Interview with… Sebastian Kienle

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Sebastian, welcome to Playitas! Where do you find your inspiration and motivation for this sport?

There are many different reasons. For me as a professional one of the biggest motivations is always the result in a race. To win the biggest race in a competition is definitely the main goal but on the other hand it is the level of freedom I enjoy in the sport. It is all based on my decision where to race, where to train, the people I want to work with, my coach and my training group. I can go out and do what I love every day and that’s a great motivation long-term wise.

When did you realize that you want to become a pro?

This was actually very early. I have a document from primary school where everybody was asked what they want to be when they grow up. Most of the answers where somewhat like becoming a pirate, an astronaut or a private agent. I told everyone that I want to be a pro triathlete. I think I never became too obsessed with it. That is the reason why my wish or dream became true in the end.

Why is triathlon so special for you?

I think that the main answer lies within when seeing age-group people finish a long course race. You always ask why they are doing this. When looking at the 100 meter sprint, it´s only about time or winning or losing the race. But you never have the feeling of accomplishing something when you have just finished it. Even for me as a professional being used to usually winning the races, when I am not having my best day and I just finish a long course race, it is such a great feeling. I think that everybody is experiencing that. It is more than just a sport you do on your weekend and then go back to your normal day routine. It’s a lifestyle. Your whole life is influenced by the sport. I think that’s the reason why so many people are falling in love with this sport.

What are you expecting for the new season?

My expectations are always very high. I guess that comes with the success of the past but I want to get back my KONA title from 2014 of course. Next to this goal are the European Championships in Frankfurt and the 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba, Australia. Those are my three big goals. But to win KONA again is my main goal J

Do you practice any other sport?

Yes, during the off-season I try to do as many other sports as possible. I like climbing, different variations of gym sessions like Crossfit. I do cross-country skiing and I do a little bit of motorsport, too.

Tell us a bit about what the training involves.

The training of course requires a lot of motivation and focus. My average weekly hours when I am here at Playitas is between 32 and 40 hours per week. At this point of the season I do a lot of base mileage on the bike, which is basically around 800/900 K a week. That adds up to about 45 run sessions a week. Now in mid-February we are going to ramp up the intensity quite a bit and get ready for the first races of the year.

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Can you give us a typical schedule of your weekly training?

Like I already mentioned I usually train between 2 and 4 sessions per day. Most of the time I do one session in the morning before breakfast, which is either swimming or running. Normally it’s an easy session and we go on the bikes a bit later. This time of the year we already started to do some intervals so the rides are not getting too long. About 4 to 5 hours with some intervals and some strength training. The good thing here is that you have some decent hills where you can do a lot of strength work and as another session either going to the gym, swim or run. Sometimes as a quick session directly after the bike run for example.

Tell us about your feelings when you won KONA.

You experience so many feelings at the same time. The feeling of just finishing the race is the greatest feeling. That is the reason why the age-group athletes are doing it, too. Next you have the feeling of actually winning the race, which is of course a dream come true and it´s like an explosion in your mind. You try to hold back your feelings for such a long time, trying not to get too excited about the win. If you believe that you have won the race too early, then you probably are going to lose it. Mostly it´s all about holding back and not let any emotion get to you. Then at the finish line you can let it all go so it´s pretty amazing and the reason why I want to do it again.

What would you like to do when you finish your triathlon career?

That’s a good question. I think I still have quite some good years ahead of me in sports. At the age of 32 it is time to ask the question to myself. The first thing is that I want to finish are my studies. I study physics and international management. That’s very important to me and I think I have a very broad spectrum from which I could go from. That could be in sports but I think that I want to build a base from which I could do pretty much everything besides sports.

What kind of remarks do you have about Playitas?

