Triathlon Training for Beginners – 10 Top Tips

With all the excitement of entering the Bristol Harbourside Triathlon then fitting training around already busy lives, Bristol-based triathlon coach, Head Coach of Bristol and District Triathletes and Endurance Sports Coaching owner Andy Bullock has put together 10 top tips for beginners to get your training under way and make sure you are firing on all cylinders come race day.

1. Train all three disciplines.
Triathlon involves swimming, cycling and running even if you’re not too fond of one of them. Putting aside time to train your weakest discipline is likely to make your race day experience even more enjoyable.
2. Join a club.
Training with likeminded people helps. Not only will they help keep your agreement with your training schedule (by asking where you were last week when you decided to sit on the sofa instead!) but they will help push you that little bit harder in training. A well run club will also offer a variety of coaches to offer you advice and steer you in the right direction throughout your training session.
3. Planning.
With busy lives you need to fit everything in. Make an appointment with your bike, your run shoes or the pool in your diary this way you know you can fit it all in. To make this easier Endurance Sports Coaching have teamed up with the Bristol Harbourside Triathlon and training diaries to offer you access to training programmes. For more information on these please visit If you are a competitor in the Bristol Harbourside Triathlon you will have been sent your access code to enable you to receive a 50% discount off the cost of these programmes.
4. Practise your transition.
A quick transition can knock minutes off your time, using all the equipment you are planning to use on race day rehearse going from swim to bike, putting on your glasses, helmet, race belt and bike shoes and then from bike to run taking off your helmet and bike shoes before putting on your trainers ready for the run. Look out for a more in depth breakdown of transition in the next newsletter.
5. Practise running off the bike.
Having cycled your way around 20 or 40km your legs may not be in the best shape to run. Your newly acquired jelly legs will work better if you have practised running straight after a bike ride in training. This type of training is known as brick training.
6. Consistency.
Strong walls are made of many smaller bricks put together. Each training session is a brick and missing them creates a hole, if you want your wall to be strong and your race to be quick make sure your wall is completed without holes.
7. Go on a training camp.
Spending a few days to a week removing the stress of work and concentrating on swim, bike and run training can really bring on your confidence and fitness. You don’t have to be super serious to go on a camp many are designed for novice athletes and will adjust programmes to allow you to do as much or as little as you like.
8. Be realistic if injury occurs.
Despite consistency being important, if injury occurs be realistic about what training you are capable of. Pushing on through an injury may end up with you taking more time out at later date. Get it checked out by an osteopath or a physiotherapist and together you can create a plan to get you back to full health and training.
9. Recovery.
It is said that recovery is the most important part of training. Without it your body will never be given the opportunity to rebuild and come back stronger. Whilst it might the most important part of training remember, you do need to do some training before you need to recover.
10. Eat well.
Nutrition is a very important part of your training. Providing your body with the fuel required to train, day in day out requires thought and planning. Nutrition is a vast area and many books can and have been written about it but in brief: Make sure you include every major food group; carbohydrate, protein and fat (un-saturated is better)in your diet along with a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. With the extra training you are doing you may find you are more active than the ‘national average’ so guidelines such as eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetable a day may need to be increased so you are eating more fruit and vegetables to provide the vitamins and minerals your body needs to help it recover from the increased exercise.

Endurance Sports Coaching are providing discounted training programmes. For more information on these please visit

For more information on Endurance Sports Coaching, including blogs, Bristol based novice training days and training camps in association with Pyrenees Multisport please visit our websites.