Contrary to the other two triathlon disciplines, there are not a lot of rules in running. There is one, however, which is quite surprising.

Let’s check that in more detail.


During the run portion of a triathlon, it is essential to remember those main rules:

  • Always wear the official race number in front of you: this number is used for identifying you for time penalties, but it can also help photographers to associate pictures to the right person and might lead the crowd to scream your name for additional motivation;
  • Not run with a bare torso: this one is not as clear as it might sound. I suggest to check the exact rules of your race, sometimes, men might be allowed to unzip a portion of their tri suit;
  • Not run with a bike helmet on: this rule sounds crazy, but I have already seen someone forgetting to remove his helmet;
  • Not use posts, trees, or other fixed elements to assist maneuvering curves;
  • Not be accompanied by any non-competing athletes alongside the course: I received such a time penalty once when my brother spontaneously decided to run next to me and encourage me for 50m.
  • Not wear headphones.


If you look at Section 6.01 of the Ironman rules, you will see the following text:

“Athletes may run, walk, or crawl

Crawling is either explicitly forbidden by the main triathlon federations or not mentioned at all. I find it really interesting that Ironman is explicitly allowing it.

If you don’t know the history of Ironman, look at the video below. It might explain why crawling is allowed. I do think this moment in 1982 brought the sport of triathlon to another level and motivated countless triathletes to start triathlon:

It might be easy to forget some essential rules with the adrenaline on race day. So my wife and I summarized in this article the 10 Must-Know Triathlon Rules That Are Easy To Forget. Have a look at it!