Jan van Berkel's 8-Year Marathon Training Evolution

On July 9th, 2023, Jan van Berkel, also known as "The Berklizer," triumphantly crossed the finish line at Ironman Switzerland, claiming 1st place. This race marked his final appearance as a professional triathlete, and as a coach, I can confidently say that witnessing this moment was one of the most emotional experiences I've ever had. From the exhilaration of his 4th race victory to the poignancy of concluding an almost 8-year coaching partnership, the range of emotions was remarkable. Coaches understand that, next to family, the professional athletes we guide hold a significant place in our daily lives. Jan had evolved into not just a athlete I work with professionally, but a close friend. The thought of the daily interactions coming to an end was a strange feeling, although true friendships are enduring.

My collaboration with Jan began during my tenure with Rowing New Zealand as the Head of Performance Physiology. The connection emerged after Eric Murray, a 2-time Olympic Gold...

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