Have you heard about triathlons and want to know a bit more? Have you sat on the sidelines for a few and started thinking about giving one a go yourself? It can be really confusing trying to understand all the different types and distances. Here is a short summary of the different triathlon events you can compete in to help you pick the right one for you.
Fun Tri – generally 250m swim / 7km bike / 2km run
Races of this distance are an excellent way to dip your toes into the sport. These enticer races typically involve a 250m swim, 7km ride and a 2km run. They are a lot of fun and encourage a lot of people into triathlon, which can often appear to be a very intimidating sport! Don’t be fooled though, completing a Fun Tri is still a really big achievement and definitely deserves a celebration once you hit the finish line. If you’ve been thinking about giving the sport a go, this is a great place to start!
Sprint Triathlon – 750m swim / 20km bike / 5km run
A Sprint Triathlon is the shortest traditional distance of triathlon available and includes a 750m swim, 20km ride and a 5km run. A lot of people start their journey in triathlon with this distance, and typically follow an 8-10 week training program before completing one for the first time.
Olympic Triathlon – 1.5km swim / 40km bike / 10km run
An Olympic distance triathlon is also known as a Standard Distance race, this is what you will see at the Olympic Games. To cross the finish line, athletes must complete a 1.5km swim, 40km ride and a 10km run. The Noosa Triathlon is the largest Olympic Distance race in the world and definitely one to add to the bucket list if you’re yet to try it! Entries sell out within a few hours and you can always spot a large group of TriChicks out on the course. A 12-week training program is an ideal build up to an event of this length.
Half Ironman – 1.9km swim / 90km bike / 21.1km run
You will often see Half Ironman distance races referred to as 70.3’s. This is because 70.3 miles are covered across the race which involves a 1.9km swim, 90km ride and 21.1km run. Exactly half the distance of an Ironman. Races of this distance are tough and are appropriate for athletes with at least a year of the sport under their belt. If you’re just starting out but are completely obsessed with the tri life, get a solid season of sprint and Olympic distance races in before building to your first Half Ironman!
Ironman – 3.8km swim / 180.2km bike / 42.2km run
The Ironman has got to be one of the most gruelling one-day endurance events you can enter. A 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run is what’s required to make it to the finish line. You’ve got to be a little bit crazy and 100% committed to get through this distance, but you get to hear the words ‘you are an Ironman’ as you cross that magical finish line! First place in your age group at an Ironman distance race can land you a ticket to the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. You could call this place the ‘mecca’ of triathlon and every year the worlds best fight it out in some of the toughest conditions.
Ultraman – 10km swim / 421km bike / 84km run
Just when we thought a full Ironman was crazy enough, someone went and created the Ultraman! This is a 3-day event that covers 515km’s in total. Day 1 is a 10km swim and 140 km bike, day 2 is a 281.1km bike and day 3 an 84.3km run! Only a handful of people complete this race in Australia each year, but it’s a great event to follow online and observe the power of teamwork!
A duathlon is different to triathlon, as it involves a run-bike-run. There is a range of these events available in Australia with varying distances. Sometimes, the swim leg of a triathlon is cancelled due to weather, poor water quality or sometimes because an unwelcome friend is spotted too close to the course. In the event of a cancelled swim, a triathlon will be changed to a duathlon, and a run leg will be added. The distance of the run leg changes depending on the event and will be decided upon by the race organisers.
Triathlon has a lot to offer and has a distance appropriate for everyone! Regardless of which one you’re taking part in, work hard and try your best but don’t forget to have fun. You’re lucky to be able to do the sport and be part of such a fantastic community.
TriChicks offers a range of training programs on the TriChicks Hub. From beginner to Ironman, each program has been specifically designed to get you smiling across the finish line with the help of our incredible team. To learn more about the Hub and to get started on your triathlon journey, visit our Membership page HERE.