How to Motivate for Triathlon Training

When you’re not “in it,” finding the motivation to train is a difficult hurdle to climb. The desire to train doesn’t usually spark out of thin air. It’s developed by positioning yourself within the right mental and physical circumstances. So if you’re having trouble staying motivated in your triathlon training then here’s some advice on how to buck that trend.

Create Goals

Training just to train is a difficult task to take on. When there’s no urgency or event on the horizon it’s easy to ask yourself why you’re even doing anything triathlon related in the first place. Therefore, a triathlete always needs a goal to be shooting for.

The misconception, however, is that this goal always needs to be a race. While racing is eventually what you’ll be aiming for, it doesn’t always have to be your sole source of motivation. Nevertheless, a goal should always exist and it should take a high priority in your triathlon life.

If your goal is not preparation for a big race then perhaps it’s hitting a new milestone in one or all of your disciplines. The TriDot Training plan incorporates this kind of goal by building your training around improving on your assessments. The assessments are the quantifiable “scores” of your fitness in a given discipline as a result of a time trial performance. Think 20-minute power test on the bike.

Look at your TriDot scores and make it your goal to improve on one or all of them by a specific number of points. This will invigorate you to train hard and consistently.

And to take it even further, look at your weekly training volume as a goal in itself. Prioritize hitting that end of week summation of miles, yards, or hours and you’ll find yourself determined to train consistently every day.


Having a coach to keep you accountable is instrumental for a solid motivational foundation. What better way to give you reason to train than to have a positive, knowledgeable authority figure keeping tabs on your progress?

A coach should always be a positive influence on you. He or she should be a source of encouragement, not pressure. When a coach is guiding you or offering input or even simply monitoring your progress, you’ll feel the motivational tug to stay accountable and keep a successful block of triathlon training going.

Friendly Competition

When you know your peers are out there pushing themselves in the same way you should be, this creates a drive to stay on your game. If you’re not already in a community of like-minded individuals at similar fitness levels then try to find one. Even simply joining a Master’s swim group is a start.

Or just find one training buddy to have a little unspoken friendly competition with. It’s a win-win for both parties because you’ll be constantly pushing each other to get better. This kind of friendly rivalry is sometimes all the motivation you need to train hard and consistently.


By creating goals, having a coach to keep you accountable, and putting yourself in a competitive community of similarly skilled triathletes, you’ll have established a set of circumstances that will drive motivation in your triathlon training.


How do you motivate yourself to train? Do you use any of the tips described above? Do you have other methods to keep yourself motivated?

JARED MILAM is a professional triathlete, TriDot coach, and member of the Tri4Him Pro Team. He has 16 years of competitive running experience and 11 years of competitive triathlon experience with a half Iron PR of 3:59 and a full Iron PR of 8:30. Coaching under the TriDot system since 2011, Jared loves working with aspiring triathletes of all ages and performance levels.

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