Triathlon facts

The triathlon is gaining popularity, not only in our country but worldwide. This popularity means that interest in triathlons is also growing. In this article, you will find seven remarkable facts about triathlons.

Because the sport is still fairly young, the results have also improved in recent years. For example, the first winner of the Ironman took over eleven hours and 45 minutes. The fastest time nowadays is in the hands of the German Jan Frodeno, he finished an Ironman in over 7 and a half hours.

Drafting is not allowed during the bicycling part of a triathlon. Drafting, tucking in close behind the rider before you to reduce wind resistance, is not allowed during the bicycling part of a triathlon. Participants must take at least 10 meters of distance between them and the next driver. The only races in which drafting is allowed are the World Triathlon Series, Olympic Games and Honours Division games.

The ‘original’ triathlon consists of three parts: firstly the participants have to swim 3.8 kilometres, then they cycle 180 kilometres and they end with 42.2 kilometres of running.

There is a reason why these distances are not rounded. This reason goes back to the birth of the triathlon. In Hawaii, there was a discussion on which sport was the hardest, swimming, cycling or running. Because no answer was found, it was decided to organize a competition with all three parts. The winner of this race had to be the strongest athlete. It was decided to combine three major local competitions, the Waikiki Roughwater Swim (3.8 km), the Oahu Round the Island Bike Race (180 km) and the Honolulu Marathon (42.2 km). So today, the triathlon world still uses these distances.

Maybe you know the feeling of dizziness after swimming in open water. This dizziness occurs because triathletes have been in the water for a long time before they start the cycling part. This phenomenon is called orthostatic intolerance and can be prevented. It is important to drink enough before you start the swimming area, this prevents orthostatic intolerance. Wearing a tri suit also helps. These suits help your blood flow evenly through your body.

The first triathlon competition ever was held in San Diego. In 1974 the first triathlon was performed here. In the first instance, the race would only consist of two parts, but the cycling part was also added, this caused the race to go from a duathlon to a triathlon. The distances of this triathlon were, however, much shorter than the distances we know today (450 meters swimming, 8.1 km cycling, 9.7 km running).

The triathlon has been on the program of the Summer Olympic Games since 2000. The first Olympic triathlon was held in Sydney. The distances at the Summer Olympic Games are slightly different from the traditional triathlon distances, 1.5 kilometres of swimming, 40 kilometres of cycling and 10 kilometres of running.

Curious about more triathlon information? Read more about putting together a training schedule, tips for your first triathlon or about my first triathlon.

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