In terms of sport, triathlon is relatively new to the growing list of activities available to endurance enthusiasts. France can lay claim to ‘inventing’ triathlon when it held a race called Les Trios Sport in 1920. Translated as ‘three sports’, this event consisted of a channel crossing, 12k bike ride, and a 3k run. Since then the popularity of this sport has grown rapidly and gained worldwide recognition making it’s Olympic debut at the 2000 Olympic games.
There are many types of professional triathlons, ranging from the shortest, the super sprint, to the longest, the full (commonly known as the Ironman). The Ironman World Championship has been held in Kona, Hawaii since 1978, and the Ironman race series takes place in many locations around the world. Most triathlons are individual events requiring the athlete to complete all three legs of the race. The appeal of triathlon is that it is often seen as a realistic goal for those new to the sport, and organizers are now placing greater emphasis on fun rather than competition. There are two main categories within a triathlon, Professional and Amateur. The Amateur category is the separated by sex and age group, whereas Professional is separated by sex. Each leg of a triathlon competition is time along with each transition, which is the time between finishing one leg and beginning another. Triathlon is a rare sport in that the ability levels of competitors vary and you see all different age ranges and abilities from world-class professionals to those whose simple goal is to finish an event.
Similar to other endurance sports, triathletes have a wide range of products available to them for training and competition. Due to the swim component typically being in open water, triathletes will wear wetsuits to stay warm. The wetsuit used will vary depending on the temperature of the water, but they add another benefit, which is buoyancy. Triathlon bikes or Tri bikes are almost identical to time trial bikes, but some have proprietary aerodynamic storage “boxes” for the athletes to carry nutritional product for longer distances.
Triathlon is considered one of the ultimate cross-training workouts, given that athletes train across three different disciplines often avoiding the repetitive motion that comes with one activity. For many, triathlon is a lifestyle to be enjoyed in a friendly, family orientated environment that continues to attract many new participants every year.
Use Endurance Unlimited to organize your own triathlon with friends! Simulating a race is one way many competitors train, or simply get out there and start swimming, riding, and running with your Endurance Unlimited community.