A Beginner's Guide to Triathlons

A triathlon involves three consecutive endurance races, typically including swimming, bicycling, and running. The participant who finishes first overall is declared the winner, with transition times between the races also counted.

There are various types of triathlons, but these three disciplines are the most common. The history of the sport is somewhat controversial. Many believe it originated in California during the 1970s, while others argue it began decades earlier in Europe.

Transitions occur in a designated transition area, where athletes change their gear for the different segments of the race. This includes everything from bicycles to sunglasses to running hats. The transition between swimming and biking is known as T1, while the transition between biking and running is known as T2.

Athletes prepare for triathlons by training for each segment, ensuring they are ready for the unique demands of swimming, cycling, and running.

How Triathlon was Introduced to the World

The modern Triathlon dates back to the 1970s when it was introduced by the San Diego Track Club. By the late 1980s, the first international world Championships were held in Europe. Read about how triathlons became a worldwide phenomenon.

San Diegans Remember World's First Triathlon 40 Years Ago - At Mission Bay?

San Diego television station KPBS interviews the two people who had the idea to start a triathlon back in the 1970s and offers maps and oral histories of the first triathlon by people involved with the event.

The First Triathlon Ever

Jack Johnstone, one of the two founders of the first modern triathlon in San Diego, wrote a first-person account of developing the idea for the event and stories behind the inaugural running, swimming, and biking of the triathlon.

Triathlon Equipment and History

The Triathlon became an Olympic event in 2000 at the Sydney Games. The official Olympic website offers an overview of the history of the sport and its Olympic debut.

Triathlon Milestones

A breakdown of triathlon records (in case you're ready to break one).

History of Triathlon (PDF)

Often, the beginning of the modern triathlon is dated to the 1970s in California. This in-depth history traces its beginning to the 1920s in France.

Triathlon Types and Distances

There are four basic types of triathlons. Additionally, each triathlon is influenced by the course and culture of the location where it is held. Learn the difference between a Half Iron and Iron Man here.

Triathlon Distances Explained: From Sprint Triathlons to Ultra Ironman Triathlons?

An experienced triathloner narrates this video explaining the different types of triathlons and the lengths of each event in the various triathlon types.

What is Triathlon?

The Triathlon Club of South Wales has an informative table breaking down the various types of triathlons. They also provide information about becoming involved with the sport.

Triathlon Distances, Training and Equipment Explained

Unsure about the equipment needed for triathlon training, or need more clarification on the distances involved in triathlons? Cycling Weekly clarifies the technicalities of triathlons.

Triathlon Training

The New York Times offers a six-week training program for basically fit people to prepare for a triathlon. The article also has suggestions and modifications for less-fit people who need to do some conditioning before beginning the program.

A 12-Week Triathlon Training Plan For Beginners

A triathlon featuring a half-mile ocean swim, an 18-mile bike ride, and a four-mile run influenced the design of this training plan for people new to triathlons. The basic fitness level to begin utilizing this training plan is quite low by design.

The Science and Art of Triathlon Training

Practicing bike riding, running, and swimming is not enough to properly train for a triathlon. The science and art behind triathlon training is explained here.

Six Principles of Efficient Triathlon Training

Since triathlons consist of three sports, they pose particular time management challenges for participants balancing careers and families along with training. These tips offer ways for busy people to maximize their training time.

4 Quick Triathlon Transition Tips

Time spent transitioning between events counts in the athlete's total time. These tips will shave time off transition and help participants post their best possible overall times.

Blazing Fast Transition for Triathlons

Adjustments in pre-event preparation and the types of clothes worn can impact transition times during a triathlon.

What You Really Need to Know for Your First Triathlon?

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when preparing for an initial triathlon. Runners World offers tips and ideas to help beginners succeed.

What I Learned from My First Triathlon

What and when should a participant eat? Are wet suits a good idea? This first-person recounting of an initial triathlon has helpful information and ideas of what pitfalls to avoid.

7 Things You Should Know Before Your First Triathlon?

There are a lot of components in a triathlon. A writer who recently completed their first triathlon shares tips like relying on the side stroke when swimming.

Mistakes I Made - and Lessons Learned - on My First Triathlon?

An article from the Los Angeles Times recounts the recent mistakes made by someone completing their first triathlon.

Just Keep Moving Forward: Your First Triathlon?

Experienced runners often consider making the transition to triathlons. Women's Running Magazine offers ideas and support for those making the change.

7 Amazing Triathlons That Are Perfect for Newbies?

Ready to participate? These triathlons are great for first-time participants.

Essential Gear for Triathlons: Beginners Guide

Triathlon participants need more than good running shoes to participate. From sunglasses to transition bags, all the gear needed to complete a triathlon is listed.

Triathlon Clothing: What To Wear In a Triathlon?

Do triathloners wear socks? What sort of swimsuit is best? What helmet is needed? The CompleteTri breaks down all aspects of clothing and provides examples of the best clothing to purchase.

Setting Up Your Triathlon Transition Area

A good triathlon begins the day before when participants began prepping their equipment. This guide tells athletes how to arrange their transition areas for maximum efficiency.

10 Things to Not Bring to Your First Triathlon

There's lots of equipment available to triathlon participants. Here, learn what can be skipped.

Why Is Swimming the Most Deadly Leg of a Triathlon??

Triathlons aren't particularly deadly. However, most deaths occur during the first portion. Scientists explore why most deaths take place during the swimming portion of the event.

Swim, Bike, Run: Tips for Your Child's First Triathlon from Tri 4 Schools!?

Some areas offer triathlons for children and teenagers. These tips assist in helping young people prepare for their first events!

Triathlons for Kids

Children can be involved in triathlon via a variety of age-appropriate events. These include dash and splash events for toddlers.

The Rise of Women in Triathlon

Team USA offers a timeline of women's participation in the sport.

The Ultimate Triathlon Diet Guide

Macros, protein amounts, and a sample diet plan are included in this exhaustive guide to proper nutrition for participants.

A Meal Plan for Triathletes

Triathlon participation and training is grueling. Proper nutrition is key. The meal plans here will help while training and on the day of the event.

Triathlete, 71, Wants to Change Age Stereotypes

One British woman wants to show the world that people beyond young adults participate in the sport.

Susan Williams Guide to Watching the Triathlon

Just like there's a learning curve for participants, there's also a learning curve first time viewers of a triathlon. This guide helps new viewers know what to watch for to maximize enjoyment of the experience.

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