After each race, I can spend hours looking at the results and analyzing my performance per discipline. I know I should be training instead, but I’m just really competitive! If like me you want to compare yourself, you will love this article:
The average Olympic Triathlon Time is 2h53 min. The women cover the distance in 3h07 min and the men in 2h47 min. The swim portion lasts 18% of this time (or 30 min), the bike 44% (or 1h17), the run 33% (or 57 min), and finally, the transitions 5% (9min).
Good to know: The races you can watch on TV (Olympic Games, for example) allow drafting during the bike course. For this reason, you can’t really compare those times with the ones from amateurs where drafting is forbidden. If you want to learn more about the times that pro triathletes need, check this article instead: Triathlon At The Olympics
Contrary to the analysis I did on Ironman and Half Ironman times, I simply cannot gather the times of all Olympic distance triathlons. So instead, I picked one representative race that I analyzed in great detail.
I chose Noosa Triathlon in Australia for a couple of reasons:
- It is the biggest Olympic Distance event in the world that I know of (> 4,000 finishers without counting the relay teams). If you can think of a bigger one, please send me an email.
- The distances are really close to the standard 1.5km-40km-10km and the courses are relatively flat. The bike course is around 39.2 km (with roughly 300m of elevation) and the run course 10.2 km (with roughly 60m of elevation)
- It is on my bucket list. If it is not on yours, well check the video below 🙂
The times are based on 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 races (the event was canceled in 2020) and contain only the age groupers.
I know this approach is not perfect, but I think it can give you a decent idea of the average times for an Olympic distance triathlon. If you plan to compare your time from another race you have done, make sure to consider the difference in distance and elevation.
AVERAGE OLYMPIC TRIATHLON TIME PER AGE GROUP
The average Olympic distance time for women is 3h07 min. They spend 32 min on the swim, 1h24 min on the bike, 1h02 min on the run, and 9 min in transitions.
The average Olympic distance time for men is 2h47 min. They spend 29 min on the swim, 1h14 min on the bike, 55 min on the run, and 9 min in transitions.
As you can see in the graph below, the gap between the men and women is roughly 15 min to 25 min depending on the age groups.
AVERAGE SWIM TIME OLYMPIC TRIATHLON
The average swim time for an Olympic distance triathlon is 30min 10s which translates to a pace of 2:01 min/100m. The women cover the 1.5 km in 31min 54s (or 2:08 min/100m) and the men in 29min 21s (or 1:57 min/100m).
The graph below shows that the best swim times were in the youngest age group 20-24 with 26min 22s for the men and 28min 15s for the women.
AVERAGE BIKE TIME OLYMPIC TRIATHLON
The average bike time for an Olympic distance triathlon is 1h17 min which translates to a speed of 19.3 mph or 31.2 km/h. The women cover the 40 km in 1h24 min (or 17.8 mph or 28.7 km/h) and the men in 1h14 min (or 20.2 mph or 32.5 km/h).
As you can see in the graph below, the average time is around 1h 23 min for the women in all age groups between 20 and 49. The best time on the men’s side is between 30 and 49 when they are around the 1h 13min mark.
AVERAGE RUN TIME OLYMPIC TRIATHLON
The average run time for an Olympic distance triathlon is 57min 30s which translates to a pace of 9:16 min/mi or 5:45 min/km. The women cover the 10km in 1h 01min 46s (or 9:58 min/mi or 6:11 min/km) and the men in 55min 29s (or 8:57 min/mi or 5:33 min/km).
As for the swim, the best times on the run are reached at the youngest age groups:
If you are interested in learning more about the average times of other triathlon distances, have a look at this article: Triathlon Times Across Age Groups And Distances
Credit photography: Noosa Triathlon