How pro-triathletes and World Champions train over winter | INCUS

How pro-triathletes and World Champions train over winter | INCUS

Find out how professional triathletes, Ironman winners and World Champions manage their training through the winter. 
Work on your technical weaknesses

Winter is a really good time to focus on technique as you have time to break down bad habits and embed new movement patterns. These new techniques are then ready to take forward when you start to up your intensity as the race season draws near. Now is a really good time to get to grips with what INCUS can do for your performance.

David McNamee - Professional Ironman triathlete

‘In winter I find motivation working on my technical weaknesses that have held me back during the race season.  Also, I really enjoy training in company even if that means adapting the session plan. When it gets really cold I try to do the harder quality bike workouts indoors and really focus on my nutrition and recovery to avoid any illness.’

Make your training plan adaptable

There are times in the training year when you have to stick to the plan and stay focused if you want results, but for summer racers Christmas is not one of them! Allow yourself some movement in your training plans so you can enjoy being with friends and family.

Roz McGinty - Former World and European Long Course Age-Group Medallist

‘Once my season has finished I would usually take a couple of weeks break before resuming a relaxed training regime right up until the New Year. So, if parties/Christmas/catching up with people interferes with training I let it. Once the New Year comes around I’m ready to knuckle down again.  That said I 100% enjoy my training and rarely am in a position where I don’t want to train. If I ever have a day like that I won’t train.’

‘I like to ride off road on my mountain bike in the winter and trail run with friends. If the weather is bad or I can’t persuade anyone to join me in the mud I organise group rides on Zwift. I’m a bit of an odd ball because I don’t mind spending hours on the turbo so often I’m looking for amusing challenges to participate in or roping people in to ride the crazy long Zwift courses.’

Do something different

Winter is a great time for challenging your mind and body with new activities. It keeps you fit but most importantly keeps you mentally fresh, something that shouldn’t be underestimated with a time intense sport like triathlon.

Kimberley Morrison - Professional Triathlete

‘It’s the most wonderful time of year. I love it and I love the icy mornings along the Norfolk coast. Whether it is a North Sea dip or riding over the iced sand dunes on the gravel bike. It’s the best time of year to enjoy some festive park runs and local off-road riding!’

Make training part of your social life

Training is so much more fun with friends!  If you can have a good chat on a long easy run or ride, or have a laugh at the pool you don’t feel like you are missing out on social time. Plus if you are meeting a friend it is much harder to stand them up and stay in bed in the mornings you don’t feel like training. 

Ruth Astle - Professional Ironman Triathlete - Winner Mallorca and South Africa 2021

‘I actually don’t find winter motivation too tough - I love training and have a good group to train with so training is also a big part of my social life. But when it is dark, cold and raining in the mornings it can be tough to get out of bed, but I usually just motivate myself with the promise of a glass of wine or chocolate in the evening when training is done! I work my breaks more around racing, so am just coming off my proper break, however Christmas is always a bit more fluid with pool closures and seeing family’

Set yourself goals

Triathletes are generally highly motivated and competitive people, having goals and racing to look forward to is part of who we are! However, you can’t be 100% ‘on’ all year round so racing different disciplines where you (and others) have lower expectations of a top level performance is a fun way to keep fit and develop your skills.


Tom Davis - Professional Triathlete

 Staying motivated in winter can be tricky with less daylight hours, and with racing a long way off, so to keep my motivation high, I make sure I enter some smaller, single sport races. Whether that be cross country runs, cyclocross events, or a local 10k, just to give me smaller targets to aim towards rather than always looking towards next season’

Be kind to yourself

The occasional day off training or a bit more indulgent food at Christmas isn’t going to scupper your race plan which is still at least 6-months away! Balance is important for your mental and physical well-being, it’s ok to relax a little. You might even find that some down-time means you are even more keen to be training in January.

Claire Cashmore - ITU Triathlon World Champion

Normally I try to stay as disciplined as possible, but the year after the Paralympics I am a bit more relaxed and don’t stress so much over a missed session. I think as athletes we can also be far too tough on ourselves and unless we have a big race just around the corner, a little bit of extra recovery and a few glasses of wine and mince pies for a few days isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It’s also important to get the balance and actually allow some quality time with family and friends. In the past I have tried to plan my training so that I am on a recovery week over the festive period.’

Make the most of your winter training by establishing new and improved techniques with the help of your INCUS|NOVA - if you haven’t started yet get ready for the New Year by purchasing one of our bundles - in STORE NOW
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