Competitions that are held on a shorter course, such as Sprint triathlons, typically consist of a half-mile swim, a 12.4-mile cycle leg, and a 3.1-mile run leg. This adds up to about 16 miles. It usually takes 1 to 2 hours to complete a sprint triathlon distance.

On the other end, long-course competitions like the Ironman triathlon span ~140.6 miles for each discipline. Depending on the athlete's fitness and experience, it takes between 8 and 16 hours to complete it.

Given that range, it is a common question to ask how long a triathlon is. To help you understand certain triathlon distances, this article will take you through the different race kinds, typical triathlon timings, and other general training advice. This shall help you understand what to anticipate when competing in each triathlon distance.

Triathlon Distances 

The variety of distance options accessible to racers is one of the characteristics of triathlon distance. Whatever your abilities, motives, or training time, there is certainly a format and distance that fits your unique objectives.

Although we shall include some of the most popular triathlon formats and triathlon distances below, there are no constraints on the distances or the order in which the various disciplines are held.

Men and women compete over the same distances and formats as part of the sport's guiding principle of equality.

Distance Swim Bike Run
Super Sprint 400m 10km 2.5km
Sprint 750m 20km 5km
Standard / Olympic 1.5km 40km 10km
70.3 Half Ironman / Middle 1.2m / 1.9km 56m / 90km 13.1m / 21.1km
Ironman / Full 1.2m / 1.9km 112m / 180km 26.2m / 42.2k

Super Sprint Triathlon Distance

For the majority of triathletes, a super sprint triathlon serves as their first distance. Typically, the race includes a 400-meter swim, a 10-kilometre bike ride, and a 2.5-kilometre run.

Due to the shorter distance, super sprints frequently begin the race with swimming before beginning the bike route. No wetsuit is required, and open-water swimming is not a concern.

There are other possibilities if the idea of swimming, riding, and running these distances still seems a little intimidating. A duathlon, which is typically a bike-run competition, or possibly a relay in which participants choose one race leg for themselves as part of a three-person team, could be an entry point into the sport.

Sprint Triathlon Distance

The sprint is a great way to get started in the triathlon multisport arena, regardless of whether you're a weekend warrior or a fitness novice. It's difficult, but training effectively doesn't necessitate major lifestyle changes. It might even be the bug that makes you want to try the next level.

You will have to swim half a mile (750 metres), ride for 12.4 miles (20 kilometres), and run for 3.1 miles on average (5 kilometres). You may anticipate finishing these three legs in around 1.5 hours, depending on your level of fitness, the race's course, and the weather.

If you're a beginner, devote at least three to four months to your sprint triathlon training. If you are an experienced triathlete, you may just spend four to six weeks preparing for race day.

Olympic Triathlon Distance

The next level of sprint triathlon is the Olympic Triathlon distance. The Olympic Triathlon distance is very competitive. Many athletes who are training for an Ironman triathlon choose to compete in this.

You will have to swim 0.93 miles (1.5 Km), bike 24.85 miles (40 Km), and run 6.2 miles when you register yourself for an Olympic triathlon distance. Ideally, this schedule is achievable in three to four hours. Even though it isn't particularly lengthy, the end will test your endurance, make your quads hurt, and try your willpower. While experienced triathletes may only need six to twelve weeks to prepare for this distance, novices may need three to five months. 

While you're competing at the Olympic distance it is important to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. This shall help you prepare for the race better.

Half Ironman Triathlon Distance

The Half Ironman Triathlon serves as a warm-up for the Ironman Triathlon. Your physical and mental endurance will be challenged as you swim 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometres), bike 56 miles (90 kilometres), and run 13.1 miles in this triathlon. This sums up to a total of 70.3 miles (21.1 kilometres).  You can anticipate finishing this event in between five and seven hours once you reach this level of competition. 

So, if you are targeting to participate in this triathlon, be sure to prepare. While experienced triathletes may only need three to four months to prepare for this distance, novices may need four to six months.

As you progress to the half Ironman and Ironman distance triathlons, nutrition on the race becomes significantly more crucial. Therefore, planning your personal dietary and water needs by engaging in continuous exercise is very important.

Full Ironman Triathlon Distance

This is the ultimate race. In addition to being the greatest physically and emotionally, it requires a significant financial commitment to training effectively.

The 2.4 miles swim (3.9 kilometres), 112 miles of a bike ride (180.2 kilometres), and 26.2 miles run adds up to a total triathlon course of 42.2 kilometres. You may expect to finish these three legs in between 10 and 17 hours, depending on your level of fitness, the race's course, and the weather. While experienced triathletes may only need four to six months to prepare for this distance, novices may need six to nine months.

The requirements of nutrition have to be more strict and diligent than compared to a Half Ironman triathlon race. 


So, this was everything in our bag to help you understand the basics of triathlon distance. We hope this information will help you to plan your decision better and prepare for triathlon distances. To purchase any product for your triathlon distance practice, you can always visit our website or drop into the nearest store.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the Ironman triathlon last?

The length of an Ironman, which is the longest distance in triathlons, consists of a 2.4-mile (3.9-km) swim, a 112-mile (180.2-km) bike ride, and a 26.2-mile (42.2-km) run, for a total distance of 140.6 miles (226.3 kilometres). The triathlon organisation also hosts half-Ironman races, which are exactly half the duration of the full Ironman races described above.

How long is each triathlon leg?

  • Sprint Triathlon: Swim 0.5 miles (750m), Bike 12.4 miles (20km), Run 3.1 miles (5km),
  • Olympic Triathlon: Swim 0.93 miles (1.5km), Bike 24.8 miles (40km), Run 6.2 miles (10km)
  • ITU Long Course Triathlon: Swim 1.86 miles (3km), Bike 49.6 miles (80km), Run 12.4 miles (20km)
  • Half Ironman Triathlon: Swim 1.2 miles (1.9km), Bike 56 miles  (90km), Run 13.1 miles (21.09km)
  • Full Ironman Triathlon: Swim 2.4 miles (3.8km), Bike 112 miles (180km), Run 26.2 miles (42.195km)

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