The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is the international governing body for triathlon and other multi-sport events. The ITU is associated with more than 120 national federations.
Triathlon events may vary in distance ranging from the Super Sprint--440 m swim, 10 km bike and a 2.5 km run--to the Ironman--3.8 km swim, 180 km bike and 42 km run. The Olympic distance is considered the standard.
The ITU recommends athletes train at a minimum once per week in running, once per week in biking and one to two times per week in swimming. Improvement in the sport requires more frequent training sessions while maintaining a rest period between training days.
Running is a lower-body impact sport. To prepare for the running portion of a triathlon, focus your running workouts on specific tasks, such as hill climbs or distance running.
Swimming is a non-impact full body sport. According to RunnersWorld.com, the focus during swim training should be efficiency. Triathletes often try to be as effective as possible with each stroke as they swim.
Biking is a non-impact lower body sport. Like running workouts, bike workouts have a focus, such as hill climbing or distance workouts. Similar to their swim training, triathletes focus on efficiency by working on pedal technique. Efficient bicyclists learn to push pedals forward during the first half of the stroke and pull pedals back on the second half of the stroke to maintain an easy, consistent cadence.
Because each event in a triathlon is focused on cardiovascular exercise, most triathletes use additional cardiovascular exercises to supplement their training, such as deep water running or stair climbing. Many triathletes use weights and other equipment during strength training sessions to work on weak areas and improve specific muscles for swimming, biking and running.
Triathlon in the Olympics
The triathlon was incorporated into the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, during the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. The Olympics holds separate men's and women's events.