This article is about a type of three-sport athletic competition.
The three typical components of triathlon: swimming, cycling, and running
A triathlon is a multi-sport event involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance events.While many variations of the sport exist, triathlon, in its most popular form, involves swimming, cycling, and running in immediate succession over various distances. Triathletes compete for fastest overall course completion time, including timed "transitions" between the individual swim, bike, and run components.
riathlon 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 (or Standard) distance, commonly referred to as "Olympic distance" (1.5 km swim, 40 km ride, 10 km run), the Long Course (1.9 km swim, 90 km ride, 21.1 km run, such as the Half Ironman), and Ultra Distance (3.8 km swim, 180 km ride, and a marathon: 42.2 km run); the most recognized branded Ultra Distance is the Ironman triathlon.
Transition areas are positioned both between the swim and bike segments , and between the bike and run segments and are where the switches from swimming to cycling and cycling to running occur. These areas are used to store bicycles, performance apparel, and any other accessories needed for preparing and for the next stage of the race.
The nature of the sport focuses primarily on persistent and often periodized training in each of the three disciplines, as well as combination workouts and general strength conditioning.
Triathlon is considered by some to have its beginnings in 1920s France. According to triathlon historian and author Scott Tinley , the origin of triathlon is attributed to a race during the 1920s–1930s that was called variously "Les trois sports", "La Course des Débrouillards", and "La course des Touche à Tout". Nowadays, this race is held every year in France near Joinville-le-Pont, in Meulan and Poissy.
An earlier tri-sport event in 1902 featured running, cycling, and canoeing. There are documented tri-sport events featuring running, swimming, & cycling (not necessarily in that order) in 1920, 1921, 1945, and the 1960s.In 1920, the French newspaper "L´Auto" reported on a competition called "Les Trois Sports" with a 3 km run, 12 km bike, and a swim across the channel Marne. Those three parts were done without any break. Another event was held in 1921 in Marseilles with the order of events bike-run-swim. Among the participants was American athlete Charles Sector. There are also articles in French newspapers about a race in Marseille in 1927. There is a 1934 article about "Les Trois Sports" (the three sports) in the city of La Rochelle, a race with: a channel crossing (c. 200 m), a bike competition (10 km) around the harbor of La Rochelle and the parc Laleu, and (3) a run (1200 m) in the stadium André-Barbeau.
The first modern swim/bike/run event to be called a 'triathlon' was held at Mission Bay, San Diego, California on September 25, 1974. The race was conceived and directed by Jack Johnstone and Don Shanahan, members of the San Diego Track Club, and was sponsored by the track club. 46 participants entered this event. It was reportedly not inspired by the French events, although a race the following year at Fiesta Island, California, is sometimes called 'the first triathlon in America.'
The first modern long-distance triathlon event was the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon. It included a swim of 2.4 miles (3.9 km), a bike ride of 112 miles (180 km), and a marathon run of 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi). It was conceived during the awards ceremony for the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay (a running race for 5-person teams).
Among the participants were numerous representatives of both the Mid-Pacific Road Runners and the Waikiki Swim Club, whose members had long been debating which athletes were more fit: runners or swimmers. On this occasion, U.S. Navy Commander John Collins pointed out that a recent article in Sports Illustrated magazine had proclaimedd that Eddy Merckx, the great Belgian cyclist, had the highest recorded "maximum oxygen uptake" of any athlete ever measured, so perhaps cyclists were more fit than anyone. Collins and his wife, Judy, had taken part in the triathlons staged in 1974 and 1975 by the San Diego Track Club in and around Mission Bay, California, as well as the Optimist Sports Fiesta Triathlon in Coronado, California, in 1975.
A number of the other military athletes in attendance were also familiar with the San Diego races, so they understood the concept when Collins suggested that the debate should be settled through a race combining the three existing long-distance competitions already on the island: the Waikiki Roughwater Swim 2.4 miles (3.9 km), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles (185 km); originally a two-day event) and the 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi)Honolulu Marathon. No one present had ever done the bike race so they did not realize it was a two-day, not one-day, event. Collins calculated that, by shaving 3 miles (4.8 km) off the course and riding counter-clockwise around the island, the bike leg could start at the finish of the Waikiki Rough Water and end at the Aloha Tower, the traditional start of the Honolulu Marathon. Prior to racing, each athlete received three sheets of paper listing a few rules and a course description. Handwritten on the last page was this exhortation:“ Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!”
— Commander Collins, USN (1978)
With a nod to a local runner who was notorious for his demanding workouts, Collins said:“ Whoever finishes first, we'll call him the Ironman. ”
— Commander Collins, USN (1978)
Of the fifteen men to start off in the early morning on February 18, 1978, twelve completed the race and the world's first Ironman, Gordon Haller, completed it in 11 hours, 46 minutes, and 58 seconds.
