How should I train for a triathlon?

Follow a training plan. If you’re new to triathlon, our training ideas will help you gradually build your fitness levels. For most people, 12 weeks is plenty of time to train for a sprint distance. 

Join a club. For regular training sessions, advice and tips, why not join The Mid Sussex Tri Club? We offer weekly swim, bike and run sessions in Haywards Heath: new members always welcome, from beginners to veterans. Visit

Ride/run the route. Our course familiarisation day takes place in May: join us for a guided tour of the bike and run routes. If you can't make it, we'd recommend checking out the routes yourself ahead of race day: see our course details page.


What should I wear?

This is the main question that first-time triathletes tend to ask.

A tri suit is an all-in-one vest and shorts with light cycle padding that you can wear for all three parts of the race, so you don't have to get changed. If you don't want to fork out for one on your first tri, just wear a swimsuit in the pool and pop on some lycra shorts and a cycle/running top in Transition 1, which you can wear for both the bike and run leg.

You can wear padded cycle shorts to give you a bit of extra comfort on the bike, but remember bike shorts aren't great to run in, so it's best to change into running shorts in Transition 2 if you don't want to waddle around the run course. A mid-way solution is to buy a pair of lightly padded tri shorts, which are easier to run in but don't offer as much cushioning.

Most women prefer to wear a sports bra, which means you'll need to swim in it, which works fine


What other kit do I need?


  • Swimming costume or tri suit. No wetsuits in the pool!
  • Goggles (make sure you've worn and tested them beforehand).


  • A bike in good working order. It doesn't matter what type: mountain bike, road bike, hybrid... 
  • If you're riding a mountain bike, consider getting some (smooth) road tyres - this will make a big difference to your speed.
  • A helmet is MANDATORY. No helmet = no race.
  • A water bottle (the time to rehydrate is on the bike).
  • Cycling shoes with clips are optional (many beginners just wear trainers).


  • Running shoes.
  • Elastic laces are a cheap and easy way to save time in transition.

And also...

  • Race belt for your number, or safety pins for your T-shirt
  • Towel
  • A smile!