Swim, Bike & Run Typical Calories Burned & Timings In Triathlon


Pacing and fueling are two incredibly important aspects to consider when training for any triathlon or endurance race. We’ll go over some average paces for each discipline and general estimates for calories burned so you can get an idea of how to best fuel your body for these hard efforts.

Keep in mind that these are average paces and calorie counts so they may not be accurate for you.

You’ll want to make sure you’re paying attention to what your body needs depending on the effort you’re exerting.

With all that said, let’s take a look at some average numbers so you can have an idea of what to expect on your own training journey.

Swim

The swimming portion of a triathlon can be the most nerve-wracking part for many athletes, especially those who have no background in swimming. Let’s go over some of the basics.

How many laps are 1,500 meters swim?

1,500 meters is 30 laps of an Olympic-size pool, which are 50 meters in length. This equates to roughly 0.93 miles and is referred to as a “swimmer’s mile” (Source).

To do a full mile, you’d need to swim 32.2 laps in a 50-meter pool, hence the need for the swimmer’s mile.

How long does it take to swim a mile?

It can take an average beginner swimmer around 40 to 50 minutes to swim one mile. This timing will vary greatly depending on how experienced the swimmer is. For example, an intermediate swimmer can finish a mile in 30 to 35 minutes and advanced swimmers can complete a mile in as fast as 25 minutes or less (Source).

The more you train, the faster and more efficient you’ll be during the swimming portion of a triathlon. Just be sure you don’t neglect the portions of the event that you’re stronger at.

How long does it take to swim 2.4 miles?

It takes an average of 80 minutes to swim 2.4 miles. This is the equivalent of 3,800 meters which would be 76 laps in an Olympic-size pool. That’s the distance you’ll swim if you choose to do a full Ironman triathlon.

It’s a very long time to be swimming non-stop, so you’ll want to prepare for such a massive feat of endurance, especially because it’s in open water. (Source)

How many calories do swimming a mile?

The average calories burned swimming for one mile is 531 calories. However, this is just an estimated average and will vary greatly depending on the swimmer, swim stroke, and general level of fitness. One can get a more accurate estimate if they use a fitness watch or monitor that will use the heart rate, age, and level of fitness to produce a number. (Source)

It’s important to know how many calories you’re burning because you’ll want to refuel during the race and stay healthy during your training. You won’t be able to take in fuel during the swim, so you can set yourself up for success by properly fueling before the race and having nutrition dialed in during the bike ride.

Average Triathlon Timing & Calories (Age Group Level): Swim

CatagoryDistanceTime (Men)Time (Women)Calories Burned
Sprint750m (.5 miles)17min 34sec18min 43sec79-109
Olympic1.5km (.93 miles)29min 21sec31min 54sec246-340
Half Ironman1.9km (1.2 miles)39min 38sec41min 20sec364-504
Full Ironman3.8km (2.4 miles)1hr 15min1hr 20min757-1,048
Average Triathlon SWIM Timing & Calories (Age Group Level)

(Sources: 1; 2)

Bike

The cycling portion is the longest part of any triathlon race, so you’ll likely spend a lot of time on your bike. Regardless of which distance you ride, you’ll want to make sure you can maintain a consistent pace so you still have enough energy left for the run.

How long does it take to bike 10 miles?

It can take beginner cyclists an average of 50 minutes to bike 10 miles. This can vary greatly depending on the rider, the weather, the bike, and how hilly the course is, but under an hour is a good average to aim for (Source).

More advanced cyclists can bike 10 miles in much less time

How many calories does cycling burn in 30 minutes?

You can burn anywhere from 200 to 700 calories in 30 minutes of biking. A variety of factors contribute to the wide range, including fitness level, bike route, and style of riding Most people training for a triathlon will be on the bike for much longer periods of time, both while training and during the race itself.

You can use an online calculator to get a more accurate estimate. Again, it’s always important to fuel your efforts and eat back your calories if you want to maintain peak performance. (Source)

How much cycling is too much cycling?

You’ll know that you’re cycling too much if you start to experience symptoms of overtraining:

  • Soreness that doesn’t ease over time
  • Constantly tired
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Unwanted weight loss

The amount of cycling that will cause overtraining will be different for everyone, so it’s important to listen to your body for any cues that you’re pushing yourself too hard (Source).

While some soreness and fatigue are normal during intense periods of training, you don’t want to risk injury, illness, or burnout. Be sure you’re eating enough, getting enough sleep, and practicing good recovery techniques.

Average Triathlon Timing & Calories (Age Group Level): Bike

CatagoryDistanceTime (Men)Time (Women)Calories
Sprint20km (12.4 miles)43min 46sec49min 24sec558-773
Olympic40km (24.8 miles)1hr 14min1hr 24min1,171-1,622
Half Ironman90km (56 miles)2hr 58min3hr 15min2,203-3,052
Full Ironman180km (112 miles)6hr 5min6hr 40min4,130-5,719
Average Triathlon BIKE Timing & Calories (Age Group Level)

(Sources: 1; 2)

Run

How long does it take to run a mile?

It can take an average of 10 minutes to run a mile. Beginner runners may take around 12 to 15 minutes to run a mile while more experienced runners can average 9 or 10 minutes a mile (Source). 

Elite runners can complete a mile in under 6 minutes.

The running section of the triathlon will usually be anywhere from a 5k (3.1 miles) to a full marathon (26.2 miles).

How many calories do you burn running a 5k?

Generally speaking, running burns approximately 100 calories per mile so a 5k would burn around 300 calories. This will vary depending on how to fit the runner is, along with exertion, age, and weight. It’s important to practice fueling during long runs so your body can get used to the feeling of taking in nutrition while running. (Source).

This will be key to avoiding hitting a wall or bonking during a race or training run. You can experiment with different kinds of fuel, like energy gels and electrolyte drinks.

Average Triathlon Timing & Calories(Age Group Level): Run

CatagoryDistanceTime (Men)Time (Women)Calories
Sprint5km (3.1 miles)26min 37sec29min 40sec309-427
Olympic10km (6.2 miles)55min 29sec1hr 1min610-845
Half Ironman21.09km (13.1 miles)2hr 8min2hr 20min1,275-1,767
Full Ironman42.195km (26.2 miles)4hr 40min5hr 5min2,576-3,568
Average Triathlon RUN Timing & Calories (Age Group Level)

(Sources: 1; 2)

Also, find out more on triathlon distances & timing and check out our Triathlon Distances & Average Timings Analysis (Infographic); Pick Your Right Fight !

Conclusion

It’s important to take any data with a grain of salt – it’s interesting to see averages and can provide a good starting point.

At the end of the day, though, your body is unique and it’s important to pay attention to what you need. Proper fueling, rest, and recovery is key to succeeding at any endurance sport.

For more on this topic, check out our post How Many Calories Are Consumed In Triathlons; Why Is It Important? All Distances

Aprill Emig

Based out of Duluth, MN Aprill loves to write about the outdoors, education, and all forms of adventure. You can find her mountain biking, running, or playing roller derby.

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