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10 Top Tips for Triathlon Training

Triathlon Manual How to train and compete successfully
24th January 2013
Sean Lerwill
Out Now

The author of Haynes’ new Triathlon Manual has released his ten top tips for all triathletes – whether novice or experienced – to celebrate the launch of this new, comprehensive and practical guide.

The number of people taking part in triathlons has soared by over 200% in recent years, and they are now one of the most popular ways of getting fit.

Author and trainer Sean Lerwill says these simple guidelines offer the key to success at all levels:

1. Money is no substitute for hard work

  • Nearly all new (and some experienced) triathletes want to buy speed and success, and throw money at it. It doesn’t work like that. Good kit helps to a point, but it’s no substitute for hard work, conditioning and technique.

2. Choose the right footwear

  • Don’t train in trainers with elastic laces. Save these for races, when they will save you time. During training they’ll just negate the support function of your trainers.

3. Seek a professional opinion

  • If you have money to burn, pay for a professional gait analysis. Use the results to specifically strengthen and condition the weak areas, and you’ll see great improvements.

4. Train off-road in winter

  • Use a mountain bike for cycle training and do cross-country runs. Doing such off-road training isn’t only good for strength and conditioning, it’s also far safer if roads and pavements are icy and/or wet.

5. Stick to one bike

  • Other than off-road winter training, you should always train on the bike you’ll race on. Some people think they should keep their ‘race bike’ special for race day, however if you train on a different set-up you’ll use muscles ever so slightly differently.

6. Don’t over-train

  • It’s tempting to have no or too few rest days, but if you have no rest days you won’t improve as much. Many improvements occur outside of training: you strain (stimulus), then you rest to adapt, and improvement are seen. However, if you never rest to adapt you never see improvements.

7. Rest before the race

  • Establish a good training routine and take your rest day two days before a race, not the day before: perform light training the day before the race. This ensures you aren’t groggy or lethargic on race day from having a day off.

8. Look Professional

  • If you take a look at a professional Triathletes bike, it isn't littered in energy gels taped to the frame. It is neat and tidy and exudes confidence. Unless you are doing a full or half ironman, one or two energy gels in a pocket will suffice.

9. Planning prevents poor performance

  • Plan what you are going to do, both in training and for the race itself. Proper planning makes for a more enjoyable triathlon session and means you are more likely to succeed in the race.

10. No short cuts

  • There are no quick fixes. Hard work is the only way to success.

This all-encompassing new manual will equip both amateurs and seasoned professionals with the skills to succeed in all three elements of the sport.

Since 2004/5 there has been a 238% increase in the number of members registered to Triathlon England and other membership groups, which now have 15,274 members in over 500 registered clubs across England and Wales (Source: British Triathlon).

With so many people now taking up the sport Haynes’ Triathlon Manual offers realistic advice to help beginners master the basics alongside detailed new information for the experienced triathlete who wants to improve their technique and results.

Written by professional trainer/coach and author Sean Lerwill, the Triathlon Manual is written to work around your busy life, and includes a case study of a woman with a full time job who is a professional triathlete.

Covering everything from nutrition and motivation to injuries and conditioning training, with specific advice for women and children, the Haynes Triathlon Manual will encourage readers to train, compete and achieve their goals.

The Author

Sean Lerwill has written the Haynes Royal Marines Fitness Manual and The Running Manual. He has since left the Royal Marine Commandos and is currently one of the UK’s top personal trainers and a Maxnutrition ambassador. He has written numerous fitness articles for magazines and websites, including The Independent, Men’s Fitness and Men’s Health.

The information on this page is supplied courtesy of Haynes Publishing, please credit accordingly if you intend to use it. For more information or to request a review copy please contact Spirit PR on 0117 944 1415 or email Haynes PR

Haynes Manuals is the world's leading publisher of illustrated workshop car and motorcycle manuals, as well as producing manuals on a wide range of DIY, leisure and lifestyle subjects. These will continue to include motoring and motorsport related subjects. Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7JJ. Telephone: 01963 440635 Fax: 01963 440001 E-mail: