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Swim, Run, Bike

Hello all,

Short time reader, first time poster.

I'm very new to triathlon. I've signed up for a couple of sprints and an olympic this year. I know the 'correct' or historic order of a tri is Swim-Bike-Run however this order makes little sense to me. I think it makes more sense from a progression of speed and a simpler transition point of view to go Swim-Run-Bike.

It would be interesting to see if any of you seasoned competitors agree with my logic but regardless of that I was mainly wondering if anyone knows of any tri's that are swim-run-bike. I can't find any via google.

On a slightly unrelated topic, does anyone know of any night-time tri's? I think it would be pretty cool swimming and cycling in the dark and the run would be less painful (for me) if the finishing line was the doorway of a bar.




  • HarryDHarryD Posts: 425
    I understand that when the French military invented triathlon it was run, bike swim. As in run away from Gerry, jump on first bike you come to and pedal like biily-o to the coast and swim chanel to the safety of dear old blighty.

    It was probably the Yanks on Kona who came up with swim, bike run.

    It has probably stuck because of risk minimisation. Risks of collapse of siezing up with cramp generally increase with tiredness. Think what the consequences would be in water, balanced on a bike or running along. None would be painless but would decrease from highest in water to bike to lowest on the run. Yes, people still occassonally die during the swim unfortunately but try giving CPR in water and as for using a defibrillator forget it. You have to get the casualty out first.

    From an organisers point of view pursuading the local kayak club to help of for an hour at the start of a race when most are close together is a lot easier than asking for 3 or 4 hours coverage between the leaders entering the water and those further back who are happy to finish.

    Personally I'm pretty cr*p at swimming but best at running. Guess what? I spend most races overtaking once on dry land - great motivation

    As for tris in the dark - too risky. Could always wear really dark wrap-around shades though!
  • treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    live with it - it's swim bike run period
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    quick and to the point froggy!

    I think of it as weight bearing, along the same lines as harry really, as you go from least to most weight bearing exercise its going to take more of a toll on your body. Whilst it would be possible in smaller events to have it in a different order, i.e bike after run in your suggest this is impossible for longer events really. Could you imagine an ironman where you had to cycle 180k after a marathon? I think this shows in the fact that the long distance duathlon starts with only a 16k run!
  • @treefrog

    I didn't realise that some triathlons were also linked to cycles of the moon. I might have to avoid that particular permutation though, I don't have the right equipment.


    I thought of the weight-bearing explanation just after I posted and I think it makes a lot of sense. As for imagining doing a 180K bike ride after a marathon, well, imagine doing a marathon after a 180k bike ride. Having said that, I have done neither so all I can do is imagine.

    I still think it would be interesting to try. I also like the idea of run bike swim, especially point to point maybe with the swim just being across a river or (large) pond. It would be interesting.

    BTW I'm not saying that Swim Bike Run is wrong, I don't really care which way round it is I just wondered if anyone else would prefer it arranged differently. Full disclosure: I am from a cycling background which probably informs my opinion.
  • al_fordal_ford Posts: 119
    Easier to get out of a wetsuit than into one!

    Hence swimfirst is the best way to go otherwise transition will cause all sorts of mis-haps.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I hope the S-R-B race is a non drafting one, or we'll have to introduce foto finish in all races.

    Kill the sport, I suppose.

    Just my opinion (I for one am not a werewolf, more a vampire type, so don't moon blabber me please)[sm=rolleyes.gif]
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    It is what it is SBR.
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    Probably goes from maximum to minimum risk. Likelihood of collapse from exhaustion must be least at the start, most at the end of the race.

    Pass out when running = fall over. Pass out when swimming = drown.
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