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How Far Do You Swim in a Triathlon?

Water Swim

How far do you swim in a Triathlon?

This is a common question among wannabe triathletes. Swimming is, of the three sports, the one that many consider the most challenging one, or at least the scariest.

There isn't a single answer since there are so many distances for Triathlons as the swim can very in length from 400 meters (or yards) to 3.8 kilometers (2.3 miles). However, we have grouped some of the most common ones.

400 meters (pool based or Super Sprint)

400 meters is a common distance for triathlons where the swim is done in a swimming pool and for the Super Sprint distance (often referred to also as "Tri a Tri"). This distance may vary also depending on the size of the swimming pool, with 400 yards being another common distance. 

750 meters (Sprint)

750 meters is the typical swimming distance for a Sprint Triathlon. It's uncommon for a Sprint triathlon to have a different distance for the swim unless the competition is run indoors. In miles, it's 0.46 miles.

1500 meters (Olympic or Standard)

The swim for the Olympic distance, also sometimes called "Standard", is 1500 meters, or 0.93 miles. This is the most standard distance of all and is the one completed by athletes at the Olympic Games and the World Triathlon Series. Pool based Olympic distance Triathlons are quite uncommon.

1900 meters (Half or Middle)

The typical distance of the swim in a "Half" Ironman, or "Middle" distance is 1900 meters, or 1.2 miles. Keep in mind that Ironman is a copyright of the "World Triathlon Corporation", the company that owns the Ironman brand. Their "Middle" distance events are called "Ironman 70.3" whereas other events and brands will typically refer to "Half" or "Middle".

3800 meters (Full or Long)

In a "Full" Ironman, or "Lond" distance, the swimming part lasts for 3800 meters, or 2.4 miles. The World Triathlon Corporation refers to this distance as simply "Ironman" whereas other events and brands will use the terms "Long", "Full". Some events use a variation of the word "Man", such as Norseman, Israman, Elbaman, etc. However, keep in mind the use of the word "Man" doesn't necessarily indicate a specific distance. Norseman is an "Extreme" full distance triathlon whereas Israman has both a full and a middle distance race.

Adventure Races and Other

The truth is that there are many races and triathlons out there, way more than a single blog post could ever contain. The swim distance may vary depending on the location, condition, and at times a swim could be shortened or moved indoors in case of adverse weather conditions.

Now, you can say you know all of the swimming distances in Triathlon.

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