Finished my first 1/4th triathlon on June 6, 2021! I had been running for a while and had been training for my first marathon with Paul from Tri-PT. After a successful marathon, another challenge started to itch. Enthusiastic by Paul and the athletes of Tri-PT, I decided to cycle more and trained in the endless pool to master the front crawl.
When the date of June 6 was mentioned for a triathlon I was excited, but I still had my doubts, because "I couldn't do that yet and everyone is much faster". But with some encouragement from Paul I put it in the agenda and when my alarm went off at 5 am on Sunday morning, June 6, I thought for a moment, what have I started?
Once at the Vlietlanden it turned out to be a beautiful morning for an early dive. Water temperature was good and after a quick change on the bike! Nice course around the Vlietlanden and thanks to fantastic volunteers we were able to drive through everything! Cycling shoes off, running shoes on and after a stiff first kilometer I got going nicely and was further enjoying the run!
Crossed the finish line with all the support of the trainers of Tri-PT studio, the volunteers and the fellow athletes! My first triathlon was perfect, well organised, great weather, little wind and good atmosphere! With a feeling of euphoria, the next plans and objectives are already being made! So keep training!
Manouck - Paul
I've been doing a lot of sports my whole life and I think that's a great way to clear my head. I was looking for a way to get faster without getting injured from overtraining.
And that's how I ended up with Paul. I don't have to think about my schedule, have never had an injury and am getting better every day!
In addition, it is a nice group of sports enthusiasts at the studio, so that every joint (strength) training and every event organized by Paul is a pleasure. A good example of this is last week's quarter triathlon: finally an event with which you really challenge yourself. And concluded with a drink on the terrace!
Els and Jacob – Gijs van Brink
You do not only want to improve your fitness or at least maintain it, but this also applies to your movement patterns. In our situation (man and woman both 76 years old) this is the case. As the years go by, the musculoskeletal system becomes more difficult. During my (Els) swimming training at the TTL triathlon club, this came up with Paul our trainer.
I had not been going so well for a while and asked him about his company. He enthusiastically talked about his Personal Training Center in which he even has a swimming pool for triathletes to improve the stroke of learning the crawl stroke. He advised me to go to his Tri-PT studio. You have to follow good advice,
and it turned out to be very good advice. I was “matched” to his son Gijs. What is very important to me that there is soft or rather no music. This was not an issue for Gijs. Customer is king! After doing exercises for a few weeks, I got so excited that I got my hubby too. (He has been struggling with his hip and leg for a long time). Now we have been together for quite some time in a pleasant and harsh manner (of course, results must be achieved) by Gijs.
We think he is a nice person and are making good progress with him. We are happy to continue for the time being.
Els and Jacob
Frederic – Gijs van Brink
“Surprising benefits! Not a waste of time! A must have for anyone who wants to improve performance and yet feel relaxed! Why does the community not talk more about that discipline?” These would be the words that come to mind about flexibility and mobility sessions.
I have been practicing full distance triathlons for several years now, and I always dismissed mobility exercises, thinking it would be a waste of time… But I was so wrong… I started flexibility sessions with Gijs once a week a few months ago and I quickly saw surprising benefits.
On the bike: laying on the aero-bars is now very comfortable, with no more pain on the neck. I never thought I would enjoy the tri-bike that much. Hips are more free and relaxed, which allows to push harder while saving energy. On the run, the glutes don’t get stiff as the hips remain relaxed. In the swim, shoulders are more free, and breathing became easier. No more body builded feeling at the end of a distance.
Gijs has a sharp eye and quickly identifies what needs work. The sessions are adapted to the athlete, with combined exercises, and he pushes enough to be challenging, yet prevents from going too far. Position is important, and I feel confident, as he checks and corrects what needs to be.
All in all, I wonder why I did not start before. It is a must, and there are specific but easy exercises that make everything different! I am looking forward to the future races. Thank you so much for your help.
M. Hulst – Paul van Brink
Paul helped me prepare for the Ironman 70.3 of 2019 in Luxembourg.
The year before I trained independently for 1/8 and 1/4 triathlons. My biggest problem is that I regularly went too far. I trained too much, too hard and also inefficiently (a waste of time). Paul helped me with a well-considered, smart and yet ambitious schedule (with regular tests to measure progress).
What else do I appreciate about Paul?
He is easily accessible for questions. He is flexible, adjusts the schedules when necessary (very important for me, with a busy and sometimes stressful job, business trips).
