The Wind of Change : How to become a better Triathlete…

Text : Giannis Psarelis – Athens Triathlon Team Head Coach & Triathlon World Editor (Email : Mobile : +306937170260)

In order to become a better triathlete as to improve in any aspect in our lives we should have the will to do so.

The Roman emperor Markus Avrilius has said that to listen to another’ person’s opinion and to follow a different road is also an act of freedom as this change of direction in our life is decided by us.

So in order to change we should reconsider some issues that most of the times we take it for granted.

Master the three disciplines before to choose a distance or a race.

Triathlon is a sport that contains three disciplines : swim, bike and run. Three disciplines at which we should train and try to improve. There are many Triathletes, especially the ones that train in order to participate in a long distance event, that they focus in just one sport and they only try to “survive” at the other two.

We recommend before to choose a distance, before to choose a race to focus on how to become a triathlete.

Our primary goal for the first 2-3 years of involvement with our sport should be this. It’s crazy when rookies at our sport spend 2-3 hours a week in swimming, 20 hours in cycling and 4-6 hours in running. What the reason to call yourself a triathlete when you are only occupied with your cycling performance and how you will be able to finish a marathon after that. Definitely in such a case you can’t call yourself a triathlete.


Think how faster can I be instead of how much more km can I do? It’s seems that the majority of triathletes think only in terms of “kms endurance”, meaning how more training could I do or what is the toughest race where I compete.

To earn these people respect you should have finished at least an Ironman. They don’t want to bother with shorter distances.  It could have been much better if they could focus on how to become faster in a sprint or Olympic distance than just to think “how much more km per sport could I be able to do?”

Consistency. You need 6-8 years of consistent training in order to become a real triathlete. That means that we should be very patient and consider our involvement in Triathlom in a long term perspective.


Technique is more important that we might think. It’s not just get a bike, a pair of running shoes and a goggle. Anyone who wants to play tennis would have tennis lessons. The same mentality should applied in any sport any sport, triathlon included.


Try to get rid of your selfishness. People that are involved in sinlge sports are usually very selfish and istead of learning through their team mates or coaches and they refuse to make any significant change in their mentality or training schedule.


Be open minded. Train under the supervision of different coaches, train with different training partners, try to adopt new training systems e.t.c.

Improvement = destroy the state of our equilibrium of our body.

In order to improve we should do things that we will make us a little bit uncomfortable.


The three sport/ disciplines need totally different approach. Don’t approach swimming the same way you approach running.


Be healthy. As P. Maffetone is mentioning it’s crazy to super fit and not healthy.


Monitor your progress all the time.



About triathlonworld

O Γιάννης Ψαρέλης γεννήθηκε το 1969 στην Αθήνα. Από το 1978 ασχολείται με τον αθλητισμό. Είναι αναγνωρισμένος προπονητής τριάθλου από την Ironman και Level 3 προπονητής τριάθλου από την εθνική Ομοσπονδία της Νεας Ζηλανδίας (με το καλύτερο σύστημα διαβίου εκπαίδευσης προπονητών), πιστοποιημένος δάσκαλος κολύμβησης (Teacher ID: 15843) από τον Σύνδεσμο Προπονητών Κολύμβησης της Αυστραλίας καθώς και Αργυρού Επιπέδου Διεθνής προπονητής από τον ίδιο σύνδεσμο (ASCTA International Silver :0534). Επίσης, είναι πιστοποιημένος προπονητής κολύμβησης από τον Σύνδεσμο Προπονητών κολύμβησης των ΗΠΑ επιπέδου 4:5 (ASCA Level 4:5). Συνολικά έχει συμμετάσχει σε περισσότερους από 200 αγώνες τριάθλου και multistports και σε περισσότερους από 150 αγώνες τρεξίματος εκτός σταδίου. Έχει διατελέσει μέλος της Ολομέλειας της Ελληνικής Ολυμπιακής Επιτροπής, Διοικητικός Διευθυντής στην Διεθνή Ολυμπιακή Ακαδημία, Γενικός Γραμματέας στην Ελληνική Ομοσπονδία Τριάθλου, Διευθυντής Αθλήματος στην ΟΕΟΑ Αθήνα 2004 κ.λπ. Έχει επίσης εμπνευστεί και διατελέσει Αθλητικός Διευθυντής του Κέντρου Υψηλού Αθλητισμού (Sports Excellence). Σπουδές: Χημεία (ΕΚΠΑ), ΜΒΑ (ΟΠΑ), Μεταπτυχιακό στην Αθλητική Διοίκηση (MSc,Lyon 1), το Μάρκετινγκ και την Επικοινωνία ( από το Οικονομικό Πανεπιστήμιο ΑθηνώνMSc). Πρόσφατα, είναι στη διαδικασία ολοκλήρωσης Μεταπτυχιακού πάνω στην Μεγιστοποίηση της Αθλητικής Απόδοσης και την Προπονητική (ΔΠΘ). Σήμερα, είναι υποψήφιος Διδάκτωρ στο ΔΠΘ με αντικείμενο την εφαρμοσμένη Φυσιολογία στα αθλήματα αντοχής.