Get Inspired: How to get into Triathlon

Fast Answers

Why get into triathlon?

Test yourself to the extreme! It's exciting and requires total determination and motivation.

Who is it for?

There are various distances - novice, sprint, middle and long - so if you train hard, you can take part.

Is there a cheap option?

Some clubs offer wetsuits to hire for free, so just sort yourself out with a working bike for the cycling leg!

What if I want a proper workout?

It can be incredibly physically demanding: Olympic distance burns approximately 2,750 calories.

Can I take it to another level?

Joining a club will entitle you to easy access to coaching and entrance to competitive races. See more below.

Is there a disability option?

Paratriathlon is very popular and caters for most disabilities. Find out how you can get involved below.

Is there a family option?

Why not set up your own mini triathlon? Go for a swim, a bike ride and a short run all in a day.

For people of all ages and abilities wanting to take part, there are approximately 750 triathlon clubs in the United Kingdom with many of them offering taster sessions for people interested in taking up the sport. Information on how you can join can be found on the websites of the British Triathlon Federation,  Triathlon England,  Triathlon Ireland,  Triathlon Scotland  and Welsh Triathlon.  You can find Paratriathlon information & classifications on the British Triathlon paratriathlon pages. 

Triathlon

Triathlon

A truly punishing test of human endurance, triathlon pushes its competitors to the limits! The swim will take place in a pool or open water (a lake or the sea); it it's an open water event you will need a wetsuit. The cycling will take place on roads open to other traffic so make sure you practice on quiet roads to build up your confidence. Finally, it may take some time to get used to running after a long cycle, but stick at it and it will get easier! Whether you're a beginner looking to get started or a seasoned triathlete, use the British Triathlon event finder to find an event in your area.  

Paratriathlon

Two-time Paralympic swimmer Lauren Steadman

Swimming, cycling and running are all popular sports amongst para-athletes so triathlon is the perfect way to combine the three. Triathlon is a very inclusive sport with British Triathlon organising many specific paratriathlon competitions through any given season.  Use their club finder to locate a taster session near you.  If you are looking to take the sport to another level and compete in paratriathlon at either a national or international level, the most important thing you need is a classification.  

Age-group specific

Age-group specific triathlon

Eager to find out just how good you are and compete for medals? If you're aged between 16 and 80 you can take part in age-group triathlon events. These events are an amazing opportunity to compete in European and World Championships against others in pre-defined age-groups. Groups are split up by age and gender allowing everyone the best opportunity to compete against similar athletes. International groupings start from age 16 for sprint distances and 18 for standard and long distance. Want to know more? Visit the British Triathlon age group FAQ page here  or contact your regional governing body.

Competition

Competitive triathlon

There are several major events held throughout the year - many of which are run by British Triathlon. These include the Super Series which brings together three of the UK's most prestigious triathlons - Blenheim Triathlon,  Liverpool  and London  - which attract some of the best elite triathletes in the world. Another great competition is the U20's Festival, which gives elite youth racers a tough day of racing - you may even be spotted as a future Olympic star! Find out how to start competitive racing here. 

Student

A triathlete swimming

Triathlon is growing in popularity among the UK student population, with many student clubs becoming affiliated with the national governing bodies. To reflect their needs, clubs host events geared up specifically around the academic year. The events are run by students and cater for both the beginner and more experienced triathletes. For more information, contact your university or visit the website for your region: Triathlon England,  Triathlon Ireland,  Triathlon Scotland  and Welsh Triathlon. 

Youth

Youth triathlon

Fancy travelling around the UK competing at some of the most exciting venues? The British Triathlon Youth & Junior Super Series is designed to bring together the best young British triathletes so they can race head-to-head in high performance events. To take part you must already be a home nations member.  Also, do check if you're eligible for the individual races as they have their own entry criteria. For information about the races, how they're scored and the prizes you could win, click here. 

Coaching and volunteering

A triathlon race marshal

Whether you've competed in triathlon in the past or just have an interest in developing talent in cycling, swimming or running, coaching opportunities are available through the British Triathlon Federation.  You can also find out about volunteering opportunities  with them and Sport Coach UK  can also steer you in the right direction.

Volunteers really make an event work, and ensure the experience for the athletes is that bit more special. There's always a great atmosphere at these events and you can be part of it! You may also receive a race crew T-shirt and a packed lunch. For other opportunities, you could also try Volunteer Scotland  while, right across Britain, JoinInUK  can try to help you find a club that needs some help.

Aspire to be like: Karl Hunt

Inspire to be like Karl Hunt

What's next?

1. Go to our Activity Finder to get into triathlon near you

2. Find your local club by using British Triathlon's club finder  .

3. Share your story  and inspire others

Are you inspired to try triathlon? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your story by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired,  visiting us on Facebook  or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.