Paul gives support when you need it, for example if you just don’t feel like it anymore (that will certainly happen). In the end, he was even present at the race to help with the preparation and with support from the sidelines.
Paul also has a good network of people around him that you can use (for example for a bike fitting). And what is perhaps the best part – he coaches many athletes. You will get to know these other athletes gradually. You share your developments and race results with each other, sometimes you train together (especially swimming in open water) or you go to a race together. So you also learn from each other (and you can sometimes compare yourself to Paul, if he is strict).
The Ironman 70.3 went well – I felt strong, fresh and enjoyed it. Now working with him on preparing for new races (especially working on my weaknesses).
Harvey – Gijs van Brink
‘Gijs knows what he’s doing and also allows you to work out things for yourself. I’ve had a back problem for a number of years and although fit, my mobility was not very good. Gijs intuitively knew what exercises I needed to do. He also understands that there is not one single exercise but a combination that will sustain the necessary gains in flexibility. The results were almost immediate and I made significant progress that I was not able to achieve on my own. Gijs is a mobility professional!’
Marie Louise – Paul van Brink
“My collaboration with Paul had one specific main goal: running the Chicago 2018 marathon under 4.5 hours. In addition, I wanted to improve my individual times in a quarter triathlon.
We discussed the possibilities in a pleasant and personal introduction meeting.
The focus was initially on a complete training schedule in running, swimming and cycling. De voorbereiding op de marathon kwam pas 16 weken voor de marathon op gang.
Such a schedule is ideal for me. Every day I know where I stand and carry out every assignment, knowing that I did not, Paul wanted to have a reason. My stick behind the door. The fact that all training sessions were registered in TrainingPeak, that I could download them in Garmin and that Paul was watching worked perfectly for me.
The training sessions were sometimes tough but needed if I wanted to achieve the intended result. And it worked: the marathon ran in 4 hours 28 minutes in not too good weather conditions.
Paul is a super good trainer. I could always reach him for advice on Whatsapp and that was the most important thing to me and the safety I needed to perform better.
I enjoyed our collaboration and would like to come back as soon as my participation in the Boston Marathon is a fact.
Thank you very much for everything you have done for me. ”
Ivo van Ee – Paul van Brink
When I came up with the idea of doing a full distance Ironman, it was clear to me that I could not do this without a coach. Paul set up a suitable training schedule with me that matched my working hours.
In seven months he managed to get me ready for a full triathlon. In addition, we had regular contact to discuss the progress. For specific matters, such as a bike fitting, Paul referred me to people from his network who also helped me again. In the years before I trained with Paul, I had a lot of injuries. Despite an increase in the amount of training work in the run-up to the Ironman, I have not suffered any new injuries. I experienced Paul as an expert triathlon coach with a lot of empathy for my situation. Partly because of his contribution I was well prepared this year at the start of the Ironman of Copenhagen and I managed to finish it in a beautiful time.
Marjolijn , Haarlem – Paul van Brink
Paul helped me prepare for the Ironman 70.3 of 2019 in Luxembourg. The year before I trained independently for 1/8 and 1/4 triathlons. My biggest problem is that I regularly went too far. I trained too much, too hard and also inefficiently (a waste of time). Paul helped me with a well-considered, smart and yet ambitious schedule (with regular tests to measure progress). En – jawel – in een voorbereidingswedstrijd zelfs een podiumplaats bemachtigd! Uiteraard heb ik ook het einddoel bereikt: de halve triathlon binnen zes uur volbrengen.
Paul heeft een no-nonsens instelling die hij combineert met een enthousiaste, begripvolle benadering. Voor sporters die maximaal willen presteren uit liefhebberij (je slaat weleens trainingen over wegens vakantie of jarige oma’s) een goede combinatie. Hij benoemt je verbeterpunten zonder je af te breken. De lat ligt hoog, de trainingen zijn vol uitdaging maar zijn wel realistisch. Wat mij opviel is dat de trainingen elkaar heel slim aanvullen: als voorbeeld de zwemtrainingen. Deze leken mij eerst onnodig lang maar wat blijkt: door meer te zwemmen kan ik ook in de andere sporten veel meer duurvermogen leveren, zonder daar onevenredig langer voor te hoeven trainen – met bijbehorende extra vermoeidheid plus blessurerisico. De trainingsschema’s zijn daarnaast geheel maatwerk: Limburgs Mooiste en de Beemster Wereld Erfgoed marathon wilde ik er ook in hebben en ja, dat kan.
