How to Achieve Mental Toughness for Triathlon Training

By Abbie Hayutin, USAT Level 1 Coach

How to Achieve Mental Toughness for Triathlon Training

Training for a Triathlon requires you to train your body to swim, bike and run. But where many triathletes fall short is in the mental training piece.

The three most important skills for success in any endurance sport, particularly triathlon, are commitment, confidence and patience. Together they make up mental toughness, meaning finding a way even when things aren’t going “your” way.


Allow yourself to dream. Have you thought about completing a triathlon? This is your goal. Once you have a goal it must be your mission to get there. This requires unwavering commitment. You are fully capable of completing a triathlon. Your greatest limiter is your mindset. Will you experience setbacks that have the potential to derail your mission? Certainly, you will. The best way to stay on track, especially for the beginner triathlete in the first three years of sport, is to hire a coach or be part of a team. That way when you experience setbacks, you will be able to stay committed and eventually your commitment will become your passion.


When you were a kid, you did loads of risky things because you were confident you could do them. Somewhere along the road of life things changed. To promote self-confidence, think about opening a “success savings account”. Every day, keep track of how your training went that day and write it down. Some deposits will be big and some will be small but your account should grow every day. That way when something unexpected happens (and it will) you can make a withdrawal. You can pull up one of those successes from your account and relive it. Keeping you focused on the positive will make you feel more confident,


Triathlon is a patience sport. You have the commitment and the confidence but success does not happen overnight. Your workouts will set the stage for your race. If you ramp up training too fast, you may sustain an injury. If you start out a race too fast, you may run out of energy and finish weak. Whether it be an interval, a daily workout or your weekly training plan, it takes patience to understand the training process, hold yourself in check, and know when it is okay to go full force and when to hold back. It is important to remember that patience means making small gains towards your ultimate goals. Not forcing results over a short period of time.

A big step towards achievable Triathlon success is assembling the support of your “people”. This means, in addition to your friends and family, you need a reputable coach or knowledgeable mentor to help you stay motivated.

Learn more about how to train your body and mind for a Sprint Triathlon at the Zero to Tri Hero Sprint Triathlon 14-Week Program Informational Meeting on on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 6:30pm at Club Greenwood. You will meet past program participants and be inspired by featured keynote speaker Tim Hola, World-Ranked Ironman Age Group Champion and Norseman Finisher.

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