Richard Murray’s Rules To Maximise Your Training


Men's Health |

Picture credit: Mark Dadswell/Red Bull Content Pool

World Champion duathlete and top triathlete Richard Murray shares his secrets  to help you triple your training benefits, and make yourself invincible too. – By Arthur Jones

1/ Don’t rush any part of your training

This isn’t just about avoiding injuries; it’s also about enjoyment. “To gain strength and conditioning in whatever you’re doing, you need to go slow and take your time. I always warn people against trying to push themselves right out the gate – they end up hating it.” A simple rule to follow: never increase your load by more than 10% from session to session. These days Murray has a hectic training plan, but he has built it up carefully. “I train usually three times a day, and need to get about six swims, four rides and 7-10 runs in a week. It’s not for the faint of heart.”

2/ Triathlon training isn’t just cardio

“Gym and strength work help me the most. At the start of the season I make sure to do plenty of hillstrides running and cycling to build strength. Getting into the gym and doing bodyweight stability exercises helps me to stay injury-free.”

3/ Turn your body into a barbell

“I do mostly bodyweight sessions when I do strength work (see his workout plan here), so  traveling and being on the road is no issue really.  I spend only three months at home during the year and the rest of the time I travel the world  following the good weather. I do some stretching while flying. If you ever see a guy standing on one leg at the back of a plane for 10 or 15 minutes, that could just be me.”

4/ Forget the numbers.

Focus on visits “Try to build the number of times you go to gym, as opposed to focusing on how many reps you can do in a set. Consistency is critical. Getting enough sessions in a week is key in order to get the gains you need,” says Murray. “That way, it will become a habit and you’ll love it more.”

5/ Read your body, and enjoy the peaks

No matter what kind of level your fitness is at, your body is still a tool, and the better you understand it, the better it will work for you. Murray paces his training cleverly, and knows when to rev up or scale down. His fitness standard: “I know I am fit and healthy when I can run about 80 to 100km a week and not be really tired by Sunday – it means I’m recovering quickly. This is when I’m at my peak; I can go for 30 to 40 minutes and still feel like I haven’t run for a second.  I really love it when I get there.”

6/ Train your brain

Murray also credits his success to his mental strength, something which also needs to be trained. “Setbacks don’t get me down. Maybe it’s also my South African background; we are fighters and hard workers because we know if we want to stand out in the world we need to be truly special.”