triathlon swimmers

Want to Finish a Sprint Triathlon?

Just how long does it take to finish a sprint triathlon?

When first joining the triathlon world, many people choose to do “Sprint” races. These shorter distance races are composed of a 0.5 mile swim, a 12-mile bike ride, and 3-mile run. A big question a new triathletes have is, “How long will it take to finish a sprint triathlon?”.

The answer to this difficult questions depends on several factors including age, gender, level of preparedness and the course itself. Here is a variety of times that it takes beginners, experienced triathletes, and pros to finish a sprint triathlon.

ironman swimmersSurvive the Swim

Fast athletes are typically able to finish the swim in  10 to 12 minutes. Middle performers finish this part in roughly 15 minutes.  Beginners usually slightly longer than 15 minutes. Your finish time can also be highly affected by the prevailing water conditions, or even your swim suit. Investing in a great wetsuits is a good idea. Wetsuits have been shown to yield faster results.

elephant running Cycle Strong

This distance is covered by elite male athletes in less than 30 minutes. Women are typically slightly slower than their male counterparts, and the average elite female would finish it in less than 35 minutes.For beginners, if you did not burn yourself out during the swim, then you can finish this ride in just under 40 minutes.

The time taken to finish the ride will be dependent on various factors. These range from weather conditions to the nature of the course. A winding and hilly course will take you more time to finish than a flat course on a calm day. It also depends on your fitness levels and riding technique.

Woman finish a sprint triathlonComplete the Run

The time taken to finish the run is also determined by the course itself and how well you plan your previous two events. Running after biking for 12 miles and swimming 0.5 miles, is not the same as waking up and going for a run. Lack of fuel and dehydration will start taking a toll on you, during the run. If you are wondering how long it typically takes a beginner to finish a triathlon, then you need to consider your running speed.

Most beginners perform very well in the swim and biking, only to fade out during the run, and spend more time there. If you are a beginner it will typically take you 25 to 30 minutes to complete your run and in turn your sprint triathlon.

Bottom Line

Transitions also consumes a considerable amount of time. Removing your swim gear and putting on your biking gear then removing them to put on your track attire will take some time. Transitioning from every event will take around five minutes, which means 15 minutes in total. Transition time will also depend on practice, skill and choice of attire. When you put together the time taken, a beginner will probably take an average of 1 hour and 40 minutes to complete the event.