What Is a Sprint Triathlon?

A triathlon is made up of three events; cycling, swimming, and running. It is a fortitude sport that offers many distance options.

A sprint triathlon comes second in the list of shortest triathlon distances. On the other hand, the super sprint comes at first position.  A sprint triathlon includes a swim of 0.46 miles or 750 meters, a bike of 12.4 miles or 20 kilometers, and a run of 3.1 miles or 5 kilometers. The activities are completed back to back.

A sprint triathlon has a cut-off duration of two hours and fifteen minutes. Currently, the world record for a triathlon is set at 51:15.

What Is a Sprint Triathlon?

Time Taken to Complete a Sprint Triathlon

An elite athlete can complete a triathlon in about an hour. On the other hand, most mature athletes take around one hour and thirty minutes.

Also, men will finish quicker than women, while younger athletes will finish ahead of the masters. For a first-timer, the ideal time for completing a triathlon is the set cut-off time of two hours and fifteen minutes.

The Swim

Pros will typically take nine to ten minutes to complete the distance. Time will also be impacted by whether the race is in open water or in a pool and if a wetsuit is used.

The Cycle

It takes females about 32 to 37 minutes for elite racers, while it takes male racers 29 -31 minutes. The course may also impact the time. For instance, a windy or hilly course may increase completion time to about 36 – 45 minutes.

The Run

The last activity is the run. The run will not be like any typically run, since participants are not fresh. Another challenge might be a windy or hilly run. The run usually takes 22 – 26 minutes.


There are two transition phases. The transition one is when a participant goes from swimming to cycling. On the other hand, transition two is when an athlete moves to running clothes from cycling.

The transition period will vary depending on the practice, skill, and gear choice. You could lower transition time by donning a tri-suit which brings together a swimsuit, cycling kit, as well as running wear.

Therefore, the transition time comes down to planning. It can take as little as 1:30 or up to 3 minutes. The transition area’s size and distance covered by the entire course will determine the duration taken to finish the sprint triathlon.

What Should You Wear for a Sprint Triathlon?

As a pro, what you wear for a sprint triathlon is as vital as training. What you wear will definitely affect your performance during the triathlon.

However, it might not be necessary for a beginner to get elite triathlon gear. While starting, the main goal should be getting to the finish line rather than how well you perform.

You can complete the first sprint triathlon without buying gear. However, as you advance into the sport, you need to get gear.

Triathlon Suit

As discussed, triathlon is a sport where you compete in swimming, cycling, and running. During swimming, you can wear a swimming suit or shorts. You can later change your cycling shorts.

However, you can save time and energy by using a triathlon suit. The suits are designed to suit all the activities. They also dry quickly and are made of thinner fabric than cycling shorts.

Triathlon Wetsuit

There are different triathlon wetsuits, including sleeveless, full sleeves, short, and full-body. Wetsuits increase an athlete’s swimming performance and protects them from cold water. This is due to increased buoyancy as the legs have more floating.

If you are swimming in open waters, a tri-oriented wetsuit is best for warmth. The wetsuit is manufactured from thick neoprene and offers more buoyancy. Despite pro swimmers using slimmer neoprene wetsuits, thicker ones still provide high flexibility.

If the climate is warm, you can use a performance swimsuit during the whole race. One-piece suits for women and skin-fit trunks for men will work well.

Triathlon Gear You Might Need

If you are getting into triathlon on a competitive level, you will have to invest in your gear. Here are some of the items you might need.


For a beginner, any bike will suffice. A road bike is typically recommended, but a hybrid or mountain bike will also get the job done.

The pros usually use the time-trial bike that offers a higher aerodynamic position. The other option is the use of clip-on-aero bars.


A helmet is a prerequisite, as it is not acceptable to go cycling without having a helmet on.

Swimming Goggles

Goggles will go a long way during your swim. Goggles with wider lenses (open water goggles) will offer excellent peripheral vision.

On the other hand, clear lenses should be used during overcast days. On a sunny day, mirrored lenses will safeguard your vision and eyes.

Above all, the preference for swimming goggles will be determined by the shape of your face. Settle on what suits you best.

Swim Cap

The majority of the events will give participants a swim cap. You can come with a good cap that will keep your head warm, especially if the swimming is cold. If you are in open water, you can wear a swimming cap, put goggles over it, as well as another swimming cap to put everything in place.

GPS Watch

This is not mandatory per se but will help to keep track of your performance during the race. A triathlon watch would be best.

T-Shirt / Running Vest

If you don’t get a tri-suit, a running vest or bike jersey will be helpful. You are, however, not allowed to run without a top.

Do You Require Training to Go for a Sprint Triathlon?

If you can bike, swim and run, you will not require training to participate in a sprint triathlon. Your fitness will be the key to your ability to complete all the activities within the stipulated time.

If you are not acquainted with the activities, it will take months of training before you can be comfortable enough to participate in a sprint triathlon. Your physical fitness and previous experience will also be essential in determining the duration of training.

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