History of Triathlon - International Triathlon Union (ITU)

A triathlon is an endurance sports event consisting of swimming, cycling and running over various distances. In most modern triathlons, these events are placed back-to-back in immediate sequence and a competitor's official time.


Triathlon is a long-distance athletic contest of skill, endurance, timing and strategy. The sport is a test of an athlete’s motivation, hard work, discipline and willingness. Triathlon comprises three events -- swimming, bicycling and running.
The regular distance for a triathlon is a one-mile swim, 25 miles bike ride and 10 kilometers run. The distance may be reduced by half or doubled, depending on the event and the participants. The standard triathlon distance can be completed within 2 hours or 4 hours, though this hinges on the participant category and sport terrain.

History of Triathlon

History of triathlon can be traced to the San Diego Track Club in the early 1970s. The triathlon was seen as an alternative to rigorous track training. The first triathlon event was held on September 25th 1974. Jack Johnstone and Don Shanahan are pioneers in the history of the triathlon. The San Diego Track Club sponsored the event. The triathlon then comprised 10km running, 8km bicycling and 500 meters of swimming. In 1989, the sport was awarded Olympic status and featured for the first time at the 2000 summer Olympics held in Sydney, Australia. Since then, the game has grown in popularity. In fact, no other sport achieved Olympic status in so short a timeframe. Over the next decade, triathlon grew by leaps and bounds and soon gained recognition throughout the world.

Triathlon Event :Swmimming, Cycling, Running

International Triathlon Union (ITU)

International Triathlon Union is the official international governing body for the Olympic sport of triathlon. International triathlon union was formed in 1989 at Avignon, France. The first world triathlon championships were held during the same year by the International Triathlon Union. The triathlon world championship event comprised 1500 meter swimming, 40km cycling and 10km running. This is a standard distance for the ITU world cup series.
The 2008 World Cup Series Champions are: -

WOMEN I Abram, Felicity
  II Tucker, Helen
  III Warriner, Samantha
MEN I Gomez, Javier
  II Docherty, Bevan
  III Vasiliev, Ivan

The International Triathlon Union top five World Rankings for the year 2007 are as follows: -

WOMEN Fernandes, Vanessa POR 1
  Moffatt, Emma AUS 2
  Warriner, Samantha NZL 3
  Snowsill, Emma AUS 4
  Tanner, Debbie NZL 5
MEN Gomez, Javier ESP 1
  Whitfield, Simon CAN 2
  Kahlefeldt, Brad AUS 3
  Docherty, Bevan NZL 4
  Gemmell, Kris NZL 5

Upcoming ITU Events

  • 2008 Poznan ITU Triathlon Premium European Cup - July 27, 2008
  • ITU Asian O3 Long Distance Triathlon 2008 - August 2, 2008
  • 2008 Egirdir ITU Triathlon European Cup - August 3, 2008
  • 2008 Beijing Olympic Games - August 8, 2008
  • 2008 Karlovy Vary ITU Triathlon European Cup - August 10, 2008

2008 Calendar Triathlon

In 2008 Calendar 6 triathlon world championships are to be held throughout the world. The Ironman is another triathlon event that is extremely popular among the triathlon fans. Athletes in this category have to participate in 2.4 miles of running, 112 miles of biking and 26.2 miles of swimming. Details are as follows:

  • 2008 Freudenstadt ITU Winter Triathlon World Championships - Germany - Feb 22 - 24, 2008
  • 2008 Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships - Candada - June 6 - 8, 2008
  • 2008 Kitzbuhel ITU Corporate Team Triathlon World Championships - Austria - July 18 - 19, 2008
  • 2008 Geel ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championships - Belguim, - August 10, 2008
  • 2008 Almere ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships - Netherlands - August 30 - 31, 2008
  • 2008 Rimini ITU Duathlon World Championships - Italy - Sep 27 - 28, 2008

Olympic Triathlon

The distance for each of the individual events of the Olympic triathlon is based on the ‘root’ sport from the individual disciplines. There is a transition area between each leg of the event where the athletes transfer from one discipline to the other. The Olympic triathlon distances for individual events are: Swimming (93 miles), Biking (40 km) and Running (10 km). This kind of racing triathlon attracts many athletes on the course.

Triathlon Preparation

Each of the triathlon events requires the contestants to bring along different equipment and gear. The swimming and biking events need the participants to be suitably equipped with appropriate gear and protection equipment. Rigorous training is the fulcrum of triathlon preparation.

Training for the running event of the triathlon is based on improving your aerobic efficiency. This can then lead the athlete onto better running speeds. The biking event needs specific training on the part of the athlete. Good position on the bike ensures correct transfer of force onto the pedals sans waste of energy. The best position is one where you can improve on your aerodynamics so as to become more streamlined with the bike. Including specific power workouts will go a long way in building the fitness required for biking in hilly areas and windy weather.
Swimming is the event in the triathlon where technique plays a crucial role. All aspects of swimming, body position, breathing and stroke and kick must be addressed. A triathlon swimmer must possess basic navigational skills as well as the competency to swim under rough conditions.

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