Synonyms in a broader sense

endurance, swimming, cycling, running, jogging, marathon


The goal of triathlon is to complete a defined distance in swimming, cycling and running in the shortest possible time. However, triathlon is much more than completing this distance once, but requires months of preparation. Through the continuous training for a triathlon, most athletes pack the fiber for endurance sports and thus the triathlon becomes more than just a sport, but increases not in rare cases the quality of life.


The origins of triathlon date back to around 1920, when the first triathlon was held in France under the name “les trois sports” at Joinville le Pont. It consisted of 12 km cycling, 3 km running and crossing the river “Marne”. However, the triathlon of today first became popular in 1974 in the USA (California) as a discipline with 10 km running, 6 km cycling and 500 m swimming.

Probably the most spectacular form of triathlon is the Iron- Man in Hawaii, with a swimming distance of 3.84 km, cycling distance of 180 km and a running distance of 42.195 km. It is not accepted by the ITU until today. Due to the fitness trend of the 80’s the triathlon finally found its way into popular sports and more and more enthusiastic recreational athletes and ambitious hobby athletes try their hand at this discipline.

Forms of the triathlon

People’s triathlon: ITU short distance: Middle distance: Half-IronMan: ITU long distance: IronMan:

  • 500 m swimming
  • 20 km cycling
  • 5km running
  • 1,5 km swimming
  • 40 km cycling
  • 10 km running
  • 2km swimming
  • 80 km cycling
  • 20 km running
  • 1,9 km swimming
  • 90 km cycling
  • 21,1 km running
  • 3km swimming
  • 80 km cycling
  • 20 km running
  • 3,8 km swimming
  • 180 km cycling
  • 42,195 km running

For swimmers, the only endurance performance that counts is the lanes completed in the pool. Cyclists consider their sport to be the most strenuous endurance sport and runners see only running as the true endurance sport. The triathlete embodies all these endurance types in one, and for this reason alone this discipline is considered the supreme discipline among endurance sports.

Since no exact distance is given in a triathlon, beginners should start with a folk or short triathlon. Those who have decided to participate in a triathlon should have a solid basic endurance (10 km – run in 50 minutes). The techniques of each discipline are required.

However, the most important prerequisite when deciding to do a triathlon is the basic attitude you need for training. Especially in triathlon, the training effort is particularly high, because the change between the endurance disciplines in training is particularly important. A bicycle ergometer is highly recommended for triathlon training, especially if training outdoors is not always and everywhere possible. The procurement of material (bicycle) also represents a financial burden.