Triathlon and duathlon glossary

Taking on a triathlon is a big commitment. We have tried to make it as easy as possible for you by explaining some of the terminology. 

Effort level guide

  • Easy - When the schedule says easy, that's exactly what it means. This is a recovery session so resist the temptation to carry on a conversation without struggling for breath.
  • Steady - This is faster than your 'easy' pace. You should be able to carry on a conversation but may have to occasionally take an extra breath between sentences.
  • Long run/ride - These should be taken at an easy to steady pace. You should be able to carry on a conversation during these sessions - if you cannot you are working your body too hard!
  • Threshold - At threshold pace you should be able to talk but struggle to get more than 5 words out with 3 words being manageable. When riding at this pace, you need to make sure you do not drop your cadence and start to grind your pedals.

Swim drills/Session

  • Trailing Fingers Drill - When swimming front crawl, as your arm comes out of the water, keep your elbow high and trail your fingertips through the water. This promotes high elbow recovery.
  • Closed Fist Drill or Arm Drag - The best way to discover whether you have a good underwater pull is to swim front crawl with fists. If you start to struggle this indicates that there is room for improvement. Top tip: Close your fist to learn how to improve the surface area of your arm(s) that can catch the water which will result in more power. Think of your arms as paddles.
  • Catch up or Corpse Drill - Push off from the wall with both arms straight out in front of you. Complete a full stroke with your right hand before returning it straight out in front. Repeat with your left arm concentrating on rotating your body and completing a full stroke.