Chrissie Wellington’s six top tips for triathlon beginners

New to tri? Let four-time Kona queen Chrissie help you get started…


With a mantelpiece full of Ironman titles, it’s easy to forget Chrissie Wellington was once a beginner to all things tri.


Here are her snippets of advice for all those who are just starting out in multisport…

Set some goals

“Spend time choosing your race goals and distance. Only you know what excites and challenges you, and what’ll fit in with your life. There’s no point choosing to do an Ironman if you aren’t enthused about it.

“Once you have a goal, think about your motivations: whether it’s the challenge, racing in memory of a loved one, competing for a cause, to see new places…”

Dave Scott on how goal-setting can help you focus when going long

Choose the right race for you

“When you have chosen the distance, it’s time to choose a race! Think about the course, the time of year, costs, travel time, the typical weather conditions, type of atmosphere (low key or major event), whether you want family and friends supporting you, what races your friends/family/training partners are doing.”

Join a tri club

“Joining a club is a fantastic way of meeting, training with and learning from like-minded people. Coached club sessions are ideal as they’re often tailored to ability.”

>>> UK triathlon clubs – what to expect when you join

Find someone to mentor you

“Tri is such a welcoming sport that there are always people to lean on for advice. Don’t be scared to ask people for assistance.

“After all, we were all beginners once and you’ll be surprised how willing people are to share their experience, time and even their equipment!

UK triathlon clubs – what to expect when you join

Set ambitious goals

“Don’t be scared of setting ambitious goals, even ones that scare you a little bit! Tri can seem daunting to everyone who hasn’t done one before, but you can summit any mountain if you break it down into bite-sized chunks and take small steady steps towards the summit.”

Chrissie Wellington on… Preparing right to smash your ‘A’ goal

Take things slowly

“If triathlon is a new sport to you, don’t be in a rush to succeed. It’s tempting to throw yourself headfirst into it, but you can risk injury or overtraining if you don’t do things deliberately. Becoming competent at the three disciplines takes time, and it’s about enjoying the journey.”

Five mental tricks to boost race confidence

More by Chrissie


Chrissie Wellington on… Budget triathlon gear

Chrissie Wellington on… Choosing swim gear

Chrissie Wellington on… Juggling balls as a triathlete

Chrissie Wellington on… Beating body confidence issues

Chrissie W on how to tackle transitions

What’s the best advice you received as a beginner? Let us know in the comments below!