There are four triathlon races distances: Sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman and Ironman. To assist you with your race season preparations, here are the “pros” to each one.
Sprint Triathlon Pros – Even if you are out of shape, it only takes 12-16 weeks to train. This triathlon distance is a short one. You will find that it does not nearly demand extensive physical preparation on your part. You have to swim from 8 to 12 laps, ride a bike 10-15 miles, and finally run or walk 2-4 mile. This means continuously exercising for about 1 to 2 hours. This is tough for some, but it’s very do-able for most average people. If you are fit or somewhat experienced at triathlons, and you faster times in a Sprint triathlon, it’ll mean less training.
Olympic Pros – this distance is like the triathlon distance they have in the Olympics — 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run. This makes one feel good inside. Here you do not have to train as much as the Half-Ironman or Ironman — good news for your spouse, kids, family and friends, you won’t be a complete stranger. If you love triathlons, you can do enter many of these races per year. You will not have the danger of overtraining or the danger of injury. They are relatively short distances. You will recover much quicker each time.
Half-Ironman Pros - you now have bragging rights to completing a distance that has “Ironman” in the name. In many Half-Ironman events, you can be finished by lunchtime and feel real good about yourself. You also do not have the intensity of Sprint or Olympic distance training. It’s a better race if you do not have the large amount of time needed for a full Ironman. This triathlon distance is the perfect middle ground. You are able to travel long distances to be in an Half Ironman race and not have the same stress as an Ironman. Lastly, if you make any mistakes in a Half Ironman, you will have plenty of time to make up for any lost time. Similar to a dentist making up for years of neglect!
Ironman Pros - This event is the ultimate! It involves a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a marathon. That means a tattoo even your parents will be proud of. You will have bragging rights for life. You are going to feel real good about yourself for life. You can eat well 4000 calories each day and still remain skinny.