Thinking about last year’s race still brings a big smile to Anja Beranek’s face.
“ It was kind of a small dream to manage a Top-10 result, but what happened on that day was simply amazing and more than I ever dreamt of before the race”.
Being the only athlete able to follow Daniela Ryf on the bike, Anja managed to profit from the lead they gained on the bike and she finished the world championships in fourth position–right beside some of the world’s best athletes in the sport. Only five days ahead of her career’s biggest success, not many people (including Anja herself) would have thought about such a big result. Being bed-ridden due to a cold she caught on the flight to Kona, Anja wasn’t at all confident about her performance on race day–but somehow she managed to get healthy in time and she turned the low expectations into some fantastic racing that day.
“There was no pressure actually. Everything that happened during the race surprised me in a positive way, which made me almost kind of enjoy the race.”
This year things have changed. Anja Beranek is one of the race favorites, even though her season hasn’t been that satisfying until now. While other athletes may start to doubt their upcoming performances, Anja again uses those feelings to fuel a positive mindset.
“Actually I am super motivated and honestly <burning for Kona>. The fact that my season didn’t go quite to plan so far, makes me even more ready for the world championships. A certain freshness of mind is definitely important for a race that late in the season.”
Looking at her latest race results, self-confidence should boost the already existing motivation for the race. Winning the Half-Ironman Rügen with a very good run split was an important sign that all of the hard work she’s put into the third discipline is starting to pay off. While the run portion was one of the key focus areas in Anja’s 2017 preparation, there are many more details that have been optimized in the last 12 months. Going to the wind tunnel, working on her position and equipment, was definitely a huge step forwards. Even though Anja already had a very good position on her bike, the many small adjustments summed up to a huge performance increase in the end. These tweaks not only make her faster on the bike, but they also ensure that her run legs will be right there in T2 and ready to go flat out fast.
An advanced diet that complements her training program, based upon many years of experience as a pro-athlete, is also another important part of the puzzle. Yet some things don’t need adjusting–such as the final race preparation, which is identical to the 2016 one: Two weeks of focused training on Fuerteventura before heading to Kona, ten days prior to the race.
“ I think every athlete can be beaten, when having a bad day. The difficult thing with Daniela is that she almost never has one of these bad days!”
Anja’s goal for this year’s edition of the world championships is clear: She wants to improve upon her performance from last year, and–speaking about results–finish on the podium.
ANJA’S #FLATOUTAST MOMENT
“ The decisive moment of a race can never be predicted, as every race is different. Last year for example it was the moment when Daniela attacked on the bike in strong side wind conditions. While the other girls had to change their position, I stayed on the aerobars and followed Daniela immediately. From then on it was #FLATOUTFAST all the way to the line. “