Triathlon - For those who find one sport isn't enough..
Swim, Bike, Run... alternative being.. Don't drown, don't crash, don't walk!
Triathlon is a relatively new sport, starting in the mid 1970's, but has become increasingly popular over the last 10 years with big increases in year on year participation being recorded, and Sport England estimated over 100,000 people take part each year.
Britain has had strong ties to Triathlon from the early days and we continue to be one of the strongest teams at the highest level, taking home 3 of the 6 Olympic medals from Brazil 2016.
The BBC are a big supporter with the World Triathlon series being televised for the last few years, and some of the major cities in the UK now host weekend events that have professionals and amateurs races over the same course. Triathlon is one of the few sports where you can actually take part in the same race as professionals.
What is a Triathlon?
A triathlon is made up of 3 disciplines, Swimming, Cycling, Running.
The race progresses in that order, with a transition area designated where you change kit, pick up your bike, helmet etc.
How long is a Triathlon?
There are 4 distances that are universally recognised:
Sprint Triathlon: 750m Swim ; 20km Bike ; 5km Run
Olympic Triathlon ; 1500m Swim ; 40km Bike ; 10Km run
70.3 or Half Ironman : 1900m Swim ; 90km Bike ; 21.1 km Run (half marathon). The name 70.3 comes from the fact that you cover 70.3 miles!
Ironman :3800m Swim ; 180km Bike ; 42.2 Km run (Marathon)
In addition, many organisers have shorter distances for beginners, (for example: 200m swim, 10km bike and 2.km swim) and other events and organisers have small differences in the exact distances for one or more disciplines.
But the great news is you can pick from a selection and many people start off at the shorter races and then progress to go faster, further or both!
Why is Triathlon so popular?
- You have great cross training - The 3 sports give you variety across your training, and always give you something to work on.
- The shorter distances are great for learning, beginners and giving it a try.
- There are a wide variety of races and distances, so as you progress, you always have other challenges to aim for
- It is a great social and club sport!
Is it expensive, or what kit do I need?
It doesn't need to be expensive when you start.. borrow a bike, swim in the pool so you don't need a wetsuit, or borrow/hire one until you know you love it.
Alternatively, if you love gadgets, kit and new shiny things, then you have the best of 3 sports to keep up with. Triathlon has always been at the forefront of innovation
What advice would you give someone thinking of taking this challenge up?
Talk to your local club. I have found triathletes to be the most supportive group of people you will ever meet. Everyone has gone through the starting process and professionals and amateurs alike always have been encouraging!
Where can I find more general information?
British Triathlon is the foundation that essentially runs the sport in the UK from the Elite teams down. The home nations have their own organisations as well (Triathlon England, Triathlon Scotland and Welsh Triathlon) and this is a good general website for starting off: https://www.britishtriathlon.org/
Where can I find more information on races?
Event Categories: Duathlon / Triathlon
Event Level: All Levels