A triathlon is a multi-disciplined sport which consists of three different events, hence the prefix “tri” in its name, meaning “three”. In fact, the name is derived from Greek, from the words “treis”, meaning “three”, and the word “athlos” meaning “competition”. The three sports which are involved are usually running, cycling and swimming, and it is considered to be an excellent sport for keeping active thanks to its great variety of types of exercise.
What Is A Triathlon?
A triathlon is a competition which involves multiple stages. Three continuous endurance disciplines must be completed in sequence. Although there are several variations of the sport, the most popular form of the triathlon incorporates swimming followed by cycling and then running, with each activity immediately following the last, over a range of distances. The athletes (or triathletes, as they are known) are competing to be the fastest to complete the entire course, and there are timed transitions between every component.
Between each segment of the race, athletes go to a transition area where they can change their gear in order to compete in the next segment of the event. In these areas, bicycles and performance clothing are stored together with all accessories required to compete in the next stage. A transition area could be large or small, depending on how many competitors are participating in the race, but usually this area is also a social hub before the race begins.
The T1 transition is from swimming to cycling, and the T2 transition is the transition between cycling and running. Each athlete’s overall time taken to complete the race is the entire time spent completing both T1 and T2.
The focus of the triathlon is on perseverance and persistence, with athletes taking part in periodized training in all three of the disciplines. They also take part in general strength condition and combination workouts to ensure that they remain at the peak of their fitness.
Related: Wrightsville beach triathlon
What Is The History Of The Triathlon?
The first triathlon is believed to have its origins in a race which was held in the 1920s in France. This event, known variously as “les trois sports”, “La course des Touch a Tout” or “la course des debrouillards” is still held every year near Joinville le Pont. However, there was one early event held in 1902 which also involved three sports, although the activities in that race were running, canoeing and cycling.
The first modern event to actually take the name “triathlon” and which involved swimming, cycling and running was held in 1974 in California, USA. This race was directed and conceived by Don Shanahan and Jack Johnstone, both of whom were members of the San Diego Track Club. The event was sponsored by the club itself and involved just 46 participants.
Although the distances covered during each segment of the competition vary depending on the event and the nature of its competitors, when the sport was first debuted at the 2000 Olympics, it involved swimming for 1,500 metres, followed by a 40 km bike ride and a 10 km run.