What is an aquathlon?

Ever wondered what a triathlon would be like if it didn’t feature the bike leg? Look no further than the aquathlon...

What is an aquathlon

From Ironman events to seasonal fixtures, triathlon races are frequented by seasoned athletes and weekend warriors alike. However, remove the cycling element and you’re presented with an aquathlon, the lesser known breakout sport consisting of a swim sandwiched between two running segments. Triathlete Elise Metcalf explains…


What is the aquathlon race format?

Aquathlon races demand the same gruelling multi-sport endurance as a triathlon but without the bike leg, allowing the swim to become the focal point.

World Triathlon states that the standard official distance for an aquathlon is a 2.5km run, 1km open water swim, and 2.5km run to finish. However, if the water temperature drops below 22°C, competitors start with a 1km swim followed by a 5km run to finish. Longer course distances feature a 2km swim and 10km run and it’s worth bearing in mind that in colder months, pool-based aquathlons are often held using the swim-run format.

Is an aquathlon suitable for beginners?

An aquathlon is a more accessible entry into the world of multisport challenges than its triathlon counterpart. The removal of the bike leg reduces both the amount of kit required to participate, and the number of disciplines to train for.

Do you think that an aquathlon could be the right combination of disciplines for you? Check out our top tips for getting ready for the race, as well as advice on training and nutrition to help you prepare for race day.

Elise Metcalf is an amateur triathlete with an avid interest in exercise, nutrition and performance. 


Top image by Susan Flynn from Unsplash