Since I started triathlon, I have been interested in analyzing my time after each race, 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 Sprint Triathlon Time is 1h40 min. The women cover the distance in 1h46 min and the men in 1h36 min. The swim portion lasts 18% of this time (or 18 min), the bike 46% (or 46 min), the run 28% (or 28 min), and finally, the transitions 8% (8min).
It is important to know that those times can change significantly depending on the race. For example, if the Sprint distance is the only distance available, the race might be more competitive, and the times will be lower.
In most events, several distances will be offered. Generally, the beginners will tend to go to shorter distances, hence a higher average time.
Contrary to the analysis I did on Ironman and Half Ironman times, I simply cannot gather the times of all Sprint distance triathlons. So instead, I picked one representative race that I analyzed in great detail.
I chose London Triathlon in Europe as it is the biggest Sprint Distance event in the world that I know of. If you can think of a bigger one, please send me an email.
A couple of points to note before diving into the analysis:
- I analyzed all times and courses of the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 races
- The run course changed up to 1 km over the years. It is definitely not unusual for amateurs triathlons but for this analysis 1km of difference over a 5km course is too significant.
For this reason, I decided to use only the year 2019 as it was the most representative of a sprint distance with a 0.75 km swim, a bike slightly over 20 km, and a 5km run. Admittedly, it is a small sample size, but I think it can still give you a good indication of an average time for a Sprint triathlon.
AVERAGE SPRINT TRIATHLON TIME PER AGE GROUP
The average Sprint distance time for women is 1h46 min. They spend 19 min on the swim, 49 min on the bike, 30 min on the run, and 9 min in transitions.
The average Sprint distance time for men is 1h36 min. They spend 18 min on the swim, 44 min on the bike, 27 min on the run, and 8 min in transitions.
You can find below the average time per age group. The difference between men and women is around 10 min.
AVERAGE SWIM TIME SPRINT TRIATHLON
The average swim time for a Sprint distance triathlon is 18min 01s which translates to a pace of 2:24 min/100m. The women cover the 0.75 km in 18min 43s (or 2:30 min/100m) and the men in 17min 34s (or 2:21 min/100m).
The graph below shows that the best swim times were in the youngest age group 20-24 with 16min 16s for the men and 17min 29s for the women.
AVERAGE BIKE TIME SPRINT TRIATHLON
The average bike time for a Sprint distance triathlon is 46 min which translates to a speed of 16.2 mph or 26.1 km/h. The women cover the 20 km in 49 min 24s (or 15.1 mph or 24.3 km/h) and the men in 43 min 56s (or 16.9 mph or 27.3 km/h).
As you can see in the graph below, there are no significant differences per age group. The men are roughly 6 min faster than the women.
AVERAGE RUN TIME SPRINT TRIATHLON
The average run time for a Sprint distance triathlon is 28 min which translates to a pace of 8:58 min/mi or 5:34 min/km. The women cover the 5km in 29 min 40s (or 9:34 min/mi or 5:56 min/km) and the men in 26 min 37s (or 8:35 min/mi or 5:19 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: London Triathlon