Multisport Racing Explained

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Multisport racing is made up of a number of fun and exciting race formats. The styles and distances are many and varied and suit any level of athlete from a complete beginner to an experienced master. Starting at Duathlons or Aquathlons, Team events, Short Course, Long Course and Ultra Distance. There are multiple options for any athlete that provide a progression, different goals and the ability to transfer skills even when injured, or if you have a change in life such as work or kids. There are, however, different ways a coach can cater for everyone regardless of the individual interests, strengths and skills.

In this blog, triathlon coach Melbourne will explain the different race types and race distances in the multisport world. Athletes in any of these race types can aim to just finish the event, or to becoming an age group racer or Qualifying to the World Championship.

“If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race it’s up to you.” – Dave Scott.



500m-10km run 1

10-40km ride

300m-5km run 2

This race style combines running and cycling. If you are still getting used to swimming, or if you decide that you want to polish your skill in the water before racing, but feel strong on your feet and on the bike, then a duathlon is for you. The distances are very similar to the Triathlon race distances including fun or dash, sprint and Standard as the main distances. You will be assured that you heart rate will go high and remain there for the duration of this race.


Distances vary from event to event, with most being similar to the Triathlon distances.

For those strong runners who also have a strong swim. The aquathlon brings a combination that changes the whole spectrum of what is expected from the athlete. By taking the bike out, you will be assured that the way you face the run will solely rely on how good you are on the transition.


Distances are graded from sprint to Ironman depending on the hosting event. 500m-3.8km swim20-180km ride

This is a relatively new race category. If you are injured or just don’t feel comfortable running, the Aquabike event might be the perfect race for you. Starting with the swim and finishing on the bike, this event has adrenaline imprinted all over it. This type of event brings the opportunity of pushing to the limit on the bike leg. Knowing that you don’t need to save any energy for the run will be an opportunity for an athlete to give it all and see how fast and far they can ride.


Distances are graded from sprint to Ironman depending on the hosting event.

500m-3.8km swim

20-180km ride

Whether you want to share the glory with your friends, want to bring the best of each discipline, or just want to experience the Triathlon without going through the whole event, competing as a team can be an option. One person can take the swim, another one the bike and another one the run. You can enjoy the race in its entirety and will also give you the opportunity of cheering on your teammates and also racing for glory.



150-200m swim

10km ride

1.2-2km km run

As the name suggests, the main goal here is to have as much fun as possible. This one is the first step for many athletes to get into Triathlon, it is also a type of race for those who want to fully enjoy the Triathlon experience. You will feel the full experience of being a Triathlete, and will have the chance to share your experience with your friends and club. This race distance is an achievable first step to get a taste for multisport racing.



500-750m swim

20-26km ride

4-7km run

Short and fast is the motto here. This type of triathlon can be taken two ways, as an opportunity to challenge yourself for the first time in Triathlon, or as a race to smash yourself to the limit. The distances are long enough for you to feel truly challenged but also just so that you can push to the limit. This type of race is not only about pushing hard, but also about being a strategist. Your PB or even a podium can be won or lost in T1 or T2 so it’s a race to take on and challenge your race skills as much as your fitness.



1500m swim

40km ride

10km run

Previously known as the “Olympic Distance” triathlon, these distances can seem a true challenge for some. With a good block of consistent training and a well developed program you will be able to face this challenge. This race distance will also require a knowledge of race day nutritional strategy and knowing your body. Although speed is always a goal, this type of event brings the element of pacing, developing patience and knowing when to push and when to save some energy for later.



1.9km swim

90km ride

21.1km run

The first step into long-course racing is a half distance triathlon. This length of race requires dedicated training, skill development, nutritional planning, and race day strategy. To attempt this race distance an athlete should be able to ride a bike for at least 3 hours without stopping, swimming for at least 45 mins and feel confident running for 2 hours. Stepping up to long course racing requires a commitment from the athlete to ensure they get through the race, but also the finish line will be a highly rewarding experience.



3.8km swim

180km ride

42.2km run

The legendary distance. “You can keep going and your legs might hurt for a week, or you can quit and your mind will hurt for a lifetime.” – Mark Allen

It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world. Preparing yourself for an event of this sort requires a good year or more of training to prepare the body and mind for race day. Along the way you will make new friends, create a new mindset and discover a side of you that you didn’t know existed.


Distances are completed over 2-3 days.

5km swim

300km bike

50km run

The next step up from long-course racing is Ultra-distance racing. This type of event requires a different mindset to the other Triathlons. Your goal is not to go hard and fast, but rather to keep strong, maintain a consistent pace, and stay focused after hours and hours of moving. The way your nutrition program works, your expectations and your team around you have a huge impact on race day.


Distances are completed over 3 days.

10km swim

421km ride

82km run

This distance is the ultimate challenge for those who want to test the endurance limits of the mind and body. To be able to stand on the start line of the Ultraman, you will require years of training, endless sessions and a complete team around you to compete. Those who complete this type of race become extremely self-aware of their own body and their mindset changes and strengthens along the way.

If you are interested in learning more about multisport racing, then send us a message at Davey Black Triathlon. Our highly skilled coaches we will be happy to guide you through all of your training and racing options based on your athletic history, your mental mindset and your goals and expectations.

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