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How Long Is a Triathlon Sprint?

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
How Long Is a Triathlon Sprint?
During a sprint triathlon, you can go all-out on the bike leg. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

A sanctioned USA Triathlon sprint distance triathlon consists of a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride and a 5K run. Some races labeled as "sprint" or "super-sprint" distances offer slight variations on these distances.

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Distance Variations

Distance variations for a sprint triathlon exist because of course constraints or race promoters' preferences. The swim in some sprint-distance triathlons may be as short as 500 meters. The bike portion can range from 12 to 16 miles, while the run can range from a flat 3 miles to 3 1/2 or farther. Super-sprint triathlons are geared toward newbies who want to try out the sport for the first time. These races may consist of a 250- to 500-meter swim, a 7- to 10-mile ride and a 1- to 2-mile run. In 2013, USA Triathlon hosted a series of professional super-sprints in which elite triathletes competed in two continuous circuits of a 300-meter swim, a 5-mile bike and a 1.5-mile run.

Training Commitment

You can participate in a sprint triathlon without having to devote most of your weeks to training. You'll need about five to six hours per week to train -- committing to at least two swimming, two biking and two running workouts per week.

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