Among all the options I could choose, especially after KONA, Playitas is the best place for me for preparation. I have been to a lot of different places all over the world for training and there are some things that add up to the reasons why I come here. The first thing is that you need to have pretty stable weather. This winter we had the best weather ever. There were no clouds and no wind for 3 weeks, which was absolutely amazing. But even if the weather is bad, it is only bad for about 1 or 2. The next reason is that it is not too far from home. I can fly here directly without stops, so it is only 4.5 hours of flight which is pretty comfortable for me. And then the facilities of course. If you train 6 to 7 hours per day, you need to have everything pretty tied together. You don’t have to drive half an hour to a different place to swim and another half hour to the gym or something like that. Everything is close together which very important. The pool is absolutely amazing. For me as a weak swimmer it is very important to have a good pool. The water temperature is just great so that you could also swim after a long bike ride. The water is not too cold and in the morning it is just great when you have the sunrise over the pool. I bet you can find a lot of pictures in the internet about that. And then of course there is the food. The food needs to be good, especially when you stay here for a longer period of time like I always do. It is good to have variation and quality. Of course the other facilities are also great. You have the gym which is really nice. Especially during winter time I need to do a lot of strength work and core work. At the end it is the staff which is great. They know what sportspeople want and know that they are sometimes a little bit crazy J especially when they are in groups together. I can definitely find some reasons why I come here and why I did my preparations pretty much here.

Let´s move over to the short questions.

  • What is your favorite meal?

Pizza

  • Who is your favorite triathlete?

Besides me? I would say Jan Frodeno because he is a friend of mine, but also a very strong motivation for me.

  • And your favorite female triathlete?

There are a lot of nice people in sports. If I have to pick one I would say Åsa Lindström which is together with me in team Orca. She is a pretty intelligent girl and it is always nice to chat with her even if you do not want to talk about triathlon.

  • What´s your favorite place to live?

To live forever I would pick Maui.

  • How many hours do you train in a week?

Between 30 and 40 hours.

  • Swimming, biking or running?

We call it triathlon so it is all of them J

  • How many hours do you sleep?

I try to sleep as many hours as possible as I like sleeping. I sleep about 8.5 hours per night and then I try to squeeze in another 1.5 hours.

  • Our national sport is siesta. Do you nap?

Yes, definitely. Napping is my favorite hobby.

  • How many bikes do you have?

A lot. I would say at least 12.

  • What is your favorite distance and / or race?

My favorite race is XTerra Maui.

  • Any superstitions?

Not really. I believe in preparation and in what I can do so none of that.

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Åsa Lundström interview

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Photo: Ginés Díaz

We caught up with Åsa Lundström who is actually at Playitas Resort. Hours of training and 2015 Orca photoshoot form part of her day-to-day activities. She is working really hard and keeping a cool head as she prepares for the new incoming season. The battle is on! 

Why do you start in triathlon?

I can’t really say why, it was more a coincidence. I moved to Denmark to study medicine and the guy I started studying with was also Swedish and a triathlete. He convinced me to go running or swimming and also meant that I would like triathlon. I wasn’t sure about it because it might be too hard and I´m not a good swimmer. But he helped me to learn the basics of freestyle swimming and then I tried my first triathlon in 2009. And I was really hooked.

Did you practice any sports before?

I’ve always been active. I played soccer, did cross country skiing and alpine skiing as well as all kind of different sports. I also used to teach classes in the gym. But to be honest, I was always active but nothing concerning the three different disciplines of triathlon.

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Photo: Kilian Kreb

What do you think is your secret of success?

I think there are few thinks that should be part of the recipe for success. One, and maybe the most important thing, is to have a passion for what you do. If you don’t like training and the things you do you won’t last for the amount of time that is needed to build a strong athlete. The second ingredient is persistence: making overtime experience and muscle memory will help a lot.

Are you studying?

No, I’m studying part-time only.

Working?

No. Well, working on the bike (laughing).

And training…are you doing anything else?

I just quit doing teaching classes because I was travelling too much. Right know it’s divided into 95% triathlon and only 5% medical school.

How many days do you travel to a race in advance?

It really depends where the race takes place. If there is a time difference I want to travel there as many days in advance as there the time difference is. For example, Melbourne has a time difference of nine hours that means I want to be in Melbourne at least nine days before the race.

You are a Swedish, living in Denmark but your second home is Playitas. Is that right?

Yes, when I’m walking from my room to the Swimming pool or to the Gym I meet a lot of people that I know or that know me. It’s more than at home when I’m walking through the streets. So maybe this here should be called my first home (laughing).

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Photo: Playitas Resort -Hall of Fame-

Do you have some tips for training?

