The Physical Performance Show: Craig Kirkwood – NZ High Performance Athletics & Triathlon Coach

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Craig Kirkwood

In episode 255 of The Physical Performance Show Brad Beer shares a conversation with Craig Kirkwood NZ High Performance Athletics & Triathlon Coach on this Coaches Corner Edition.

By way of bio, Craig Kirkwood is an incredible athlete himself having represented New Zealand six times across athletics and mountain running. Craig was a 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games New Zealand representative and boasts a marathon record of 2.13.07 set in Chicago.

Now in a coaching capacity Craig coaches some of the hottest athletics and triathlon talent on the planet. Craig is a coach based out of New Zealand that ranges from juniors right through to recreational and recreational competitive age groupers, as well as some of the best in the business including prior featured performer of the physical performance show Hayden Wild from Episode 162 and alongside Hayden, Craig coaches up and coming New Zealand middle distance running star Sam Tanner, New Zealand 3000m champion and 1500m champion.

During this episode, you will hear from Craig as we extract learnings across his own athletic achievements along with his many achievements in the coaching space. Craig shares around the top three characteristics of high performance and why one of those includes headspace being teachable as an athlete, nurturing juniors through to seniors and not losing their talent along the way, what it takes to nurture young sporting talent to ensure that they are not lost in the senior ranks. His top recovery tips and why Craig believes strides are crucial for every recreational athlete, how to navigate your long runs best recovery tips and the importance of being patient in achieving our endurance sporting goals.

To listen to Episode 255:


Click the icon to listen to the interview on iTunes or listen using the Soundcloud player below

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Listen in as we delve into the following:

  • Navigating Change
  • Span of focus while working with diverse athletes
  • Easiest personality to coach
  • Craig’s athletic background
  • Best triathlon performance
  • Characteristics for high performance
  • Positive Headspace
  • Time in Kenya
  • Recovery Tips
  • Injury resilience
  • Observations
  • Long Runs


“Need for patience.” – Best Advice
“Someone who is receptive to learning and listening.”

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To follow Craig Kirkwood

Website: CKCoaching
Linkedin: Craig Kirkwood



0:00 Start
4:00 Introduction to Craig
5:28 Wins by Hayden Wilde
7:20 Navigating Change
9:30 Span of focus while working with diverse athletes
10:46 Easiest personality to coach
11:30 Craig’s athletic background
15:39 Best triathlon performance
17:30 Top 3 Characteristics for high performance
20:40 Positive Headspace
29:18 Time in Kenya
34:00 Recovery Tips
38:30 Injury resilience
43:00 Observations
46:00 Long Runs
50:11 Best Advice
51:09 Physical Challenge
56:32 Finish

People Mentioned

Hayden Wilde – Double World Champion XTERRA (U/19) & NZ Professional Triathlete, Episode 162 of The Physical Performance Show
Sam Tanner – 1500m NZ Middle Distance Runner
Jonathan Wyatt – World Mountain Running Champion
Rory Darkins  – Psychology Researcher, Mental Skills Coach – Episode 252 of The Physical Performance Show
Abdi Aburahman – 5X US Olympian, Episode 221 of The Physical Performance Show Ep #221
Dr Shona Halson – Episode 190 and 238 of The Physical Performance Show

For questions and comments about this Episode

Send to the show host @Brad_Beer (Twitter) or @brad_beer (Instagram)

The Physical Performance Show

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