What are the distances in a triathlon ?
One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked, is what are the standard distances for a triathlon, for each of the three disciplines in a triathlon. Well there are various distances for triathlons of the various lengths. There are numerous different length triathlons that you can consider. All of which have sections called T1 & T2 which is where you would store you tri gear.
Super sprit triathlon is the shortest distances for a triathlon. It is normally a pool based race, it is great for a beginner triathletes who are wanting to dip a toe in the water. So to speak. Super sprint triathlon are normally 400m swim followed by 10km on your triathlon bike. Though you can race it on any type of bike, from a mountain bike to a £10,000 time trial bike. Once you have come off the bike your on to the 2.5km run.
The next triathlon distance is the Sprint distance triathlon which has the 750m/20km/5km this is a great distance to test yourself as you start to progress from being a triathlete beginner. There are various distances in triathlon but this is the most manageable and value for money as a beginner. I started nine years ago racing these distance races and my obsession started at sprint distance triathlon.
Standard distance triathlon also known as Olympic distance triathlon race is the distance that you will see raced by the Alistair Brownlee and Jonathan Brownlee. This race triathlon race distance will take in the region of two hours to complete and is one of the first triathlon race distances that will test your pacing. You will have a plan a little more when you do this distance. Where will I eat? what are my target times for each section?
The middle distance triathlon or half ironman is a massive test and is not for the faint hearted. You will have to plan your training. Map out what you eat and at what point of the race. On my first middle distance I was so sick on the run. I got my food intake all wrong. I planned what I was going to & when. Then in the race I over ate on the bike so when I got to the run I was fuelled, but my stomach was not prepared. So it rejected it all. The triathlons distances are 2.5km/80km/20k. Which is comparable in time to doing a full marathon run, and you wouldn't take that lightly.
Long distance is a race distance that is new to me I'm not aware of any races that are this distance, but the distances for a Long distance triathlon are 4km/120km/30km.
Then the longest distance of a all triathlons. The Ironman an epic day that you will not forget in a hurry. Anything under 12 hours is amazing in my book, (this is my next target, just don't tell Mrs Triathlonbox as she would flip her lid). The Ironman distance triathlon is 3.8km/180km/42km, and you have up to 17 hours to complete this distance. The race is a brand so the majority of races you do will be branded Ironman but there are some amazing UK triathlon races that are not branded like Outlaw Triathlon and Rubicon which are amazing races and very well organised with a real family feel.
So there you go a breakdown of the main stream triathlon race distances. There are some, in my opinion BONKERS other races that you can do like Triple Ironmen, Deca Ironman and even more bonkers races like the one where about 10 people do an Ironman a day for a month. Which is mental - looked who messed up I was after Ironman Austria. I cannot begin to image doing two ironmen in a month - let alone these mental races.