Let’s start with the basics – what is a triathlon? Well, it’s a continuous multiple-stage event involving three different disciplines; swimming, cycling and running. To the casual observer this may seem like a thigh-tremblingly torturous event, perfect for elite athletes, not so much for us mere mortals, thanks. But the triathlon is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world and for good reason.
How Far Is A Triathlon?
There are various triathlon distances to accommodate all levels and ages. But if you’re searching for the perfect beginner triathlon events, then look no further than the super sprint triathlon, which is a 400m swim/ 10km bike/2.5km run and the sprint triathlon distance, which is made up of a 750m swim/20km bike ride/5km run.
It’s the variety that seems to attract so many people to triathlon – you don’t have to be brilliant at any one discipline and, as you essentially get three sports for the price of one, you get a change of scene!
Most triathlons allow teams of three to enter
It doesn’t have to be a solo sport either – there are plenty of opportunities to get your mates involved. “Most triathlons allow teams of three to enter alongside individual competitors," says a British Triathlon spokesperson. “One person swims, another cycles and the third team member runs."
Still not convinced? Non-swimmer Sophie Levett learned to swim just seven weeks before completing a triathlon – and swimming breaststroke in the open-water swim across a lake in Luton Hoo. Pretty impressive huh?
What Are The Health Benefits Of A Sprint Triathlon?
The three events of a triathlon give you an all-over body workout
As you might have guessed, the three events of a triathlon give you an all-over body workout; from your upper body during the swim, to your legs from the bike ride and run. So prepare to say hello to toned guns and a lean and muscular physique.
The number of calories burnt during a sprint triathlon depends on your size, speed and how hard you train, but swimming and cycling can eat up around 600-700 calories an hour and you can burn up to 900 per hour during running.
Regular work outs can also lower blood pressure, help to prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease, and help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
How Do I Find A Sprint Triathlon To Enter?
The largest triathlon in the world takes place smack bang in the middle of London
There are plenty of triathlon races and distances to get involved with across the country. The largest triathlon in the world takes place smack bang in the middle of London. With 13,000 participants and a crowd of 30,000 spectators, the London Triathlon is a big ‘un.
An Olympic legacy event, the Vitality World Triathlon London in Hyde Park caters for everyone from top pros to eager beginners. Or head to Markeaton Park in Derby for your chance to catch an eyeful of Formula 1 hunk Jenson Button at the aptly named Jenson Button Triathlon, which raises money for Cancer Research. Visit our Pick A Challenge section to search for more.