A general tip could be to get as much variation as possible in the training. Don’t do only four hour rides or long rides, don’t run the same loop or the same distance all the time and don’t be used to swim always the same session. Try to do as much variation as possible! Everything from few 20 seconds sprints to half an hour runs in your race pace to stimulate the muscles as much as possible!

You finished on the 2nd position at the Ironman in Klagenfurt in 2013. What can you tell us about the race?

It was really a good race for me; I was feeling that I had a good day. Of course, since I am staying so often Playitas, I like the hilly biking a lot. The conditions were also perfect in Austria and I felt really strong. It was the race where I set my best personal time and also the Swedish time record for the Ironman distance.

What would you like to do when you finish your triathlon career?

I want to be a doctor (laughing). This is a dream I’ve always had. Even though, it’s been on hold for a while, it’s still my dream that I want to accomplish. This is one of my main goals!

What kind of remarks do you have about Playitas?

One of the things I can say about Playitas that hopefully most of the people already know is that Playitas is a really good place to train for. It´s so accessible from Europe; the time difference is small and the weather is quite stable. But people who are come to Playitas should also know that you don’t come to this island because it’s very pretty. You come here because it makes you strong and it really does! The atmosphere I experience when I walk through the Plaza Rambla is really familiar. It’s like a family atmosphere which makes you feel like home even when you are far away.

Short questions:

What is your favourite meal?

It’s probably steak from my dad’s hunting because I know where it comes from.

What is your favourite place to live?

For training it could be anywhere. I am Swedish and I’ve been living in Denmark for 7 years. Right know I miss Sweden that’s why I would have to say Sweden. But it’s definitely not the perfect place to train.

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Photo: Playitas Resort

How many hours do you train in a week?

If I am at Playitas or have big training weeks I train up to 35 hours. When I am at home it’s more around 20 or 25 hours. After an Ironman it’s two hours (laughing).

Swimming, biking or running?

As long as I‘m in good company it really doesn’t matter!

How many hours do you sleep?

I try to sleep never less than 8.5 hours.

How many bikes do you have?

(Thinking and counting) Right know…5 or 6. I’m not quite sure.

What is your favourite distance?

Ironman Distance

Photos:

Gines Díaz 

Kilian Kreb 

Playitas Resort  

Interview to Andreas Raelert

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Andy Raelert has been training in Fuerteventura on the way to Kona. The German triathlete participated twice in the Olympics – 2000 and 2004 and has a vast collection of titles such as the world record at Challenge Roth, the Ironman European Championship and 3 times winner of the ‘Triathlete of the Year’ award.

Andy gave us an interview between training sessions and we had the opportunity to get to know him.

 Why did you start triathlon?

In 1992 when I saw a documentary about the Ironman World Championship in Kona and I was very fascinated to see the pictures about triathlon and then I decided when I was 16 years old (1993) to do it, so I did my first triathlon and I got addicted.

What’s the secret of Raelert brothers’ success?

Easy! 🙂 We train mostly together. Triathlon is a very individual sport but to improve yourself you need a worldclass group. If your brother is on a world class level we can push each other and sharing special moments, the good and the bad ones.That’s the way we enjoy triathlon.

Playitas Resort attended to Ironman Klagenfurt 2013 and we have to say your arrival was absolutely amazing. What did you feel when you arrived to the finish line as first triathlete?

Happy because my goal was to managed under 8 hours. I did it twice, not only in Klagenfurt, eight years ago in Roth I did it too but crossing the finish line is very emotional. That’s the reason triathlon is also so popular, the professional athletes and the age groups athletes are racing the same race which it’s really unique worldwide. In triathlon everybody gets though the same moments,  it’s like a rollercoaster even the winner is not having a smooth day  everybody is only cheering for you.  The only difference between professional and age group triathletes is just the time at the finish line. You have the feeling that everybody is just cheering for you and this moment is very very special. You are very proud you made it.

You are actually 38 and getting better as old wine. Where is your limit?

I’m not sure! In triathlon, especially on the long distance triathlon,  experience is what you need. If you go through on the single datas, in terms on speed, output on the bike and mileage for the run it’s all about experience. I’m not old enough to quit and I hope for still 3 more years to be at the top level.

Who is the most powerful of you brothers – Michael or Andreas?

