Triathlon variations

triathlon warm up swim warm up

If you’re looking to get into multisport but have difficulties with one of the events, then there are a range of other options available.


The simple swim/cycle/run format is the most common race and you’ll find a large number of events with differing swims, terrains and distances to choose from


If like many people, you’re put off by the idea of the swim, then duathlon may be the event for you, and many countries will have national duathlon series which are every bit as competitive and the mainstream duathlon series. Duathlons will have three legs in a run-cycle-run format, so the transitions still exist, but you don’t need to brave the water or invest in wet suits to compete.


For the non-bikers, aquathlon ( or Aquathon) could be the sport of choice with their run-swim-run format. These are less common but you will find many clubs running these events as part of their training cycle in the run-up to the main season, as a way of getting people into open water early in the season.

You will also find Swim-Run versions which tend to have a longer run leg than the three-part options. These events lend themselves well to adventure and extreme variants, including island hopping events over many legs and approaching ironman levels of endurance.


Rounding out the options are the aqua bike events, which are particularly good for people who’re protecting knees or for whom running is best avoided. These are relatively new triathlon variations and there is some variability in the types of events that are run. Because of the need to change into wetsuits, they tend to be two leg events though and will have a standard length swim and a longer cycle, e.g 750m swim and 4km cycle.