Triathlon Distances Explained

If new to triathlon it can be a daunting world with terminology that is often alien to those with limited experience to the sport.  At Life Of Tri we aim to break down those barriers to the sport, providing simple information to what Triathlon is, and why we love it so much.

One area that we often receive questions about is the different distances which athletes race over and their varying names.  Traditionally triathlon had completed over 4 distances (which can have some degree variation depending on course make up) but in recent years a shorter distance called super sprint (or try a tri) has been established, especially for those new to the sport.

The 5 most popular adult race distances are

  • Super sprint/try a tri: 400m (swim), 10km (bike), 2.5km (run)
  • Sprint: 750m (swim), 20km (bike), 5km (run)
  • Standard/Olympic: 1500m (swim), 40km (bike), 10km (run)
  • 70.3/middle/half-Ironman: 1.9km (swim), 90km (bike), 21km (run)
  • 140.3/full/Ironman: 3.8km (swim), 180km (bike), 42km (run)

As a rough rule of thumb the distances of each race are roughly doubled up from the previous distance (with variation) which gives you handy way of remembering them.

 

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