Giulia Senn is the first official On athlete born after the millennium. For good reason. What she lacks in age, Giulia more than makes up for in determination. An U18 400m champion in her native Switzerland and a competitor at both the European Youth Olympic Festival and European Championships, this is one mean teen. Big things are expected of her career. And it’s just getting out of the blocks.
How did you start running? I competed in almost every athletic discipline for around five years. Then, one day, my coach (who wasn’t actually my coach at the time) told me that I should join him and focus on running as I was performing well in competition events. So, I did and I’ve never looked back.
Why do you run now? Now, I run because it’s my passion. I love training after school to free my head. Explosive training on the track might be my favorite because it makes me feel great and I find that it motivates me in my daily life too. Honestly, I just love running.
What was the most important race you’ve run to date? Probably the 2018 Swiss Championships - where I won gold in the U18 400m race.
What is your pre-race ritual? The night before a race I always blackroll (with a foam roller) and watch movies to try and get rid of any pre-race nerves – it doesn’t work every time though. On the day of a race, I watch the “Highlight Story” on my Instagram account to pump myself up and encourage myself to do my best in the race.
What do you think about while running? Well, I compete in the 400m so I don’t have too much time to think! I guess, during the first 100-200m, I focus on going as fast as possible using long steps. After 200m, my coach will shout to let me know whether I need to go faster or maintain the pace – so then I’ll think about that. For the last couple of meters, it’s just about getting there and hoping I’ll be over the finish line soon!
What is your go-to training meal? I like eating different kinds of fruit and nuts. If I have training in the morning, I love to eat porridge with some fruit on the top.
How do you recover after a tough run? The first thing I do? Lie down! After that I stretch or go to the pool (when the weather is nice enough) to relax my legs. On other days, I enjoy sitting in the bath and relaxing there. I also like blackrolling (foam roller) after a hard training session to help my muscles recover.
What song is your go-to for the run? I don’t have one song I’ll listen to all the time as I like old and motivational songs in general. I do really like listening to songs from The Black Eyed Peas though.
Who is your “team”? My “team” is my family. They are always there for me and they help motivate me to keep going. I also have two coaches and a group of training colleagues as well.
Apart from endurance sports, what is your passion? Other than athletics I just like spending time with my friends and family.
What was the best piece of running advice you ever received? Good question! Maybe that when you’re out of breath and your legs hurt like hell (just before the end), that’s when you have to really push the hardest to get your body over that finish line as fast as possible.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? Never give up. There are always going to be highs and lows – just keep going.
Why On? Well, I always liked the way On shoes looked so I often wondered about running in them. Then, when I first wore them I was amazed at how super light they are. Also, they don’t hurt anywhere - no matter which model. I think On having so many different types of shoes is really great - some for longer distances, some for shorter distances, some for the mountains and some for the gym. I love that.
And I know it shouldn’t matter but I also think On clothing looks amazing. It has a very high quality and the designs are great for running. Of course, On is Swiss and I’m Swiss so that’s super cool as well! On top of that, I really like all the people from On that I’ve met so far. All in all, I can say that On is the best sponsor I could wish for and I love being part of the team.
What’s your favorite On shoe and why? The new Cloudswift. It’s just really comfortable to run in. It’s so stable and feels great.
What’s your favorite item of On apparel and why? I love the weather jacket. It’s super light but somehow offers great protection against the wind. When it’s raining, it keeps your warm but it’s not like being in a sauna so that’s great. Plus, it takes up almost no space in my bag. And it also looks very nice!