Michael, unfortunately, has more talent that I have. He just have to be more patient. To be a world class athlete you have to be good at all three -swim, bike and run- We are brothers but with different characters. He’s younger but he needs to be patient. Sometimes Michael wants to go with his head through the wall and sometimes it works and sometimes not.

How long before do you travel to a race?

It depends. If it comes to a  very important race for me then I’d like to be at the destination a week before. If it is oversees with a different time zone then I travel 2 weeks before the race.

How many countries have you visited?

I think the right question would be: is there a country I haven’t travelled to? Yes, for sure I get around quiet a lot and it’s great to see all the different countries and nations with different cultures.

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From left to right: Andrés Morente (Marketing Manager), Alexandra Lochmatter (Events & Groups Manager) and Andreas Raelert

Do you have much time to visit them or just for the race?

I’m not on a vacation trip as a professional. So I don’t see that much as you can see if you are on a holiday but if you are on a training camp or longer you try to get around and you see a lot, if you are focused on the race you don’t see much, but when your mind is free you can see a lot.

Some tips for training?

Never lose the passion, never forget what you want and really enjoy it!

Why do you choose Playitas for training?

Playitas is a very unique place worldwide. I’m looking for the best facilities where I can train and at Playitas you have a perfect pool for swimming, great weather all year long, good roads for cycling, low traffic and some nice training trails around the resort. The staff are very helpful and focused on training as well as providing everything a professional athlete requires, the food is also of a high standard for professional athletes.

What can you tell us about Fuerteventura?

Sometimes it can be a bit windy – September and October are not that windy and after a training camp it can be that you feel it was too long on the island with all the heat and the wind but then when you arrive home you just want to return to Fuerteventura as soon as possible. 🙂

Favorite meal?

Carbonara

Favorite place to live?

Where my friends are

How many hours do you train a week?

High volume: 45hrs, low volume: 15hrs

Swim, bike or run?

On a good day three, on a bad day none of these.

Final remarks…

Great area, great club, great staff who takes care of the athletes and I will be back in November and hopefully next year.

Thank you Andy and never lose your smile!

Interview to Mónica Sánchez

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For a couple hours, Mónica Sánchez posed for Playitas Resort as a model. The beautiful triathlete told us her thoughts before an Ironman.

How did you get started with triathlon?

I began with triathlon in 2010. I have been a marathon runner since my early twenty’s, but one day I got injured and went to buy a triathlon bike. Once I got used to the bike I decided to give it a try and signed up the Ironman Cazumelonly half a year later. After the race I thought one Ironman is enough, you do not have to do more than that and took a year off. When I heard about the Ironman in New York City, which is where I live, I could not stand the idea of not participating in that race before my very eyes! I was glad I did it, as they never had this Ironman again. After that one time they decided to discontinue the race. Afterwards I really got stared with triathlon: I did the Ironman in Cazumel again and then Los Cabos, Lake Placid, Cazumel, Los Cabos again…. And now I am here, doing Lanzarote. This will be my eighth Ironman in three years.

How did you feel, when you finished your first Ironman?

I knew I was going to do another one. I was happy, or even exhilarated. It is one of these experiences that you cannot put into words. I think it is one of these experiences that teach you to be really grateful to be alive, especially as a physiotherapist. I worked with people who have lost a limb or who cannot work, just running one mile, or 26 miles, or ride a bike for 112 miles or swim that far – it is a gift. To me it is not just about qualifying for Kona, which of course would be wonderful if I would, but for me it is rather about appreciating what I can do today and celebrate that by demonstrating that you are grateful to be healthy and to move.

You are physiotherapist. How can you combine both – the triathlon and your profession?

That is probably the hardest part I think, more than the training itself. I am very fortunate that the company that I work for, which is based out of New Jersey, allows me to work flexible hours. So I set my own working hours and I try to put them around my training schedule. My pool is across the street from where I work, so I can go in the middle of the day and train and then go back to work. However, it is difficult, because when you want to succeed in Ironman you have to out in a good number of training hours every week. I do not know how people juggle it if they have children, the work and triathlon. It is definitely a big sacrifice, but when you have an employer, friends and family that are supporting you it is possible.

Can you give us some details about your nutrition and how you organize your meals around the day?

