Italian Verena Steinhauser has running in her blood. Inspired by her mom, she first laced up aged just five. Seven years later, triathlon stole her heart. Originally from Bressanone in northern Italy, she now lives and trains in Pescara – and has her sights set on global success.
Verena – why running, and how did you get started? My mother used to run, and I think I just wanted to follow her path. I started very early, at the age of five. I tried many sports but running was always my favorite.
When you don’t feel like training, what inspires you to get out there? Being a professional athlete is one of the most amazing jobs ever. You can live by doing what you love. And you see the world simply by doing your work. Knowing that other people have to do something they don’t like, and they’re looking at you with jealousy, is motivation enough to get out every day.
Can you tell us about a moment that taught you a valuable lesson? When I raced in the World Triathlon Championship Series in Yokohama, I had a really bad swim. Myself and another three girls had to catch a big group ahead of us. It seemed impossible. But we never gave up and eventually we made it back to the group. Sport can teach you to never give up. Even if you think you can’t, just try. Do it. Believe in it!
Do you have a special pre-race ritual? It’s a bit strange, but I used to have pizza for dinner the day before a race.
Is nutrition a big focus? What’s your go-to meal after a tough run? I’m trying not to make it a big deal. I’m training over 30 hours a week, so I try to eat a lot – in a healthy way – without making it my obsession. After a very hard session or a competition, I love having hamburger and French fries. Even if it’s not the best way to recover physically, sometimes I need it to recover mentally.
What are your top tips for a speedy recovery after training? Have a massage! I also love getting in a relaxing bath.
Who is your ‘team’? My triathlon team is Fiamme Oro, but my real team is my family, my boyfriend and my coach.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received? Enjoy it and have fun. Running is probably one of the hardest sports, but if you can enjoy it and have fun while you’re doing it, it becomes much easier.
Apart from running, what are your passions? I love reading and spending time with family and friends.
What’s your favorite On gear? The Cloudflow! It’s the best shoe. It’s perfect for everyday wear and training. Soft but still protective, it’s also perfect for some fast runs. The hoodie is also amazing. It’s cozy and perfect for travelling.
Finally, why On? A friend of mine used to have On shoes and they were so pretty. I tried them for walking and immediately loved them. I’ve now found a shoe for every run, and I can always find the right feeling with the right shoe.