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Knowledge, strength and integrity: How one of the best in the world manages remote coaching

Knowledge, strength and integrity: How one of the best in the world manages remote coaching

Whilst it’s great in triathlon to have a coach on hand in training to give you splits, take your lactate and provide instant feedback, it’s not always possible, especially on the professional side of the sport.

For IRONMAN Florida course record holder Rudy von Berg, working with his Norwegian coach Mikal Iden in person simply isn’t possible, so the pair have had to make the relationship work remotely.

Speaking with TRI247, the American long course professional shared how his intrinsic motivation, combined with his experience and knowledge of the sport, manages to make this a highly successful working model.

“I listen to my body”

Having been working with Iden since 2022, the Boulder based pro said that the relationship has worked well due to a number of factors, with the 30-year-old emphasising the importance of being able to listen to his body.

American Rudy von Berg wins in a new course record at IRONMAN Florida 2023
Rudy von Berg wins in a new course record at IRONMAN Florida 2023 [Photo Credit – IRONMAN]

“Our relationship proved to work well last year. I’m pretty intrinsically motivated, so I don’t need a coach to be there with me during sessions, and I’ve had so many years in the sport now that I know how to structure my days and execute the sessions at the right intensity.

“I listen to my body and I know how the scientific part of training works so I think I can implement his training well. I don’t like overanalysing things so I don’t need that much feedback and it works well like that.” 

“We don’t really overly communicate”

Whilst some coaches like to take a hands on approach, von Berg says his relationship with Iden is more relaxed, but that the Norwegian is always on the other end of the phone when needed.

“He just sends me the plan on training weeks, for ten days to two weeks with at least the structure of it and the main sessions, then he’ll fill some things in two to three weeks in advance and I just get things done really.

“I comment sometimes with how I felt or lactate numbers but we don’t really overly communicate and it’s pretty chill. When I need to know what’s happening or what direction we are taking in the coming weeks, I just give him a call and he’ll just explain what we are looking to do and I’ll give my feedback too.” 

Rudy von Berg, Matthew Marquardt and Rob Wilkowiecki at IRONMAN Texas
[Photo Credit – Kyle Rivas / Getty Images for IRONMAN]

Having finished fourth at the IRONMAN World Championships in Nice last season, Rudy von Berg has his eyes on the world championship title this year, when he heads to Kona for his second time on the Big Island in October.

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