you know your performance level, you should know what time you are capable of running and you should be able to pace yourself appropriately from the start. The running.COACH estimations for competitions and the GPS watch are helpful instruments, too.
Do you mind your nutrition?
I try to eat balanced. I usually start my days with a müesli with a lot of fruit, nuts and almond milk. In addition, I have an egg. This gives me power for the whole day.
What is your favourite running brand?
I have been favouring the products by Salomon for years. For trail and adventure trainings and competitions there is no brand offering as many great products as Salomon. Now, Salomon even produces top road running shoes, which are not only fast, but even look good!
What was a special moment for you as a running coach/ Gold coach?
There have been countless awesome experiences and successes as a coach. As a coach, it’s always great if you know your athletes and their personal capacity so well that they are able to keep to the pace you’ve recommended right until the end. That way, people achieve personal bests and positive emotions are guaranteed. This always makes me happy anew!
Why should a customer book you as a Gold coach?
I can pass all of the experiences that I’ve gained as an athlete and as a coach in all different running disciplines, distances and topologies on to you unfiltered! I see myself as a partner, with whom to achieve very personal goals at any level. Working towards a goal together makes more fun than alone, sharing successful experiences even more so. I support athletes with both their rough and their detailed planning, I support them in case of difficult decisions, I motivate them in tough times and I slow them down if their drive is on the verge of overboarding.
This post is also available in DE.