The Difference Triathlon Distances Explained

From supersprint to full Ironman, what are the different triathlon distances and which is best for you?

Supersprint Triathlon

Swim: 400m
Bike: 10km
Run: 2.5km

Supersprint offers a low entry point to triathlon, great for beginners who just want to try the three disciplines together without the long hours of training. Just get out there and have fun in this short distance event, you may as well become a triathlete while you’re at it.

Sprint Triathlon

Swim: 750m
Bike: 20km
Run: 5km

Another great entry point for beginners, and often the shortest distance offered at event. Sprint distance requires more training than supersprint, and you may want to include some tri-specific workouts such as a brick session.

Olympic Triathlon

Swim: 1.5km
Bike: 40km
Run: 10km

A great option for a more experienced athlete, Olympic distance is the accepted ‘standard’ distance for triathlon events. You’ll have to put in some dedicated training but it is a good challenge to work to.

Half-Ironman Triathlon

Swim: 1.9km
Bike: 90km
Run: 21.1km

Commonly referred to as ‘70.3’, the half-Ironman distance is a big step up from Olympic and isn’t typically recommend for beginners. Half-Ironman is rather a distance to work towards after you’ve got a few races under you belt.

Ironman Triathlon

Swim: 3.8km
Bike: 180km
Run: 42.2km

Completing one of these is a massive achievement and is a dream for many triathletes, races last the whole day, with a 17hr cut off time. If you finish an Ironman event feel free to boast to anyone and everyone who’ll listen.

Ultra-Triathlon Distances

If you’ve lost your mind after completing an Ironman and are left wanting more have a look at the ultratriathlon events. A single ultratriathlon is an Ironman distance, but the distances go all the way up to a Triple-Deca-Ultratriathlon which is a total distance of 6774km. Completed over multiple weeks these are the ultimate endurance event.

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