South African track star Bernette Beyers credits lessons learnt during a Swiss training camp for her two titles at the African Continental Track Championships in Durban last week.
Beyers – who won the sprint and points races – admitted to spending an enlightening few months training at the World Cycle Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, after breaking her collarbone at the Glasgow World Cup in November last year.
She decided to base herself at the centre to adopt a scientific rehabilitation and training programme to get herself back to her best.
“I trained a lot before going to the centre, but I think the type of training wasn’t necessarily as effective as it could have been.
“I wasn’t doing as many track and road sessions as I should have and I was probably spending more time in the gym than on the bike,” said the Team Bestmed-ASG rider.
“All of this changed as it was clear that my training in the past hadn’t been right.”
While she has never been one to shy away from hard work, she said her training regime in Switzerland came as something of a shock.
“We trained very hard – six days a week – and I had to learn to cope with a tired body, pain and aching muscles.
“One of the most important lessons was to push through the pain barrier.”
Beyers said racing across Europe and against some of the top names in the world helped her become tactically more astute.
“On the track it’s all about quick reactions and split-second decisions. It’s so important to stick to your decisions; if you change your mind, you’ve already lost.
The 24-year-old sprinter said it was all about the learning curve as you had to learn from the mistakes you made in those crucial moments.
She said during the rehabilitation phase she did sessions on the Wattbike along with a solid gym routine to improve her overall fitness.
“I slowly built up from there and finally started with track sessions in December.”
Beyers, who is currently residing in Stellenbosch, said her immediate plans were to race in South Africa.
“I haven’t thought too much about what’s next, but I do want to improve as a track rider.”