7 Ways To Be The Ultimate Fit Buddy


Women's Health |

Ariane Kleinhans and Annika Langvad of Team Spur-Specialized who are the defending Absa Cape Epic women’s champs, will be back on the bike this coming week to battle it out for the title in 2016. 

Eight days of racing at the highest level isn’t only super tough on the body, it’s a massive mental challenge. And the Cape Epic is the ultimate test of partnership as competitors have to be in a team of two. Partner dynamics certainly are a big factor in success, both on a race like this  and when you’re working towards any goal with your fit buddy!

So who better to ask on how to create the ultimate buddy-partnership than these two athletes who have been through it all together? Here are their secrets to success… 

1. Communication Is Key

“You have to keep telling each other how you’re feeling and work around that. Both on the trail and when we’re planning our tactics for the following day’s stage  we need to be really honest with each other when we give each other feedback on what happened out there.” – Ariane

“The more you tell your partner the easier it gets. You get quite close during an eight-day stage race, but you don’t turn into a mind reader. ” – Annika

2. Put Your Partner First

“We both really have a lot of respect for each other, so there is a lot of trust, which is important. This is the foundation of the partnership for sure.” – Ariane

“Always try to think what would really help your partner in a particular situation and put yourself in their shoes.” – Annika

 3. What Happens Out There Stays Out There

“It’s sometimes hectic out there as we are both at the limit all the time, so sometimes we do shout at each other but that is just part of it. We don’t ever take anything like that personally and we always forgive each other afterward for those outbursts. We both know we just want the best for each other and the result, so what ever happens on the trail stays out there.” – Ariane

 4. Respect Each Other’s Space

“Give each other space to breathe and privacy. Your partner really needs some time where she doesn’t need to relate to anyone and anything in order to reload.” – Annika

“We need to give each other a bit of space so we don’t do everything together all the time. Once the racing is finished in the camper van we mostly just relax and lie on our beds, we don’t even talk, we both just want to calm down. Mostly we’re just eating anyway so we can’t talk!” – Ariane

5. Play To Each Other’s Strengths

“We both know our strengths and weaknesses. I mean, Annika doesn’t have any, but I maybe a bit more but we try to deal with those and play to our strengths.” – Ariane

6. A Little Encouragement Goes A Long way

“Let your partner know that you are there no matter what – and actually say it – it helps a lot.” – Annika

7. Don’t Take Yourselves Too Seriously

“Focus a lot of obtaining the best possible experience together because one day you might actually regret it if you focused more on the result than the experience.” – Annika

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