Triathlon training tips to stay fit during winter

Elite triathletes and past Windsor winners Emma Pallant and Stuart Hayes have shared their top tips for triathlon training during the winter season.  

“Winter is the perfect time to condition the body and get technique work done so that when the harder training begins, your body is strong enough to cope with it. But this time of year is also about having fun, getting out with friends on some social training rides, and not being too restrictive on your diet – being race weight all year long is not sustainable and there’s no harm in enjoying some Christmas festive fun!”

Emma Pallant


  1. Strength and conditioning gym programme – make it functional to triathlon, this is where getting a triathlon coach really comes into its own because gym work should be triathlon specific to get the most out of your conditioning, there is no point in having big biceps or pecs and they can actually work against your performance!
  2. Technique work – being injury free is the key to training consistently and getting good results in the summer, better to invest in one-to-one training than later down the line paying heaps in physio fees! At Team Dillon we maximise this time to iron out any problems and prepare the body for what’s in store. It shouldn’t be boring and repetitive though, the brain should always be thinking about the functional movements and here is the key time to engrain good habits.
  3. Base work training – you shouldn’t be doing too much intensity during this time if you are loading in the gym and preparing the body technically. Instead this is the perfect time to periodise the body base fitness so working on your endurance training but being able to hold good form during each session.

Stuart Hayes


  1. Recovery – the winter is the perfect time to plan in a recovery week, and take some downtime after training so hard. Your body and mind need to fully recover and rejuvenate after a tough season. Many athletes find it difficult to take time off, but it will prevent you from getting sick and set you up well to get on with the next phase of training.
  2. Indoor training – when you live in the UK you need to learn to like training indoors because the weather isn’t always ideal, plus the roads can be dangerous and busy! Thankfully there is all this new technology these days to keep us occupied with something to focus on, for example, using virtual training videos on exercise bikes and treadmills as well as great indoor swimming pools. It’s definitely a good idea to set yourself up so that you have access to some of these facilities for training over the winter months.
  3. Eating well – a well-balanced diet including fish/ vegetables/ fresh meats and complex carbohydrate is very important for your health,  it’s especially important when training hard as your body needs the extra energy to stay healthy. During the winter months with the colder weather and lack of sunshine, you may also need to consider giving your body a bit of a boost with immune system booster supplements which can be found at your local health food shop.

2022 entries into the Royal Windsor Triathlon are now available – secure your place here!