Well, I think there are a lot of triathletes who are a little bit stricter about their diet than I am. I love food; I love all kinds of food, so I am not that strict about the food I eat. I eat a lot of lean protein and carbohydrates as well as a lot of fruits and vegetables. I am very fortunate I have not had any issues; all my blood work comes back fairly regular. I think the way I am nutritionally balancing it with my training is working. As far as where I take in when I am racing I think I have my nutrition sorted out very well over the races. Luckily I have not have any issue with cramps at the end of the races. It seems to be working, although a lot of people make fun of me for carrying all of my nutrition on my bike, as I have everything I could need on my bike – it is a picnic!

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Can you tell us more about your life in New York City? It seems to be exciting to train in a crowded place as the Big Apple!

It is funny, because I started training in NYC and did not know about anything besides of that. Oddly enough, there is a very integrated and supportive triathlon community in NYC and also New Jersey. If you go around 45 minutes out of the city, to the jersey shore you can get some nice long rides with wind and currents, but they are flat. And when you go north towards Connecticut there are some hilly rides, but again, it does not compare this place (Fuerteventura). I would say the training here is a lot more effective at places like this.

How about the swimming? Are you driving to the lake Hudson? 

🙂 We are not going there, although there are group that do it! We mostly train in the pool or go to the shore, but keep in mind that the winters are really looks, starting in the middle of October and then you cannot go into the water until late April. It really is not the best place to train, but the community and all the support we get is wonderful. Some of the triathletes go down to Florida in the winter to train for a couple of weeks to escape the cold. It all depends if you are able to get some time off, not many have the liberty to do so.  And the distances in the US are much longer than in many other places.

Your name is Monica and your surname is Sanchez, which is Spanish. Can you tell us something about the origin of your name?

My father was from Spain, more precisely Alicante and my entire father’s side of the family still lives in Spain. My half-sister lives in Madrid and my mother is from Chile. So, my parents met in the US and decided to stay where they were in Washington DC. When I went to the physiotherapist school I went to NYC and fall in love with the city.

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After a week here at Playitas, what can you tell us about this place?

I love this island and I love Las Playitas. I have never been here before. I have been to Gran Canaria before and now here on this island I am really positively surprised, especially as a triathlete. This place has it all, I literally feel like I am in heaven. It starts with the fact that I never had to share a lane, the open water is right there, just steps away from the pool. You can jump into the ocean; go back in the pool and to forth.  You have incredible rides with minimal traffic, with smooth paved roads and the same for the running courses. I ran up the mountain to see that view and that was incredible. I can tell I got stronger here already, even so it has only been a week. And all the other things the resort offers as the cycle center. I have never had help with my bike before! Normally I have to go find a bike shop, but here it is right there next to your feet. I also liked the healthy whole-grain and organic food in all the restaurants. I really do not want to leave! 😦

Thank you very much for all the positive comments!

Short questions:

Swim, Bike or Run?

Run

Favorite meal?

Pasta

Favorite drink?

Fanta, agua con limón and mojitos 🙂

Car or public transport?

Public

 

Interview: Konstantin Bachor (2014 Lighthouse Triathlon winner)

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The german triathlete Konstantin Bachor stayed at Playitas Resort for training and racing Lighthouse Classic Triathlon. He agreed to meet us after the ‘Lighthouse’ to talk about the new season and his carrier.

How did you get started with triathlon? 

I started as a young kid with swimming. For the past 15 years I’ve been doing triathlon. My first triathlons were relatively short – with 200m swim, 8k bike and 2k run. Since 2007 I’m starting professionally. Last year, 2013, was my best season. I’m very happy with my development right now.

You just won the Lighthouse Classic Triathlon Fuerteventura in a relatively close contest.  Please introduce us to your strategy during the run when you realized that Victor Del Corral was making up time.

The run up to the lighthouse and back is fairly undulating. I knew that my strength lies in the downhill section, the second part of the route, while Victor is stronger uphill. So, I saved some energy for the last three kilometers. I didn’t look behind me, I just sprinted. My fans standing on the track were telling me the gap to Victor. On the last kilometer there was only one pace which was full speed, so he won’t catch me on the last meters. I’m really happy it worked.

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What are your goals for this season?

First of all, my next contest is the Challenge Fuerteventura. Last year I got the 3rd place. I’m hoping to finish on the podium again this year – maybe one or two positions better! Later the season, in September, I will be competing in Ironman races in order to collect Kona points for the professional ranking of 2015.

