Triathlon Distances – What’s Your Distance?

Triathlon Distances – What’s Your Distance?


As with most events, there are many different race distances in the world of triathlon. If you are fairly new to triathlon and have yet to give serious thought to which distance will suit you best, maybe now’s the time.

Your training through the winter and in the pre-season should always be geared towards preparing you for your first priority events. If, for example, you are training for an Ironman distance race sometime next season, it’s important that your training reflects that. By all means, take part in races of other distances, but make sure that your training is always has this ultimate goal at its core.

We’ve included this table to give a brief overview of the most popular triathlon distances. Click the drop-down for a short description.



[toggle title=”Sprint”]Sprint distance triathlons are the most variable of all the tri distances. These are usually the first step into triathlon for most people. the most common distances are Swim (750m), Bike (20km), Run (5km)[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Olympic”]The Olympic distance (also known as ‘international’, ‘standard’ or ‘short course’ distance) is one of the most common types of triathlon. The distances involved are very specific. They are: swim (1.5km), bike (40km), run (10km).[/toggle]

[toggle title=”ITU Long”]An ITU Long Tri is ‘double’ the Olympic, or standard distance. Swim (3km), bike (80km), run (20km).[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Half”]A ‘half’ triathlon is half the standard Ironman distance. It’s often referred to as a 70.3 tri as this is the total distance covered (in miles). The distances are: swim (1.93 km), bike (90 km), run (21.09km)[/toggle]

[toggle title=”Full”]A ‘full’ or Ironman distance triathlon is often the ultimate goal of a triathlete. The distances are: swim (3.86km), bike (180km) and run (42.2km, Marathon).[/toggle]


It’s important to note that as well as these standard distance events there are many other unique events which involve very different distances, terrain and demands.



We are currently trying to understand more about our reader’s training goals. To help us, please tell us which distance you will be training for in the run up to next season. Thanks for your help.