What is Triathlon?
Triathlon is a multi-discipline endurance sport consisting of a swim, a cycle and a run. Each athlete is timed from the second they enter the water to the second they cross the finish line. Included in this are two transition points where the athlete swaps the wetsuit for the bike and later, the bike for runners. Triathlon is open to people of all ages and abilities, with everyone competing across the same course at (roughly) the same time. It’s also possible to take part as a relay team where the segments are divided between two or three athletes.
Anyone can take part in triathlon and races come in a variety of distances with something to suit all levels:
|Standard (or Olympic)||1500m||40km||10km|
|Middle (or “Half Ironman”)||1900m||90km||21.1km|
|Long (or “Ironman”)||3800m||180km||42.2km|
Many sprint races also offer a beginner “Try-a-Tri” option with a shorter 250m swim. Generally with Try-a-Tri, the bike and run is the same distance as the main race but there are some pure Try-a-Tri races with shorter bike and run distances. Some races offer an “aqua-bike” option for those who can’t, won’t or shouldn’t run. The Club-run Two Provinces Triathlon includes both Try-a-Tri and Aqua-Bike options
In addition to triathlons, other multi-discipline races include duathlons, aquathlons/aquathons.
In duathlons, the swim is replaced by another run and so swim-bike-run becomes run-bike-run. Duathlons are often run as Club training events and as such, races are often run across non-standard distances but two standardised distances are:
|ITU sprint distance||5km||20km||2.5km|
|ITU standard distance||10km||40km||5km|
Note: ITU is the International Triathlon Union, the international governing body for the multi-sport disciplines of triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon etc.
Aquathlon (also known as aquathon) is essentially a triathlon without the bike stage. So swim-bike-run becomes swim-run. Various distances exist, but most common would be the sprint distance (750m swim, followed by 5km run). The Club-run Two Provinces Aquathon takes place in June as part of the Midland Aquathon Series.
Can Anyone Do Triathlon?
Absolutely. If you are looking to improve your fitness and looking for a rewarding challenge, then you should certainly give Triathlon a go.
What Equipment Do I Need To Start?
Without spending a fortune, there are some basics you will need to complete your first triathlon:
- Swim: swimming togs, goggles, hat, wetsuit (it is compulsory to wear a wetsuit in certain events, including open sea swims).
- Cycle: roadworthy bike – mountain, hybrid or racer. Helmet – you will not be allowed to race without one.
- Run: running shoes with good support.
- Other: Tri-suit (makes transitions from swim to bike easier and more comfortable to race in).
But What If I can’t Swim?
Don’t worry! It’s not a problem, or at least not one that cannot be overcome! We recommend that you:
- Get someone else to swim and take part as a relay team. You can find a friend who can swim and there are usually plenty of Club members willing to swim whilst you do the cycling and/or running.
- Try a duathlon. No swim… Duathlon’s are run-bike-run.
- Join our Club and learn to swim! In the first year of our zero2tri programme, one member went from being afraid of putting his head into water in January to taking part in a 3.9km charity swim in August!
Who Are Triathlon Ireland?
Lanesboro Triathlon Club is affiliated to Triathlon Ireland, the governing body for the sport across the island of Ireland. Anyone wishing to take part in triathlon in Ireland must be a member of Triathlon Ireland.