How should I train for a triathlon?

Follow a training plan. If you’re new to triathlon, 12 weeks gives you plenty of time to train for a sprint distance. Mid Sussex Tri Club Head Coach Neil Giles has put together tips and training ideas to get you ready for race day. Read our training tips

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 the route. Don't forget about our course familiarisation day, where we'll take you on a guided recce of the bike and run routes. It's a great chance to get used to the course and calm your nerves ahead of race day. About our course familiarisation day


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!