What Distance Triathlon Should I Race?

What Distance Triathlon Should I Race?


By Julia Aimers, Head Coach Team Triumph Triathlon Club


This might seem like a simple question to answer.  If you have never participated in a triathlon before it seems logical that you would start with a shorter distance race like a super sprint or sprint. But, this is not always the case.  There are many variables to consider when deciding what distance race you should take part in such as…..

  • Your fitness background. If you come to the sport from an endurance swimming, cycling or running background, then participating in a short distance race might not fuel your competitive or physical abilities

  • Your time constraints. If you have a demanding job, or a young family, or an active social life that is important to you, they will determine what training you are willing to commit to.

  • Your personality traits. There is a great article by Triathlete Magazine that talks about which distance race might be a good fit based on your personality traits. You can read it here.

  • Equipment. If you have a good road bike and are a decent swimmer already, you could potentially participate in a longer distance race such as an Olympic or Half Ironman without having to invest in new equipment.

  • Training Partners. If you have a friend who has done a longer distance race and has convinced you that you are capable of racing with him, that could affect your decision-making process. Same holds true if you are part of a Triathlon Club and many of your teammates are racing longer distances.


All this to say…..I don’t know what distance is the best for YOU, but I can say that although I do know of one or two people who started their triathlon career with an Ironman, it is not what I would recommend, and if you are considering racing Half Ironman or Ironman that hiring a coach is a very strong recommendation.


See you at the races.


Julia Aimers is the Head Coach and Founder of Team Triumph Triathlon Club established in the year 2000, in Ottawa, Canada.  She has coached beginner triathletes to Kona qualifying athletes. Team Triumph is a Multisport and Social club dedicated to challenging your sense of adventure


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