Today, a number of triathlon events over varying distances are held around the world. The standard "Olympic Distance" of 1.5/40/10 km (.93/24.8/6.2 miles) was created by long time triathlon race director Jim Curl in the mid-1980s, after he and partner Carl Thomas produced the U.S. Triathlon Series (USTS) between 1982 and 1997. The Hawaii Ironman Triathlon serves as the Ironman World Championship. The entity that owns the race, the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), hosts other triathlons around the world that also fall under the Ironman brand. Long-distance multi-sport events organized by groups other than the WTC may not officially be called "Ironman" or "Iron" races.Such triathlons may be described as Full distance triathlon or "Half distance", but the "Ironman" and "Iron" labels are the official property of the WTC.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) was founded in 1989 as the international governing body of the sport, with the chief goal, at that time, to put triathlon on the Olympic program.For its part, the ITU does not sanction WTC races.; however, USAT uses a combination of ITU and WTC rules to sanction WTC's branded events.
The symbol for triathlon in the Olympics
International Ultra-Triathlon Association(IUTA) is the official governing body of Ultratriathlon which involves triathlon in longer distances than Ironman.
Further information: Triathlon at the Summer Olympics
The sport made its debut on the Olympic program at the Sydney Games in 2000 over the Olympic Distance (swim: 1,500 m (1,600 yd) – bike: 40 km (24.9 mi) – run: 10 km (6.2 mi).
In addition to the above distances, two new long distance events have appeared, the 111 and 222 events. The 111 distance is 1 km swimming, 100 km bicycling and 10 km running, totalling 111 km (69.0 miles). The 222 distance is double that.
The ITU accepts a 5% margin of error in the cycle and run course distances.Though there can be some variation in race distances, particularly among short triathlons, most triathlons conform to one of those above standards.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) sanctions and organizes a World Cup series of Olympic distance races each year, culminating in an annual World Championship for both elite pro-triathletes, junior pro-triathletes and amateur athletes in 5-year age-groups. The professional world cup races are conducted in a draft legal format for the bike leg while drafting is not permitted at the amateur level. In addition, the ITU has a Long Distance Triathlon series.
The World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) sanctions and organizes a series of Ironman and Ironman 70.3 distance races each year. These races serve as qualifying events for the World Championships held annually in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i (October, Ironman) and Clearwater, Florida (November, Ironman 70.3).
Triathlons are not all relegated to these prescribed distances. Distances can be any combination of distance set by race organizers to meet various distance constraints or to attract a certain type of athlete.
Rules of triathlon
See also: Triathlon equipment
While specific rules for triathlon can vary depending on the governing body (e.g. USA Triathlon, ITU), as well as for an individual race venue, there are some basic universal rules. Traditionally, triathlon is an individual sport and each athlete is competing against the course and the clock for the best time. As such, athletes are not allowed to receive assistance from anyone else inside or outside the race, with the exception of race-sanctioned aid volunteers who distribute food and water on the course.
Triathlons are timed in five sequential sections: 1) from the start of the swim to the beginning of the first transition (swim time); 2) from the beginning of the first transition to the end of the first transition (T1 time); 3) from the start of the cycling to the end of the cycling leg (cycling time); 4) from the beginning of the second transition to the end of the second transition (T2 time); 5) and finally from the start of the run to the end of the run, at which time the triathlon is completed. Results are usually posted on official websites and will show for each triathlete his/her swim time; cycle time (with transitions included); run time; and total time. Some races also post transition times separately.
Other rules of triathlon vary from race to race and generally involve descriptions of allowable equipment (for example, wetsuits are allowed in USAT events in the swimming stage of some races when the water temperature is below 79 °F (26 °C),and prohibitions against interference between athletes.
One important rule involving the cycle leg is that the competitor must be wearing their bike helmet before the competitor mounts the bike and must remain on until the competitor has dismounted; the competitor may remove their helmet at any time as long as they are not on the bicycle (e.g. while repairing a mechanical problem). Failure to comply with this rule will result in disqualification. Additionally, while on the bike course, all bicycles shall be propelled only by human force and human power. Other than pushing a bicycle, any propulsive action brought on by use of the hands is prohibited. Should a competitor's bike malfunction they can proceed with the race as long as they are doing so with their bicycle in tow.
Triathlon and fitness
Participants in triathlon often use the sport to improve or maintain their physical fitness. With each sport being an endurance event, training for a triathlon provides cardiovascular exercise benefits. Additionally, triathletes encounter fewer injuries than those who only use running as part of their exercise routine due to the incorporation of low impact swim and bike training.
Athletes who participate in endurance events spend many hours training for those events and this is true for triathlon as well. Injuries that are incurred from long hours of a single activity are not as common in triathlon as they are in single sport events. The cross-training effect that athletes achieve from training for one sport by doing a second activity applies to triathlon training.Additional activities that triathletes perform for cross-training benefits are yoga, pilates, and weight training.
