So I have recently realised that not everyone actually knows what is involved in a Triathlon, or much about the sport in general. It’s easy to forget when you are “in” to something that not EVERYONE knows what’s involved. I thought I would write a series of posts that gives a general background on the sport and my take on why so many people are starting to take up triathlon and also include some of my personal tips and hints for newbies (i.e. all the things I learnt in my first 12 months in the sport)
Definition of a Triathlete (i.e.: one who competes in Triathlons)
So if you like the sounds of the above definition then read on! No seriously triathlon is basically a race that involves a swim leg, followed by a bike leg, followed by a run leg. The point between the swim and the bike is call Transition 1 or T1, and from the bike to the run its called Transition 2 or T2. So it goes SWIM-T1-BIKE-T2-RUN. Triathlons come in varying distances but the traditional ones are:
1.SUPER SPRINT DISTANCE TRIATHLON:
350swim, 10km bike, 2.5 km swim – this distance is great for kids and nervous/just returning or starting fitness adults
2. SPRINT DISTANCE TRIATHLON:
750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run – great beginners distance triathlon (worth getting out of bed for)
3. STANDARD/OLYMPIC /5150 DISTANCE TRIATHLON:
1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run – Great for starting to push the limits, perhaps after a few sprints. This is the standard distance of Triathlons at the Olympic games
4. HALF IRONMAN/70.3/HALF CHALLENGE DISTANCE TRIATHLON
1900M swim, 90km bike ride, 21.12km run(half marathon) – so now we are getting serious. This is the start of long course/endurance triathlons (and were the fun starts if you ask me). You need a minimum of 4 months really to train for this, less if you have a good level of fitness already and well skilled in each of the disciplines required.
5. IRONMAN/CHALLENGE TRIATHLON
3800M swim, 180km bike ride, 42.2km run (full marathon) – so this the big one. This is what most people have on their bucket list due to the challenge and effort required to complete this distance. you are looking at least 4-6 months of pretty intense and focused training before you should attempt this distance.
Triathlon has a distance for all levels of fitness and I highly recommend if you are remotely curious to give one a go. They really are quite fun and give you a sense of accomplishment when you cross the finish line. You don’t need anything particularly fancy for your first one, and many items can be hired (i.e. a wetsuit if required and even the bike). Once you have tried it you can then decided if you want to make the invest in these items (and many others that are nice to haves).
To get started visit the following website that give you more information on the sport of triathlon :
Watch out though – if you like it prepare to become ADDICTED.
PART II – What do I need to get started?