Top 5 tips on How to train for a Triathlon from Head Coach at Runna & Ironman Coach 

Training for your first triathlon or chasing down a new PB? Here is everything you need to know!

Practice running after you’ve been on the bike

This is called a ‘brick run’ and will be a weird sensation to most people who have never run on already fatigued legs. Many of the benefits of a brick run will be achieved in the first 3k so there is less need to worry about having to do your longer run sessions after a bike session (which would be incredibly time consuming!). For most people wanting to take a triathlon seriously, I’d suggest doing 1 brick session every fortnight. This is going to be more critical than the cycle post swim as these work more contrasting muscle groups. 

Prioritise your strength!

It’s much more important to ensure your body is strong to withstand the load and impact of running when you have to do it after being hunched over on a bike working some of those supporting muscles too in the swim (i.e hip flexors). As a result, it’s even more important to prioritise your strength to be injury adverse and strong for the event too.

Think about your kit

If it’s your first time doing a multi-sport event, you’ll have the added challenge of having to think about transition. This is the period of time between the different legs of the race. Plan ahead and think about what shoes / socks / helmet / sunglasses you’ll want to wear for each element and have a plan for BOTH transitions. I’d even prepare mentally or in real life, walking yourself through what you’ll wear for each section to check you have everything you need. When it comes to the day, you’ll also want to lay out your kit nicely, so it’s ready to slip on for each transition. I plan every detail and will leave my socks in the bike shoes ready (even with left and right set up waiting in each shoe). I have the gels I’ll want to take on the run waiting in the run shoes so I know exactly where everything is. Don’t make any silly mistakes like leaving your swimming goggles by the bike transition!

Get used to fuelling! 

Doing a run on its own often allows you to get away without learning to fuel on the go. When you’re doing a longer race with multiple elements to it, it becomes critical to become familiar with fuelling on the go. Therefore, practice taking on gels / energy bars / sweets when cycling or running so you can get familiar with how it feels on the tummy and make sure those food choices you plan to make on the big day work for you. I’d even suggest practicing your pre race breakfast too so that you leave nothing to chance on the big day.


I’d 100% recommend doing a trial run of the sport in a more simple capacity, so if you’re prepping for the Olympic distance Tri, do to a test run on a training weekend, doing maybe half the distance (I.e a 750m swim, 20k ride, 2.5k run) to get a sensation do the different uncertainties, practicing that transition routine, checking your trisuit doesn’t rub or the kit choice works for each sport and that your legs work running after the bike too!

Thanks to our Official Training Partner Runna for providing this content