Ik heb Paul tenslotte ervaren als een pro-actieve coach die klaarstaat vóórdat je hem nodig hebt. Het voedingsplan voor de wedstrijd heb ik op zijn initiatief ruim op tijd samengesteld. Als het aan mij had gelegen…
Kortom, mijn ervaring met Paul als trainer is zeer positief en ik beveel hem met overtuiging aan. Mijn volgende halve triathlon wil ik mij zeker weer door Paul laten trainen.
Catrien – Paul van Brink
Al jaren wilde ik zo graag een marathon onder 4 uur lopen, maar het lukte me maar niet, ik bleef steken bij 4:07 in 2014. Er was geen progressie meer, eerder achteruitgang.
Dit voorjaar is Paul mij gaan coachen. Ik kreeg een pittig schema, maar merkte dat het stevige trainen wel zijn vruchten afwierp: ik werd sneller. Ik deed ook (braaf) krachttraining. Paul coachte mij rustig: als ik de voor mijn gevoel torenhoge intervalsnelheden niet haalde, of een loop ging niet lekker, dan kon dat gewoon besproken, en ik kon trainingen omplannen als het werk een training niet mogelijk maakte. Ik mocht altijd vragen stellen, Paul bekeek hoe ik het deed via een handig programma en ik kreeg feedback, als ik het goed deed, maar ook tips waar ik op moest letten. Paul keek in die zin echt naar me.
Toen ik tegen het eind een training met 10 pittige intervallen (op tempo!) had gedaan, mailde Paul en zei: ik denk dat het er in zit. Hij beloofde geen gouden bergen: het moest kloppen op de dag zelf zei hij.
Ik geloofde zelf eigenlijk (na al die jaren) niet dat het ècht zou lukken, maar ik ging het nu wel echt proberen! Achter de pacer aanhangen (bijblijven! niet wegzakken!) maar na de 23 km maakte ik me los en ging in een ontspannen tempo voor de pacer uit lopen, dat was prettiger. Ik voelde me nog steeds goed, maar ik wist: het kan zelfs de laatste 500 meter nog misgaan! Pas tegen het eind begon ik het te geloven.
Het werd 3:58:25!!! Naast mij werd iemand op een brancard afgevoerd, en veel lopers liepen mank of strompelden. Gek genoeg voelde ik me eigenlijk gewoon prima. Niet zwaar gehad, niet misselijk geweest, geen pijn gehad, niet hebben willen rusten, geen man met de hamer – ‘kiplekker’ appte ik aan het thuisfront. Ik had denk ik echt heel goed getraind, voelde me beter dan na marathons die ik veel langzamer gelopen had.
Wat een fantastisch gevoel! Wat een feest!
Is het een ‘bucketlijst’-gevoel, of dat je iets toch hebt bereikt waarvan je dacht dat dat niet voor jou was weggelegd? Vooral het laatste denk ik.
Jolanda, Voorschoten – Paul van Brink
I wanted to give myself the gift of health for my birthday. The vicious spiral of feeling overweight, feeling rotten, trying the gym, being frustrated and ending back where I was, needed to end. I searched for personal trainers, and Paul came up! After my intake session, which was a nice conversation, where we clearly identified my goals and reasons for training, we slowly started training. We built up from there, working on my weaknesses to improve my overall fitness.
Pretty soon, I saw a change in my conditioning, which helped my attitude hugely. It gets a little easier with every step , and Paul is there for you in the worst of times. When things aren’t working as quickly as you would want, he is there. He sees you as a whole, rather than someone to be trained. He is so much more than just a trainer. Thank you, Paul, for everything so far and all that is coming.
Ivan, The Hague – Paul van Brink
Paul helps me with my strength and conditioning, so that I can stay injury free and complete my triathlons. He is flexible with his schedule, the training sessions are always different, yet tailored exactly to my goals. I have been training with Paul for a year, and he is still able to surprise me with new exercises every week , making it fun. Plus, I’ve also improved my personal best! The next goal is to both lose fat and build muscle. It's great that Paul can guide me in that too.
Robert, Leiden – Paul van Brink
Two years ago, we started training as a group of 4, swimming with Paul. The training initially consisted of being taught the correct technique, but is now based on endurance and strength. My goal was to hit a good swimming time in Luxembourg’s Ironman 70.3 , which I have now done, and I am really pleased with Pauls training. As both a personal trainer and former water polo player, he has hundreds of training methods at his fingertips!
I still enjoy training with Paul.