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Women’s guide to triathlon

In the battle of the sexes men and women are equals, but in triathlon you have to recognise your differences to succeed

In the battle of the sexes men and women are equals, but when it comes to triathlon you have to recognise your differences in order to succeed. Beginning our six-part web series is this overview of women and triathlon, with swimming, biking, biology, running and interviews to come.

Women have had a hard time gaining recognition in sport. For centuries it was simply not ‘the done thing’ for a woman to even work up a sweat, let alone compete. Ancient Greek sporting events like the Olympics and the Marathon were men-only events, and it took until the ’84 Los Angeles Games for women to get their own chance to compete over 26.2 miles for Olympic glory.

Sports like tennis have seen long, drawn-out battles to give the women’s game the credit it deserves. Women’s football has enjoyed significant growth over the last few years but is still seen as inferior to the men’s game.

Triathlon, however, is different. Women have taken part in triathlon since its inception, and even though the prize money in the men’s and women’s races may not be equal the distances – and the prestige – are the same.

Women make up at least a third of the people participating in triathlon. But although the distances in the women’s competitions are the same as those for men, their needs are not. Understanding how a woman’s sport-ing needs differ from a man’s will help you know what to expect from your equipment, your training and your performance when it comes to racing.

We’ve drafted in a crack team of female swim, bike and run experts to give you a greater insight into your dif-fering requirements. With their advice, you’ll be fine-tuning your triathlon training and racing to ensure an ’06 race season of top results…

To read the next instalment in our guide, click here

Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.