Little Bellas Race Academy Questions

The Little Bellas is a mentoring program for girls only. My teammate Lea Davison and her sister are the brains behind the program, which helps girls getting started with mountain bike in a fun and social way. I had the pleasure to meet some of the young girls last year and this year I will meet them again at the upcoming North American World Cups.

I just got interviewed by them and want to share some of the interesting and different Q&A’s with you below:

Annika Langvad 

How and when did you become a professional?
What was your first pro team?

I only started really riding mountainbike in 2008. For the 2010 season I was asked to ride for a German team, but I didn’t feel ready yet. They asked again the year after and my first season with them was in 2011. The name of the team at that time was Team Easton Rockets.

How do you reduce pressures, anxieties, and nervousness for races?
Mantras? Self talk?
I listen to music, that really helps. And then I tell myself how lucky I am to be able to do what I am doing instead of some boring 9-5 job. Some one said to me many years ago:. “Go out and have fun with the equal minded girls”. That still pops up in my mind before the races too.

What is (are) your favorite pump up song (s)?
We are interested in making a pump up playlist consisting of all of the songs you guys listen to!
Get Lucky (Daft Punk)

What is the craziest thing you’ve done/eaten while traveling in Europe?
Haha, I am a European, so I don’t think that our food is weird! I’m sure, you’ll find lots of our food weird. I have been eating snails though, that should be quite a delicacy 

Do you have any travel tips?
When you travel as a cyclist, take a look at the everyday clothing you’ve packed in your suitcase and cut away two thirds, you won’t be needing it anyway and then your luggage gets a little lighter. 

What are 3 things you always bring in your carry-on while traveling?
Earplugs, headphones in good quality and a t-shirt/shirt matching the temperature of the arrival location

Do you have any tips for dealing with jet-lag?
Accept the fact, that you run around in zombie mode and might not be at your best. And as soon as possible try to get into the new timezone. When I have to travel to places, where the time difference is close to 12 hours, in the week leading up to the travel, I gradually try to schedule my bedtime closer to the bedtime of my destination. I’ve heard, that by doing so, you can move your bedtime 1 hour a day, but in real life, I never managed to. 

What is your sleep schedule like?
How many hours of sleep do you get a night on average? Do you take naps?
8 hours a night on average. I’m a HUGE fan of naps, mostly because I can’t resist it. Often I sleep 30-45min a couple of hours after a hard training, and if I wake up and have slept too long, I sometimes almost feel sick. I think the reason is, that while napping the body has worked so hard to recover. That’s also the reason why I’m convinced, that life as a pro cyclist is a full-time job, because you have to respect the time for recovery just as much as your time spend on training.

How many bikes do you have?
Many different kinds! (mountain bike hard tail and full suspension, road racer, winter roadracer, cyclocross bike.. But they are not all my property, they will be returned at the end of the season)

What do you use to measure energy during training? How do you use these measurements to enhance your training?
Heartrate? Power? Nothing?
I have a power meter on most of my bikes. Actually it’s thanks to my boyfriend, Thomas, who has a side job as a personal trainer in the company of my coach. Even though Thomas on paper is not my coach, he tracks all my trainings, so that we can follow the training load. Then retrospective we can get an idea of, what worked well and what not, and then get a better idea of what it takes to peak at the times we wish.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or good luck charms? If so, what are they?
Haha, yes, it’s a little embarrassing, and I haven’t told anyone yet, but I always flirt a little bit with myself in the mirror, before leaving the room.

What do you do in the offseason?
Cross training, strength training, off bike activities?
I like to ride other kinds of bikes like cyclocross or all mountain and my superheavy winter road racer, that is superb for the cold and wet danish winters.

What do you eat/drink after a big ride?
A recovery shake with tropical taste

What words of wisdom do you have for a 16 year old athlete?
Learn to love your missteps and the hard times. That’s the only way, you’ll progress. You might get hundreds or thousands of well meant advices, but you have to trust your own instincts and gut feeling

Copy and paste your favorite inspirational quote

“Alla Vill Till Himmelen Men Ingen Vill Dö”

(everybody wants to go to the heaven, but nobody wants to die) 

Favorite athlete
Marianne Vos 

Best sports related book/ movie/ story

“Senna” -the movie about the formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. This movie captures the essence of passion and dedication and is an absolute must see

Two of your favorite recipes

Pizza Bianco

Anything with salmon


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