What Is a Triathlon?

Triathlon is an individual multidisciplinary sport divided into three tests that take place in succession based on different distances depending on the event. It is a young sport that has been enjoying great success in recent years. Activities include swimming, cycling and running.

“The triathlon is composed by the three disciplines of aerobic type, then from the three disciplines of the fund, and therefore require a different commitment from the point of view of the muscle groups involved in each discipline. So, we can say that the triathlete is a long-distance runner, an athlete dedicated to the sport of endurance, or of the fund, which you want, one muscle development is complete and harmonious, that makes it a perfect game from all points of view.

Triathlon is therefore not, as some might think, the sum of three sports but a real game in its own right. It is taken from the site of Fitri (Italian Triathlon Federation).

The legend says that it was born from a bet between a group of friends, on the beaches of Hawaii, asked what the most challenging race between the Waikiki Rough Water Swim of 3.8 km, the 112-mile bike race around Oahu to 180 km was) and the Honolulu Marathon of 42.195 km. This story has only fueled the myth of the IRONMAN. Since 2000, the triathlon has been a men’s and women’s Olympic discipline where the races played are on the same distance.


Standard distances in triathlon are:

  • Supersprint: 400 m swimming, 10 km cycling, 2.5 km running
  • Sprint: 750 m swimming, 20 km cycling, 5 km running
  • Olympic: 1500 m swimming, 40 km cycling, 10 km running
  • XTerra: 1500 m swimming, 30 km, 10 km running
  • Olympic doubles: 3000 m swimming, 80 km cycling, 20 km running
  • Ironman 70.3 o Half Ironman: 1900 m swimming, 90 km cycling, 21, 097 runs
  • Extended: 4000 m swimming, 120 km cycling, 30 km running
  • Ironman: 3800 m swimming, 180 km cycling, 42,195 running

The distances Super Sprint, Sprint, and Olympic, are suitable for beginners and also need a few months of constant training to complete them. The attention I said Finished, not to set new world records!

The other distances are more challenging, and they also need years of training if we are talking about Ironman and half Ironman.

Although difficult to believe, in some areas of the world triathlon competitions are organized whose distances are multiple to those of the Ironman even three or four times or more. Olympic triathlon competitions are regulated and controlled by the ITU (International Triathlon Union) responsible for awarding world and continental titles.

However, the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 brands are owned by an outside federation that sponsors races around the world and helps fuel the Ironman myth in a particular way with the world championship race taking place every year in Kailua-Kona in Hawaii.

In Italy, however, the triathlon is managed by Fitri (Italian Triathlon Federation) affiliated to it.

Triathlon as an individual sport

In the early days, any form of collaboration between athletes was prohibited, such as exploiting the trail of other athletes during the cycling fraction.

With the introduction of discipline to the Olympic Games, this ban was dropped on Olympic and lower distances due to the difficulties of enforcing the rules due to a large number of athletes enclosed within seconds at the finish line.

The Ironman circuit races, however, still have an absolute ban on skiing in the cycling fraction and are called no Draft races (without a trial).

Judging by the high number of athletes, increasing every year, they prove to be a huge success.

The triathlon has seen in recent years increase its popularity by giving birth to some variants to allow to enlarge the pool of users.

The most famous are:

  • Duathlon: race on three Tests, but composed of only two disciplines: running and cycling. The sequence is a fraction of running, one of cycling and one more of running. Also in this sport, different distances are depending on the event.
  • Aquathlon: like the duathlon, but the fractions are running, swimming, running.
  • Winter Triathlon: in this discipline, the winter element is used, and the three fractions are: running, cycling (in this case mountain biking) and cross-country skiing.
  • XTerra: this is a unique triathlon formula. It can be said that it is the off road del triathlon because in addition to the first fraction of swimming involves the fractions of cycling and running on dirt tracks.