RUDY VON BERG INTERVIEW
The Yoga Inspired Series
by Diane Vilarem
The Yoga Inspired Series
by Diane Vilarem
Ranked 7th in the world, Belgian/American/Italian Professional Triathlete Rudy Von Berg is first up in this series of short yoga inspired interviews! Known for his overall high performance in all three disciplines (swim/bike/run) but less known for his Downward dog yoga skills, Rudy’s long-term goal is to put his competitors to test in Kona. Rudy had a great 2020 season finishing up with a respectable 5th place at Challenge Daytona (PTO Championship) in December.
Can a bit of Yoga help Rudy get that advantage needed to be on the podium in the championship race next year? His brick-by-brick approach to training fits perfectly with the actual need for yoga blocks to perform a yoga pose correctly when the flexibility is not there yet. A consistent yoga practice might actually help him to shave off those few crucial seconds/km needed on the run…
Please introduce yourself to our audience!
My name is Rudy von Berg and I am a 27-year-old Professional Triathlete based in Boulder, Colorado. I grew up in the South of France and I speak French, English and a bit of Italian.
We know your dad dragged you around to a bunch of races all over the place as a kid. How much of an influence has he been in your choice to pursue a career as a triathlete?
For sure he’s been a huge influence. He’s always had a passion for sports and definitely gave that passion to me by bringing my siblings and I around at many Ironman races including the World Championship in Kona multiple times. School was always important too, but he made sure we didn’t just do school and developed ourselves in the sporting area too, which I think is paramount for a happy, healthy and honestly just fun life.
What other sports did you practice as a kid?
I played soccer, tennis and basketball, on top of swimming, biking (MTB and road) and running. We would also go skiing every year, another sport that I love, especially when backcountry.
What is your racing schedule for 2021?
Tentatively it should be:
Challenge Miami March 12
Ironman 70.3 North American Championship St George May 1
Ironman France Nice June 13
Ironman 70.3 Les Sables July 4
PTO Collins Cup end of August (Professional Triathlete Organisation)
Ironman 70.3 World Championship St George
Ironman World Championship Kona Hawaii if Qualify
70.3 Nice, France
Favorite training session?
4hr ride in the Colorado Rocky mountains or in the South of France above Monaco
Favorite bike, assuming TREK goes bankrupt tomorrow?
My Custom painted Trek Speed Concept is my favorite bike. If Trek wasn’t around anymore, I’d maybe go for a Pinarello road bike.
Podcasts or Spotify?
Spotify. I enjoy learning more about athletes and the economics of sports in podcasts too.
Which one is your favorite discipline? Please say Yoga
Cycling! Haha. I am too unflexible to say yoga, but it’s an area I need to work on.
Do you follow the Velominati rules? Guess not since you continuously break rule 42
I know triathletes might be known for not following cycling etiquette much, but I take pride in following most of them. That’s mostly because I’ve raced bikes a lot when younger, and I follow cycling on TV a lot too, and I just wouldn’t feel right for myself cycling around looking like a Jerry.
Tell us what happened in Daytona. You came off the bike in first place after an amazing ride, seemed to suffer a bit the first few kilometers on the run then came back strong, is that a correct statement?
It is semi correct. I did go from First to 5th on the run, but you have to take account that we were 15 athletes within 1’20 off the bike. So over 18km of running, a lot can change. I am disappointed with my run even though I still ran a solid pace (3’24/km). Around 3’18-20/km would have already made a huge difference in my finishing place (1st or second), and I know I can do it which made for the disappointment.
Do you practice Yoga? If so, favorite Yoga pose?
Not really to this point. I have done a couple sessions which told me I need to work on my flexibility. Definitely something I’ll work on in the future.
Do you have a specific diet or do you hang out at the local kebab shop? Be honest, some guy named Kevin Maurel has sent us some disturbing photos of you eating cake. 😉
I love cake and dessert! I don’t have a specific diet and I try to eat 70 to 80% healthy and then I keep 20-30% maybe not the best but it’s important for the mind to be able to eat what you’re craving regularly because with the training loads we have, it would be really tough to eat perfectly at the same time. I don’t think it’s necessary either, a good balanced diet with some unhealthy things is great and will keep you healthy and ready to train hard.
Are triathletes nowadays more aware of benefits of eating healthy as well as alternative training like Yoga?
I think they are increasingly aware of the benefits of such activities, and especially how they all work together, for example, if you do a lot of strength work on top of your cycling training, but then you don’t have any mobility and you’re very stiff, you’re not going to run well. Activities like yoga can totally help alleviate the negatives of the other activities.
Did you feel any benefits after our first Yoga session last week? Or just pain, be honest.
Neither. I don’t think you will feel any benefits from any 1 session. It’s the same in triathlon, it’s consistent work that yields results. Consistent 3-4 sessions of stretching or yoga over months would give results but never just one session.
Tell us something we cannot find on google.
I have no self-control over eating dessert.
Who’s more obsessed with social media, you or your good friend Kevin Maurel?
We’re both a little obsessed because it’s part of our job! You could make the question an analogy to countries too, are French people or Americans more obsessed with social media? Probably Americans.
Final question, please name your favorite Yoga teacher.
Her name is Diane. She has done 5 years of yoga and is now at an impressive level. She also rides bikes and runs, which makes her prone to do a triathlon very soon.