How Many Hours A Week Do Triathletes Typically Train? Factors & Must-Know Tips

A triathlon is an intense event that involves swimming, cycling, and running. Usually, triathletes will need to put several hours into their fitness schedule in the months leading up to the triathlon event. The training hours invested before the event will differ based on circumstance or type of triathlon.

In general, a significant amount of time is generally required before participating in a triathlon. The effort the triathlete puts in before the triathlon event can affect their performance in the event, so it is important to invest the right amount of time beforehand.

So How Many Hours Do Triathletes Typically Train? There are many factors to be considered in preparing for a triathlon. On Average, a triathlete trains for about 10 hours per week in the weeks or months leading up to a triathlon. The amount of training required will depend on the triathlete’s diet, experience, and personal fitness.

Also, we highly recommend that you check out “What Triathlon Should You Do & Why ?! (Brief Race Selection Guide)

Let’s delve deep into the topic to determine the approximate number of hours triathletes train and how they prepare.

How Many Hours Do Triathletes Train?

On average, most triathletes train for approximately 9-14 hours every week. Considering this average, it is possible to achieve a consistent training period of 10 hours per week, if you stay focused and stick to your schedule.

A triathlete would generally need to invest time in each disciple (swim, cycling, running) at least two or three days of training a week. This could be as many as five to six days depending on circumstance, and whether a high level of exertion is required. This may last for a few months to a year. (Source)

Note that a higher difficulty level will require longer training hours. In the months leading up to the triathlon, the person may increase their efforts to make sure they are adequately prepared. This would involve monitoring their performance leading up to the day of the event.

Also, check out Should You Swim, Bike & Run When Sick! What Triathletes Should Do?!

What Are the Factors that Could Affect Your Triathlon Training?

Personal fitness

Every triathlete needs to work on and consider their personal fitness in preparing for a triathlon. Considering how strenuous and intensive triathlon training is, it will be less difficult to train adequately for any triathlon event if you are a person who is physically fit. This is because your body is used to stress being exerted on it.


A triathlete may in some cases have years of experience, which means less time would be needed. As opposed to a beginner case where the person may need more training. A person with no training would need to start from scratch which means more time would be needed to prepare for the triathlon.


Triathletes need to also consider the nature of their diet, by not overeating or consuming junk food, and understanding the right nutrition. The right diet provides fuel and energy to the body as you train for any triathlon event.

Triathletes could monitor their diet by consulting a dietitian, which might be preferable to researching by themselves. They must spend time putting in the right research, so their fitness is at an optimal level for the triathlon.

Hydration is also an important aspect when preparing for a triathlon event, so understanding the right amount of water they are consuming is also important.

Check out our article on the type of nutrition required for a mini-triathlon. Although it states a mini-triathlon, it is not far-fetched for whatever form of triathlon you are training for.

Also, find our What Is It Like Swimming High / Stoned & Its Impact On Performance!

How to Structure Your Triathlon Plan?

Set your training hours and be consistent with them

In setting your training hours, start from a position you can handle depending on the fitness of your body. Then gradually increase your training hours each week by a percentage less than 20. Be sure to include recovery days for the duration of time it takes for your muscle to recover. For more on this check out our post How Often Should You Take a Break from Running? Recovery Days Guide!

Also, for post-race recovery, check out our post ” What Should You Do the Day After a Triathlon? Recovery & Nutrition Tips

Set your number of workouts

You have to decide how the number of workouts you wish to train with for each discipline also stating the frequency of how you wish to carry out these workouts.

Set the duration of your workouts

After you have determined the number of workouts you wish to do, you ought to figure out how long you wish to partake in each of the workouts. When setting the duration for your workouts, you should distribute them into long and short durations.

Specify the type of workouts you wish to engage in.

Specifying the type of workouts for your training depends on your ability and strength. there are so many ways you could do this but asking yourself what discipline you are good at and not good at will help in deciding which workouts you should maximize.

If a discipline is new to you, focus on building your endurance in that discipline first. But, if you are very familiar with triathlon, you can incorporate brick workouts of bike+run and open water swim.

For more on the brick workout, we highly recommend that you check out our post “What Is Triathlon Brick Training? Why You Should Do It & How!

Before diving into open water swimming make sure to check our post on How Dangerous Is It To Swim Alone? Must-Know Risks & Precautions For Openwater Swimmers

Fix your workouts into your schedule

After you have determined your number of workouts, the duration for each, and what type to engage in, then you should go-ahead to include them into your calendar accordingly. (Source)

For more on this topic, check out our post ” What Exercises To Do for A Triathlon? A Brief and Quick Training Guide!

How to Overcome Mental Challenges During Training?

Engage in positive thinking

Your body might attempt to give up training but you can engage your mind to help you pull yourself back up. you could practice positive affirmations to reprogram any discouraging feelings that might arise.

Set Goals and be consistent with it

Set goals in accordance with something that would keep you going. It could be beating your old record or the sense of achievement that comes with it. Stay determined with every goal you set.

Visualize a successful end

Believing that you will end the game successfully will keep you motivated to train for it. if you have the confidence that you would finish the race, you will go all out to train well. (Source)

By understanding how to prepare for the event, investing the right amount of time to invest, and learning to overcome mental challenges the triathlete can have a successful experience with competing in a triathlon.


An extreme triathlete who have competed in dozens of triathlons including IronMans and Extreme triathlons.

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