Triathletes competing in the swim component of race. Wetsuits are common but not universal
Triathletes will often use their legs less vigorously and more carefully than other swimmers, conserving their leg muscles for the cycle and run to follow. Many triathletes use altered swim strokes to compensate for turbulent, aerated water and to conserve energy for a long swim. In addition, the majority of triathlons involve open-water (outdoor) swim stages, rather than pools with lane markers. As a result, triathletes in the swim stage must jockey for position, and can gain some advantage by drafting, following a competitor closely to swim in their slipstream. Triathletes will often use "dolphin kicking" and diving to make headway against waves, and body surfing to use a wave's energy for a bit of speed at the end of the swim stage. Also, open-water swims necessitate "sighting": raising the head to look for landmarks or buoys that mark the course. A modified stroke allows the triathlete to lift the head above water to sight without interrupting the swim or wasting energy.
Because open water swim areas are often cold and because wearing a wetsuit provides a competitive advantage, specialized triathlon wetsuits have been developed in a variety of styles to match the conditions of the water. For example, wetsuits that are sleeveless and cut above the knee are designed for warmer waters, while still providing buoyancy. Wetsuits are legal in sanctioned events at which the surface water temperature is 78 °F (26 °C) or less. In non-sanctioned events or in "age group" classes where most racers are simply participating for the enjoyment of the sport instead of vying for official USA Triathlon placing, wetsuits can often be used at other temperatures. Race directors will sometimes discourage or ban wetsuits if the water temperature is above 84 degrees due to overheating that can occur while wearing a wetsuit. Other rules have been implemented by race organizers regarding both wetsuit thickness as well as the use of "swim skins;" which need to be considered by those participating in future triathlons.
Triathletes in the cycling portion of the event.
Triathlon cycling can differ from most professional bicycle racing depending on whether drafting is allowed during competition. In some competitions, like those governed by USA Triathlon and the World Triathlon Corporation, drafting is not allowed, the cycling portion more closely resembles individual time trial racing. In other races, such as those in World Cup and Championship racing, drafting and the formation of pelotons are legal. This places an emphasis on running performance as several athletes will enter the bike to run transition at the same time due to drafting.
Triathlon bicycles are generally optimized for aerodynamics, having special handlebars called aero-bars or tri-bars, aerodynamic wheels, and other components. Triathlon bikes use a specialized geometry, including a steep seat-tube angle both to improve aerodynamics and to spare muscle groups needed for running (see also triathlon equipment). At the end of the bike segment, triathletes also often cycle with a higher cadence (revolutions per minute), which serves in part to keep the muscles loose and flexible for running. It is believed, though, that the primary benefit to cycling in a triathlon is that the strain of the effort is placed disproportionately on the slow-twitch muscle fibers, preventing the athlete from accumulating an oxygen debt before the run.
The primary distinguishing feature of running in a triathlon is that it occurs after the athlete has already been exercising in two other disciplines for an extended period of time, so many muscles are already tired. The effect of switching from cycling to running can be profound; first-time triathletes are often astonished at their muscle weakness, maybe caused by lactate accumulation and the bizarre, sometimes painful sensation in their thighs a few hundred yards into the run, and discover that they run at a much slower pace than they are accustomed to in training. Triathletes train for this phenomenon through transition workouts known as "bricks": back-to-back workouts involving two disciplines, most commonly cycling and running.
Triathlon Is a new comprehensive sports events. It requires the athletes to finish swimming, cycling and running consecutively, and represents the athletes' challenging spirits on energy, speed and skill. Triathlon formally became the member of Olympic Games in 1994 by the International Olympic Committee. Triathlon made its Olympic debut in 2000 Sydney and became the official sport for the Asian Games in 2006.
The triathlon in Asian Games adopts the Olympic distance: 1.5km swimming, 40km cycling, and 10km running.It represents the athletes' challenging spirits on energy, speed and skill.
Swimming shall be carried out on the expansive river/lake or sea. The swimming course can be laid out into rectangle or triangle type with buoys on the river. The start and finish lines would be at the same place. Swimming start can adopt the ways of diving into the water from the dock or running into the water from the island.
The surface of the course of cycling should be flat with a minimum of 5m wide. The course includes slope and curving road with certain technical difficulties. 180°returns and crossway shall be avoided.
The road or running should be flat and the width of the course cannot be shorter than 3m, without crossway. And it should be closed to other vehicles. Along the whole distance of this segment, there shall be obvious signs.
During the competition, the athletes should complete swimming, transition from swimming to cycling, transition from cycling to running, running to the finish line in compliance with the regulations.
Triathlon is a stimulating and challenging game. It can best embody the national spirit, full of being dramatic a adventure, and challenging nature. It’s a new type of self-overcoming sport. Triathlon has the several characteristics as follows:
Stimulating and Challenging
Viable Spectator Sport