The Crossover: One Sport To Multisport

How to go from a running background to becoming a triathlete.


Many runners look to triathlon as a natural progression when they are frustrated with Injury from running alone. The move across is therefore popular, as this allows you to retain your competitive spirit. While at the same time easing the pressure on your body.

As a runner you will bring many strengths across to Multisport, Including a well-developed cardiovascular system, strong tendons and ligaments and the psychological boost of knowing you’re coming in to your favourite discipline when others will be tiring.

It will be the swimming where many runners will struggle and find it tricky to master. Though – and the key thing to be aware of is that water behaves in a very different way to air! It’s difficult to muscle your way through water and increasing your effort does not necessarily mean you go faster, in the same way that it might when running.

It’s technique that runners often struggle with and most would benefit from some initial guidance from a coach. Combine the coaching with feedback from the water, patience and a lot of practice and swimming technique and your speed will gradually improve. It may be beneficial to get a video analysis to help, as this will allow you to see yourself while swimming and help see aspects of your stroke that the coach cannot see from above the water.

Runner to Cycling

If you’re a runner without any serious cycling background, it might take between two to four years of cycling before you start to approach your full potential on two wheels. Again it’s worth demonstrating patience while these improvements come – triathlon is an endurance sport after all and patience is key!

By getting out during the winter to become familiar riding a bike and learning the skills required to corner smoothly, descend quickly and climb strongly, you will soon come to enjoy riding and build enough confidence to compete with a smile.

Runner to triathlete training plan

To go from runner to triathlete, keep your running ticking over, but invest time in swimming regularly to maximise the technique gain. Work on your bike pedalling technique and spend time just enjoying being out there riding.


Swim: 60min aerobic endurance/technique




Swim: 30mins technique
Run: 60min intervals


Bike: 60min turbo or rollers, working on cadence and pedalling


Run: 45mins steady


Swim: 30mins technique
Bike: 90min hilly ride


Bike: 2hrs long ride, steady, with 15min run off bike


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