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By far the most popular multidisciplinary sport, a triathlon combines swimming, cycling and running in sequence - with five officially recognised distances and plenty more for the fun of it. The five official distances are: Sprint (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km bike), Olympic (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km swim); ITU Long (3km swim, 80km bike, 20km run); Half/Middle-Distance/70.3/Half-Ironman (1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run); Full/Ironman (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run). ‘Unofficial’ distances include Super-Sprint or Mini Triathlons (400m swim, a 10km bike, 2.5km run) or Ultra Triathlons (generally referring to all triathlon events with a distance that is a multiple of the Ironman Triathlon).So, whether it’s your very first tri or your 50th, there are incredible events for all levels running up and down the whole country. Check them out below...
Sunday, 7th Aug 2022
Sunday, 4th Sep 2022
Sunday, 4th Sep 2022
Sunday, 11th Sep 2022
Wilmslow, Cheshire East
5k, sprint, super sprint
Sunday, 11th Sep 2022
Saturday, 7th May 2022
Sunday, 15th May 2022
Pinner, Greater London
Saturday, 9th Jul 2022
Saturday, 16th Jul 2022
Tuesday, 18th Oct 2022
super sprint, olympic, sprint
Sunday, 26th Jun 2022
Fort Augustus, Highland Council
ultramarathon, medium (2–5km)
Triathlons in the UK
The triathlon is a multi-sport event combining swimming, cycling and running. The length and duration of these events can vary greatly, ranging from just a few miles to 140 plus. In addition, conditions in competition can differ from event to event. The swim could be in an indoor pool or the sea, and cycling or running on flat coastal roads or rolling countryside hills.
The UK plays host to some of the best triathlon events in the world. Large scale events such as the ITU Worlds Triathlon Leeds and London Triathlon host athletes of all levels of experience with big crowds building a buzzing atmosphere.
What you need to know about Triathlons
The Super-Sprint distance (400m,10k, 2.5k) and Sprint distance (750m, 20k, 5k) triathlons are great for beginners looking to explore multi-sport. These events can be attempted without much prior training, however, if you want to be competitive you should practice your transitions as they can make a big difference to your time. Our 8 week sprint triathlon training plan will get you up to speed. If you are well prepared you could expect to finish a Super-Sprint in under an hour and the Sprint in under 90 minutes.
Olympic (1.5k, 40k, 10k) distance triathlons are the standard distance for international competition. To be competitive here, you’ll need to take your training seriously. We recommend following our 12 week middle distance triathlon training plan (designed for Half Ironman preparation) to get you in shape. If you want to compete in a big name event, the ITU World Triathlon event in Leeds is one of the most popular in the UK, and you’ll get to see some of the worlds best competing for the World Series title. If you can finish one of these in under 3 hours, kudos to you.
The final two distances are the Middle Distance / Half Ironman (1.9k, 90k, 21.1k) and the Full Distance / Ironman (3.8k, 180k, 42.2k). Finishing these events is an achievement in itself. IRONMAN UK and the Outlaw Triathlon are among the UK’s favourites. If you have trained well for a Half Ironman you could be pushing for under 6 hours for men and 7 for women. For the full distance, anything under the 17hr cut off point is a solid accomplishment, but under 13 hours (men) and 14 hours (women) deserves serious respect.
To compete in a triathlon you’ll need the right gear. We’ve written a blog post on 33 essential items to pack for a triathlon, which highlights what you really need and why. Don’t forget your swim cap!
Nearby Triathlon Events
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