 

Who is it or what is it that inspires you in triathlon?

It inspires me to get up early every morning to give my very best every day and work on my body. I’m constantly trying to get in the best shape possible. As there are three disciplines you can always find something to improve. You can always enhance your last performance and this constant challenge is my motivation.

What does the rest of your race schedule look like?

Two weeks after the Challenge Fuerteventura, I’m participating in the Challenge Rimini in Italy which is a half-distance race as well. In June I’ll be doing several middle-distances in Germany. After that, in July and August you won’t see me racing much, as I’ll be preparing and training for the Ironman in September to get as many Kona points as possible.

What can you tell us about this place – Playitas?

It’s a great place to train. I’m coming here since 2008. Over the last 6 years I have seen Playitas developing every year – starting from the gym to the food buffet and the running tracks, everything gets better! One of the aspects that make Playitas such a good place to train is that everything’s very close together. There are connections to all great the biking and running tracks of the island. You can train all three disciplines equally good here!

 

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SHORT QUESTIONS

Swim, bike or run?     

Bike

Favorite place to ride?    

The Challenge course on Fuerteventura

Three people to have dinner with?      

I’m a family person – my wife, dad and mum

Train alone or with a group?      

Alone or in small groups of two to three people

Energy drink, tea or coffee?       

Red Bull is good

Where does your bike live?       

In Germany in the basement, next to my other bikes

What do you carry with you when you train?    

5€ for a good meal, sneakers and a coke

Thank you very much for your time and good luck for this season!

See you for the Challenge! 😉

Interview: Challenge Family CEO Felix Walchshöfer

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Felix Walchshöfer, CEO of the Challenge Family stayed at Playitas Resort and we got the opportunity to go one on one with him.

It’s a pleasure for Playitas Resort having you here in Fuerteventura. How are you Felix?

Really good, I just had two wonderful weeks of training here at Playitas with great weather – so much better than at home! I am absolutely happy!

And your family, we mean… Challenge Family?

We are doing very well in the Challenge Family as well. Recently, we had several new races, particularly in the U.S., and it is steadily growing. We are feeling great about the latest developments.

17 races in 2013, 22 in 2014 – 5 more races in just one year. That’s definitely a ‘Challenge’. What can you tell us about your next or new projects?

Last year our main focus was on the U.S. We started three new races – at the east coast, in the mid of the country as well as in California. The next step will be South America; we are currently looking into Brazil. Furthermore, we have various additions in Europe.

A lot of people probably asked you before, but… swim, bike or run?

I would say that I am most talented in swimming, but I enjoy most running.

How about the bike?

Yea, well, I have to get over it! [Felix smiles]

As I am normally on races during the weekends, it is hard to find time for longer biking tours which does not make it easy for me when I am biking in the races.

We met your sister last year. Are you guys coming to the Challenge Fuerteventura this time?

Yes.

Both of you?

We will have to sit down and discuss all the races that are going on in the next time, but one of us will definitely be there.

Your life is all about triathlon, but what about other sports? Do you find any time for it?

Unfortunately not, professionally and private it is all about triathlon for me. I tried different things, I was actually coming from athletics to triathlon, but I am already happy to find enough time for triathlon, so I do not want to do further sports at the cost of my triathlon training.

What can you tell people who’re starting with triathlon?

Well, I think it is an absolute fascinating sport. Lately, more and more people start with triathlon due to health reasons. Swimming, biking and running – that is a combination of some of the most healthy sports and everyone is able to do these disciplines. My advise for people who just get started with the sport is not to take it too serious. Just go have fun and do it with your partner, friends or family – it is just a wonderful sport!

How would you define Playitas Resort?

In my opinion, Playitas is an amazing place for training. The facilities are perfect and the staff is one of the best. Everything is about sports and the management really takes care of the details that are important for the sportsmen coming here. The island is wonderful with its biking roads through the landscape and the swimming pool in the resort is ideal. All in all, it is an absolutely perfect location for the sport.

Anja Beranek. Passion for Triathlon


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Anja Beranek, one of the top ten female triathletes was training at Playitas for her last year race and also for signing a new agreement with Playitas. We can say it was a really nice time talking to her and also we had time to shoot some pictures wearing the new Playitas clothes collection. She makes everything easier 🙂

Anja, welcome again to Playitas. How are you?

