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What are the distances in a triathlon?

As the sport has grown over the years, it is very common for those of us who have participated in triathlon for some time to forget where we started. 

A beginner, and knowing nothing.



Luckily, with use of the google search bar, we can find out just about everything via the internet.

All that being said, I still wanted to write the varying distances in Triathlon and their varying names.

So, what are the distances in triathlon?

For the very beginner or even those who are really time poor but still want to give triathlon a go, you have Super Sprint.

The Super Sprint distance can actually vary depending on who is hosting the event and also sometimes in the country.

  • Swim 250m - 400m
  • Bike - 10kms
  • Run - 2.5kms

Next up you have, Sprint distance.  Now, these can be either pool based or lake based. The distances are :-

  • Swim - 400m -750m
  • Bike - 20kms
  • Run - 5kms

It should be noted, that depending on who is hosting the event, these distances may vary ever so slightly. The variance will be due to pool size for example, or the exact distance cannot be covered by the bike due to logistics and the council. 

Following, the Sprint distance we move to the Olympic distance. This is also the same distance as what the athletes do at the Olympics.

Did you know? Triathlon actually debuted as a competing sports at the Sydney Olympic Games.

The swim tends to be held in open water. This can either be a lake, sea, canal, all depends again on who is hosting the event and where.

The distances are:-

  • Swim -1.5kms
  • Bike - 40km
  • Run - 10kms

Now, we are getting closer to my personal favourite distance, but first we have what can either be called a Middle Distance Triathlon,  a Half Ironman or 70.3. They are same thing, except that Ironman the brand, can only call it a Half Ironman.

The distance for a Half Ironman is :-

  • Swim 1.9kms
  • Bike - 90kms
  • Run - 21.1kms aka a Half marathon.

Finally, my favourite distance out of them all is Ironman. There are other crazy distances post Ironman, but I'm stopping at Ironman distance.

The distances for an Ironman is

  • Swim - 3.8kms
  • Bike - 180kms
  • Run - 42.2kms 

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