running in succession over various distances. Triathletes compete for fastest overall
course completion time, including timed "transitions" between the individual swim, bike,
and run components. Triathlon races vary in distance. According to the International Triathlon Union, and USA Triathlon, the main international race distances are
- Sprint distance (750 m swim, 20 km bike, 5 km run),
- Intermediate distance, commonly referred to as "Olympic distance"
(1.5 km swim, 40 km ride, 10 km run),
- Long Course (1.9 km swim, 90 km ride, 21.1 km run, such as the Half Ironman),
- Ultra Distance (3.8 km swim, 180 km ride,
- Marathon: 42.2 km run),
- Ultra Distance a.k.a. Ironman triathlon. (the most recognised)
As you can see, a triathlon is an extremely demanding sport and a very difficult event to complete. To be even moderately successful, a triathlete must have
- An above average mental toughness to endure the inevitable pain that comes
with pushing our bodies to extreme levels of fatigue and exhaustion.
- A very strong motivation for wanting to train for, complete the first triathlon
and subsequently pushing relentlessly to improve the overall course completion
- A almost superhuman ability to focus on executing the course strategy despite
the pain and exhaustion.