My wife and I started our triathlon journey with a Super Sprint distance (see picture above). I think this is the perfect distance for beginners. It gives the triathletes a taste of triathlon without requiring months of training.
The distances of a Super Sprint triathlon are 0.25 mi swimming, 6.2 mi biking, and 1.6 mi running (or 0.4km swim, 10km bike, and 2.5km run). A beginner triathlete can expect to complete this distance in about an hour.
As for every other distance, triathletes spend way more time on the bike (~ 42%) than on the run (~ 26%) or swim course (~ 17%). The transitions between the swim and bike (aka T1) and between the bike and run (aka T2) take a significant portion of time (~ 15%).
SUPER SPRINT TRIATHLON SWIM DISTANCE
The swim distance of a Super Sprint triathlon is 0.25 mi or 0,4 km. It is the first of the three triathlon disciplines and the most feared.
With a bit of training, pretty much everyone can swim this distance breaststroke (yes, it is allowed! 🙂 ). And if swimming in a lake is too scary, you will be pleased to learn that a lot of Super Sprint happen in a pool.
SUPER SPRINT TRIATHLON BIKE DISTANCE
The bike distance of a Super Sprint triathlon is 6.2 mi or 10 km. It is the second of the triathlon disciplines and also the longest.
The bike courses of Super Sprint triathlons are relatively flat, so beginners don’t need to be afraid of them.
Many triathletes who don’t have a road bike will use a mountain bike instead. It is way more common than you might think.
SUPER SPRINT TRIATHLON RUN DISTANCE
The run distance of a Super Sprint triathlon is 1.6 mi or 2,5 km.
1.6 mi might not seem a lot, but running this distance after a swim and a bike is a different story. So you should not underestimate it.
HOW TO PICK A SUPER SPRINT TRIATHLON RACE
If you are planning to register for a first triathlon, I’d recommend picking one race that is relatively close to you. Traveling is definitely adding some stress that you don’t absolutely need.
You can find most races on the website of your triathlon federation.
We are lucky in triathlon to have a lot of distances to choose from. If you want to learn more about the other distances available, have a look at my article, which summarizes the most common ones: A Quick Overview Of All Triathlon Distances