I’m fine, thank you. I’m in the sun, I’m in the best hotel of the world, I mean Playitas and I can live my passion Triathlon so I’m very happy 🙂

How many years have you been a professional triathlete?

Now, it’s my third year as a professional in long distance, in the Ironman distance. Before, I can say that I did triathlon since a child. I started when I was 13 so I’m doing triathlon for a long time but I focused it on the last 3 years and now I feel more like a professional. The years before I have been medium professional, medium work, medium study and now I’m 100% professional.

How many hours do you train in a week?

In a week, I can say 25 till 35 hours so it depends on when your competition will be and what is your training goal at the moment but in training camps is also up to 40 hours so it’s like a normal job.

How do you feel stronger? Swimming, biking or running? 

It’s difficult to say.  I’m this kind of athlete can do all 3 disciplines but I think I’m strongest swimming and on the bike but very complete in general. I have the whole package. 😉

6There are people really interested on the food professional triathletes eat. What can you tell us about your nutrition?

All depends on your training goal and on the shape I am so for example,  I come from Nuremberg and there is a special Christmas cake so at this time I eat a lot of sweets (hahaha) because I’m allowed to eat them when we are out of season. But during the season, in the winter, I try not to eat too much carbohydrates and I have to keep the body in shape but for training sessions for example here in training camps if I wake up and go to breakfast to have carbohydrates, a lot of proteins, fruits but not so much in the morning because there is a long training and takes a little bit time to get it works. Anyway, I have a good breakfast because I usually do a running before the breakfast and I need a little bit of energy for the rest of the day. If I stay 4 or 5 hours on the bike I need to stop at the “Boutique del Pan” (hahaha) to get some energy and then in the evening I eat carbohydrates, salads, fruits so I try to say ‘let’s get everything’ but always depending on the training session. If I have a day not so intensive I don’t need too much carbohydrates but if my day has been a hard one, I need more salads, more carbohydrates, pasta, potatoes…

You spend a lot of time on a bike and running. Do you listen music when you are training?

Sometimes. Just for running sessions. If I come back from a 5 hours training on bike and then I need to run for a half an hour fast,  I need to listen music, good music, loud music. Music that can be motivated and keep me fast.

Do you play other sports?

Yes I do. Just for fan, I play volleyball, badminton, mountain biking, hiking. Unfortunately during the season I have not enough time but when the season is over, I do it.

What do usually do when you are not training?

Working a little bit. I have with my husband a business company so I’m there sometimes in the office along the week. If I don’t train those days, I go to work and it’s also very good for the mind because I have something completely different to triathlon and also when I spend 5 hours on bike I have something to think about and not just to think about sports. It’s another influence.

And then I have a dog, a lovely Spanish dog. If I don’t train I like to spend a lot of time with her. Also I have a very great family and a 2 years old niece. I love her so much so if I can, I like to spend much time with her. For me, my family is very important because they give me the power and the energy to do sports.

7

Travelling as triathlete you know a lot of places. What’s your best place to live?

I’m from Germany and I love my country but the main problem is the weather. I’m doing triathlon and in Germany the winter and the autumn take 6 months and it’s really cold so for me living as a professional is difficult, it’s a nice place to stay but not the best one. That is why I prefer the Canary Islands because the weather is always constant. It’s up to 20 degrees or even more in winter time and I get energy with the sun and it’s not far from home.

What can you tell us about Playitas Resort?

I got you know 4 years ago and I need to say that it’s the perfect place for a triathlete. You guys have all everything you need as a 50 meters Olympic Pool, sun and for cycling as well. Here you can choose to bike flat, to bike uphill or  along the streets and this is very important. Also you can run at the beach, to the lighthouse so I will say with one word: variety. And you have the best food ever so this is also something very important if you train or work so hard in the evening you need to have something that tastes and makes you fit again for the next day and also your fantastic gym, the courses for stretching and if you don’t want to train you can go and have fitness with girls and guys or just go for a walk around the surroundings.

Anja, thank you very much for your time and we’ll see you soon

Thank you very much. I have really enjoyed my stay and see you in December 🙂