A Day with James Cunnama

Ever wonder what it takes to train like a professional triathlete? We checked in with Challenge Roth Winner, IRONMAN 70.3 & IRONMAN Champion James Cunnama to see just what it takes for him to stay at the top of his game. Read on for James’ daily play by play, and be sure to share your training photos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #TrainLikeaTYRTriathlete! 

Morning Routine

JC: My days don’t usually follow a set pattern and no two look exactly the same. This is not just because I need to do a number of things to prepare for a triathlon, but also because I try to avoid mental staleness. The last thing I want is for my training to feel like “Groundhog day.” That being said, a “typical” day would normally start early with a coffee before a swim session. I will usually do anywhere from 3500-5500m. Depending on where we are at the time, this swim will either be with a squad or just Jodie and myself.

Side note- Did we mention James is one half of triathlon’s fastest couple?–That’s right, he’s engaged to fellow team TYR triathlete Jodie Swallow (and she is certainly one to keep up with!) A warrior in her own right, Jodie’s call-outs include Olympian, IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion and ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Champion.

JC: Following the day’s first workout we’d typically eat breakfast either at home or a coffee shop before hopping online to do a few hours of administrative work (answering emails, booking tickets, entering races etc.)

She said YES!

A photo posted by James Cunnama (@jamescunnama) on


Afternoon Schedule

JC: After catching up on the computer, I’ll head out for my second session of the day. This workout tends to vary. It could be a ride of anywhere from 2-5 hours long or a run session. Once I am done, I make my way back home for lunch and if I have the time, a short nap. (I don’t seem to get to this nearly as often as I’d like!)

JC: Depending on the program and the time of year, there will normally be a third session in the late afternoon (either a second ride, a run or just some strength and conditioning.)
Most of the time training itself accounts for 4-6 hours of the day and prepping and recovery from those sessions requires another hour or two.


Evening Game Plan

JC: Once Jodie and I have completed our training for the day, it’s time to relax. Typically we will cook an early dinner and get into bed by 9:00 p.m. It’s important to rest so that I have enough energy to do it all again the next day!

Another tough day in Africa. Someone’s gotta do it.

A photo posted by James Cunnama (@jamescunnama) on