Welcome to myfirsttriathlon.co.uk.
I invite you to join me in a journey into the unknown, unfamiliar and somewhat bewildering world of triathlon. I will be posting all my successes and failuers on this site as I stumble about and try to find my way to becoming a competitive triathlete. On myfirstriathlon.co.uk I will be discussing everything that I learn and anything that occurs to me about to the sport of triathlon. This could be anything from discussions about one of the three diciplines; swimming, cycling and running, the kit and equipment used while doing these activities and nutrition. So let’s get to it.
What is a triathlon?
Triathlon is a multi disciplinary sport consisting of the three separate disciplines; swimming, cycling and running. In general, triathlon is considered an endurance sport. The three events are completed in succession, to form a single event, in the order swim, cycle and finally the run with what are known as transitions between the disciplines. Triathlons come in many different formats and can vary greatly in the distances covered; from a super sprint distance through to the mighty Ironman. Participants may compete as individuals or as members of a team. Teams may be structured in such a way that each member has to complete the full triathlon as an individual and their times are added together to get a team time or each individual may complete only one of the three disciplines, known as a relay.
In general, a super sprint distance triathlon consists of a 400 m (0.25 mile) swim, a 10 km (6.2 mile) cycle, and a 2.5 km (1.5 mile) run. The distances covered in each discipline can vary quite a bit form one race event to another, but the ones listed here and in the table below are recognised as the standard for super sprint distance triathlons. The relatively short distance covered in each of the disciplines when compared with other triathlon events makes the super sprint distance very popular with new comers to the sport of triathlon. The necessary training one would need to perform in order to complete a super sprint is considered minimal, another factor contributing to their popularity.
Sprint distance triathlons are also very popular, with distances of 750 m (0.47 miles) for the swim, 20 km (12.4 miles) for the cycle and 5 km (3.1 miles) for the run. Although the distances are slightly longer than those required for a super sprint, they are still relatively easy to achieve. A Sprint distance triathlon does not require hours and hours of training in order to complete. However, this is a fiercely competitive triathlon distance, so if you are hoping to do well in a race, you best get training.
As the name suggests, the Olympic distance triathlon is an Olympic event. The Olympic distance triathlon, also known as “international distance” requires a 1.5 km (0.93 mile) swim, a 40 km (24.8 mile) cycle and a 10 km (6.2 mile) run. These distances do demand a certain level of endurance and ability, but this is still a very popular distance. Olympic distance triathlons are seen as endurance challenges by many wish who to push themselves beyond their comfort zones. The swim leg of this distance is more likely to be completed in open water.
A half distance triathlon, also known as “middle distance” and sometimes referred to as a 70.3 (named for the total number of miles travelled) covers, as the name suggests, half the distance of the Iron-man. The required distances are a 1.93 km (1.2 miles) swim, a 90 km (56 miles) cycle and 21.9 km (13.1 mile) run. It would probably not be advisable to turn up for one of these half-ironman events without at least doing a little training.
Not for the feint hearted, this is one tough event. Athletes are required to complete a swim of 3.86 km (2.4 miles), a cycle of 180 km (112 miles) and a run of 42.2 km (26.3 miles). Yes you read that correctly, the ironman ends with an measly marathon, just for laughs! Despite these incredibly demanding distances, the ironman or full distance triathlon is incredibly popular with experienced triathletes and new comers alike. Due to the physical and mental demands placed on the athletes taking part in an ironman, they have become a very popular way for people to push themselves and raise money for charity, much like the marathon has.
|Super Sprint||400 m (0.25 mi)||10 km (6.2 mi)||2.5 km (1.5 mi)|
|Sprint||750 m (0.47 mi)||20 km (12.4 mi)||5 km (3.1 mi)|
|Olympic||1.5 km (0.93 mi)||40 km (24.8 mi)||10 km (6.2 mi)|
|Half Ironman||1.93 km (1.2 mi)||90 km (56 mi)||21.09 km (13.1 mi)|
|Full Ironman||3.86 km (2.4 mi)||180 km (112 mi)||42.2 km (26.2 mi)|
Hopefully that answers the most basic question, what is a triathlon? Clicking on the three icons below will take you to the three main sections of this site.