Triathlon distances explained: Here's everything you need to know

If you're looking for a new challenge, we have a guide to help you get started

The Ironman 70.3 event in Weymouth
The Ironman 70.3 event in Weymouth
(Image credit: Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)

Triathlons are always a popular discipline, owing to the unique mix of disciplines that each requires their own focus, training and equipment. 

A triathlon event consists of three different events all linked together - swimming, cycling and running - making it an endurance sport with a twist.  

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Row 0 - Cell 0 SwimBikeRun
Super sprint triathlon500m10km2.5km
Sprint triathlon750m20km5km
Standard / Olympic distance triathlon1.5km40km10km
70.3/middle/half-Ironman distance1.9km90km21.9km
Ironman triathlon3.9km180km42km (marathon)
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MondaySwim session, tempo: 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m30 minutes core in the gym
TuesdayBrick session - Bike: 10min warm up, 2 x 20min intervals, Run: 15minRow 1 - Cell 2
WednesdayClub swim - 500m warm up, 500m drills (form!), 10 x 100m intervals, 500m cool downBike: 10-15 minute warm up, 4x5min effort, 5min recovery, cool down
ThursdayTrack run - 10-20 min warm up, 12 x 400m intervals, 10-20 min cool downRow 3 - Cell 2
Friday Rest30 minutes easy core
SaturdayLong ride - 2-3 hoursRow 5 - Cell 2
SundayLong run - 60 - 90 minutesRow 6 - Cell 2

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan the Editor of Cycling Weekly website. An NCTJ qualified traditional journalist by trade, Michelle began her career working for local newspapers. She's worked within the cycling industry since 2012, and joined the Cycling Weekly team in 2017, having previously been Editor at Total Women's Cycling. Prior to welcoming her daughter in 2022, Michelle raced on the road, track, and in time trials, and still rides as much as she can - albeit a fair proportion indoors, for now.