Distances in the triathlon

When you start to start in this sport, you will see that there are many different distances in triathlon, so we want to help you differentiate them and thus choose the one that best suits your conditions.

Triathlon is a mix of 3 sports (swimming, cycling, and running) and triathlon distances vary.

In this article we take a look at the most common triathlon distances out there.

Distance Swimming Biking Race on foot
Ironman 3.8 km 180 km 42.195 km
Long 1.000 to 4.000 m 100 to 200 km 10 to 42,2 km
Media 1.900 to 3.000 m 80 to 90 km 20 to 21 km
Olympic 1.500 m 40 km 10 km
Shorts 900 m 40 km 10 km
Sprint 750 m 20 km 5 km
Super sprint 250 to 500 m 6,5 to 13 km 1,7 to 3,5 km
infant 200 - 500 m 5-15 km 1-5 km

What distances does the triathlon have?

 In theory, a triathlon can be finished at any distance. However, some of the most famous triathlon events in the world, such as the Alpe d'Huez Triathlon, have custom lengths.

IRONMAN triathlon

IRONMAN is a brand, but other independent companies organize iron distance (or full distance) events.

Their distances are 3.800 meters of swimming, 180 kilometers of cycling and 42 kilometers of running.

The fastest times over this distance were set at Challenge Roth in Germany.

Half-Ironman / Ironman 70.3

 The Ironman 70.3, also known as half or medium distance, is an increasingly prominent challenge among triathletes and has developed so much that there are now more opportunities to run this distance than to face the full Ironman.

Its distance is half that of the IRONMAN. 1.900 meters of swimming, 90 kilometers of cycling and 21 kilometers of run on foot

70.3 means the total distance traveled in miles during the entire event.

The first Ironman 70.3 World Championship was held in Florida in 2006, but the growing demand is now shifting annually to different parts of the world.

Olympic triathlon

If you have ever seen triathlons at the Olympics, you will have witnessed how triathletes compete in the standard or Olympic distance of 1,5 km of swimming, 40 km of cycling and 10 km of running.

This distance was introduced since the World Triathlon Alliance, now World Triathlon, started its first world championship in France in 1989.

The Olympic or standard distance remains the elementary distance of the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS).

Short Triathlon

This is a competition that is increasingly seen in testing. It is between the sprint and the standard and is ideal to have the sensations and prepare the jump to endurance sports.

Their distances are usually 900 meters of swimming, 40 kilometers of cycling and 10 kilometers of running although there are variations depending on the competition

Sprint Triathlon

Another well-known triathlon distance, the sprint format, is half the Olympic distance.

Distances: 750 swimming, 20 kilometers of cycling and 5 kilometers of running

It is also the distance chosen by the elite juniors until reaching the sub 23 category, and the sprint distance is set to replace the standard distance in Olympic competitions.

Some events offer the alternative of a standard / Olympic distance, sprint or even a super sprint that usually involves a different number of laps on the same course.

Supersprint Triathlon

Thanks to their shorter distance, Supersprints are usually performed in a pool (16 lengths of a 25-meter pool) before heading to the bike tour.

Distances: from 250 to 500 meters of swimming, 6 to 13 kilometers of cycling and 1,7 to 3,5 kilometers of running

As a result, there is no need to wear a wetsuit or worry about swimming in open water.

Other Formats

ultra triathlon

The 'Ultra' triathlon distances include double, triple and quad iron distance events, up to one deca and even double deca, with these last 20 iron distance races in 20 days or a continuous and overwhelming 48 mile swim 2240 miles and 524 miles of running.

  • The first day you swim 10 kilometers (6,2 miles) and then you do 144,8 kilometers of cycling (90 miles).
  • On the second day, they cycle for 273,5 kilometers (170 miles).
  • On the third and final day, participants do 84,3 kilometers (52,4 miles)

Super League Triathlon

The Super League Triathlon Distance is a new, exciting and super short race format. Fast and wild, the Super League triathlon is contested by some of the best short distance triathletes from around the world, including Olympic medalists and champions from around the world.

Slt Arena Games

The big difference from the SLT Arena Games is that you swim in a pool, ride a roller bike, and run on a treadmill.

In addition, the race takes place on the virtual platform Zwift, so viewers also have the opportunity to see their avatars in direct competition with the Zwift interface.

We recommend reading this article  What distance do I choose to debut in triathlon?

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