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All the Triathlon distances explained (super sprint to Ironman)

Triathlon Distances

A lot of people think of Triathlon as one thing. However, this sport comes in many forms (distances).

Most Common Triathlon Distances

Here is a list of the most common Triathlon distances - indicated as swim/bike/run in km and miles:

  • Super Sprint: 400m/10km/2.5km (0.24/11.2/1.55 miles)
  • Sprint: 750m/20km/5km (0.5/12.4/3.1 miles)
  • Olympic (aka Standard or 5150): 1500m/40km/10km (0.93/24.8/6.2 miles)
  • Middle (aka Half): 2.5km/80km/20k (1.2/56/13.1 miles)
  • ITU Long: 3km/80km/20km (1.86/49.6/12.4 miles)
  • Full (aka Ironman): 3.8km/180km/42km (2.4/112/26.2 miles)

The recommended distances for novice triathletes are typically Super Sprint and Sprint. However, you are the best judge for what motivates you and what makes a good challenge.

Shorter distances can either be "Draft legal" - especially those on the ITU calendar - or "No-Draft". Longer distances - such as those of the Ironman and Challenge brand - are always No-Draft.

Some of these distances can vary depending on the race. In particular, ITU Long varies in length between a double Olympic to an Ironman. 2019's ITU World Championships in Pontevedra will include a 3km swim, 112km bike, and 30 km run.

With that said, I wish you good luck with your next race.

Start small but don't be afraid to dream big!


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