220 Triathlon



Who is it suitable for and what level of fitness/ability will you need?

This race distance will take people around 30-60mins. Therefore, many active individual­s can find this distance an excellent entry to triathlon if they’re trying to complete the race, as the distance of your weakest discipline will be manageable. Don’t be fooled by the short distances and assume it’s easy, though. To race this event well, you must get close to your maximum effort for each distance.

How many training hours do you need?

Training for a super sprint can easily integrate your general fitness throughout the week. Generally, you should do at least one session of each discipline every week and think about doing that for about two to three months. General sessions or classes around these sports will help improve your overall fitness and conditioni­ng and are worth adding in.

How should you split your training between the discipline­s?

If you have good general fitness, you can get away with one to two sessions per week per discipline. If you’re coming from a lower level of general fitness, consider incorporat­ing one to two swim, bike or run sessions and adding general fitness classes, too. You’ll find that they support your triathlon endeavours and are sociable. As you get closer to the race, try doing a short (5min) run off your bike to help you get used to that feeling of swapping from one discipline to the next.

What kit do you need and what’s the cost?

Super-sprint triathlons can be completed without loads of kit – as long as you have goggles, a helmet, a bike and trainers, you’ll be fine. You can simply race in your swimming costume/swim shorts with a pair of shorts and a t-shirt pulled over the top. A tri-suit isn’t a necessity but you can always pick up some great bargains (check out our best tri-suits round-up at 220tri. com). Wetsuits can be hired, or if targeting a pool race, you won’t need one.

As with all triathlon distances, you should fuel your sport adequately daily. However, when racing, except for some fluid if it’s warm, you won’t have time or desire to take too much nutrition on!

Top super-sprint distance tip

Super-sprint races can be fast and furious, with little time to get settled into your race. Make sure you do a proper warm-up covering each discipline (not just the arms for the swim!), as before you know it, you’ll be onto the following discipline.

Who is it suitable for, and what level of fitness/ability will you need?

This race will take from under an hour to 2hrs and is also used on the elite circuit. You want to be comfortabl­e racing quite hard in each of the single discipline­s and can even use single-sport events as milestones to pace your triathlon.

How many training hours do you need?

This is an intensive racing distance but a manageable challenge. You should be able to complete a sprint-distance triathlon with a little bit of training in each discipline – totalling about 4-6hrs per week. This shouldn’t impact your life too much, but you will be training close to once per day. Training can be done effectivel­y through the week, so it’s ideal for busy people or those who don’t have much availabili­ty at the weekends to train. Training should start about three months out from a race.

How should you split your training between the discipline­s?

An ideal week would include two swims because a fast or comfortabl­e swim can help you. You should also do one to two bike and run sessions. Try doing a run off the bike as you near the event. General swim, bike and run training (club sessions are great for this) with up to three months of focused work is plenty of training. With a good fitness level, you won’t need much more to get around.

What kit will you need and the cost?

Like super sprints, sprints can be completed with the triathlon basics (goggles, any bike, helmet and trainers). Though the faster athletes will spend a lot on kit and bikes, you certainly don’t need to. Some of the races at this distance may be draft-legal (this means you can ride in a group), which would limit the type of bike permitted. If you’re swimming in an open-water event, you must see if you need a wetsuit. Some great entry-level options are available from round £150.

Nutrition for a sprint distance depends on the time you’re going to take. For those racing closer to the 2hr mark, you may take some energy with you on the bike or for T2. In contrast, those racing for about an hour may only need fluids on the bike.

Top sprint-distance tip

Sprint-distance racing is the shortest distance you can step up to an age-group qualificat­ion for the European or world championsh­ips. However, this may impact your race choice. A local sprint race may be a better first-timer event instead of a qualifying event, which may be more intimidati­ng.

Blenheim Palace provides a stunning and safe setting for your first triathlon”

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