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Triathlon training advice

A triathlon is an athletic event involving swimming, cycling and running over varying distances. The order is usually swim, then cycle and then finally run. Naturally such events involve colossal levels of fitness and stamina, which has led to the triathlon being sometimes called the "iron man" challenge.

The triathlon was initially conceived as a way to increase the fitness of long distance runners but quickly became a popular athletic event in its own right. Today there are lots of triathlons available of different distances. The Olympic standard involves a swim of 1.5km, a cycle race of 40km and finally a 10km run. Increasing in popularity is the much shorter "sprint" competition that involves sprinting over a much smaller distance: 750m swim, a 20km cycle and then a 5km run.

For those who prefer longer distances there is the full iron man competition which involves a 3.8km swim, a 180km cycle and then finally a gruelling marathon of 43km to finish. There are even longer events out there for the more hard-core athletes, some of which take place over a series of days.

Competitors have to transition from one form of racing to the next, which is included in the final time, so it pays to be quick as you change from swimming to cycling. Naturally, competitors who are serious about the sport will have high quality kit, such as a racing wet suit for swimming, a lightweight racing bicycle and the very best running shoes.

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