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A Triathlon is a race that combines the three sports of swimming, cycling, and running. People of any age can participate in the event, that can range in a relatively short race (the sprint) to the largest of triathlon the ironman.

What is a triathlon?

The triathlon gained recognition in 1970s California and consists of three legs, where participants complete three sports consecutively. Typically, these races begin with swimming, then cycling and finish with a running leg. Unlike other races where you compete against others, in this event you compete against the clock. Competitors go out at specific intervals in various sized groups, and are timed individually, with winners determined by time.


Participants, depending on their level of competition, have the choice of basic or advanced clothing or equipment, often determined by their level of commitment, competitiveness and affordability.

  • For the swimming leg of the race, participants can choose to wear a simple bathing suit or trunks, or specialized race swimwear that protects from the extreme cold of some waters. A tri-athlete wetsuit is easy to don and take off with a pull-cord, which saves time in transitioning between sports.

  • The second sport is usually cycling; clothing can be as simple as bike shorts and a t-shirt or have aerodynamic properties that may provide an extra edge against the clock. Some athletes wear thinly padded tri shorts or suits in the first leg in order to start cycling sooner. The most common clothing contains some percentage of spandex, a material used in cycling clothing.

  • The clothing for the running leg of the race can also consist of simple jogging shorts/shirt or a more complex outfit. Again, if you start with a trisuit you can just keep that on throughout the race.

  • In addition, some athletes wear compression clothing or a base layer. Compression clothing provides mild constricting of muscles in order to increase circulation and can be worn underneath swimming, cycling or running clothes to regulate temperature.


The main piece of equipment you will need for this event is a bicycle. Again, the more serious competitor you are the more advanced bicycle you will want to purchase; for those who cannot afford expensive bikes, simple modifications to your wheels, pedals and handlebars can enhance performance.

Training for the Event

As with any sport, training for a triathlon requires both an exercise and diet regime. Before you begin a vigorous exercise program or make drastic changes to your diet, you should seek out the advice of your physician.


A healthy diet is important and certain foods can increase your energy and enhance your performance, and the best way is to maintain a balanced diet, eating three meals a day and small snacks in between. Don't forget you need to remain hydrated. Dehydration not only depletes your energy, it can result in serious medical issues if left un-treated.


A Triathlon is a intense three-part event, commonly involving swimming, cycling and running, where participants compete against the clock. There are a variety of clothing and equipment options for tri-athletes, most based on the level of competition. Participants will have to devote time to a training program, where he/she increases abilities in gradual, attainable increments. Athletes also need to be committed to a healthy, balanced diet and be mindful to stay well hydrated.

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