The triathlon is a popular sporting challenge consisting of three disciplines of running, cycling, and swimming. However, it is highly demanding in terms of training times and physical and mental endurance. Over recent years, more accessible formats have evolved, including the aquabike event. Here’s a closer look at what’s involved. 

The aquabike race is an event that consists of the swimming and cycling stages, without the running. This is in contrast to the aquathlon (AKA splash and dash), which is a swim and run event only. These are both fairly new alternatives to the classic triathlon, but they are already gaining popularity, with many such events being held around the UK.

Unlike triathlons, there are no standard distances for an aquabike race, although typically they will consist of the following:

  • Olympic distance: 1 mile swim followed by a 25 mile cycling stage.
  • Half Ironman distance: 1.2 miles swim followed by a 56 mile bike ride.
  • Ironman distance: 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride.

It’s always important to check before you enter a race however, because distances will vary between individual events.

What are the benefits of an aquabike race?

Aquabike events suit those who are simply not fans of running, but there are plenty of other reasons why people enter them. Running is a very high impact sport, and people with long term injuries may find that it aggravates them. This can be painful and mean that they are not able to run to the best of their ability, or have been advised not to run by a doctor. 

The other advantage is that leaving out the running stage frees up a lot of extra training time to perfect your swimming and cycling techniques. The swimming stage is usually held in open water, such as a lake or the sea, but again this will vary depending on the location. 

How do you prepare for an aquabike race?

Aquabike events are no longer a compromise for athletes nursing an injury, but are now an established and popular discipline in their own right, so it’s still important to have a solid training schedule if you want to be competitive. You will still need good aerobic fitness combined with resistance training to be in the best shape possible.

There are plenty of training plans available online, as well as guidelines about nutrition and rest days. As for equipment, you will still obviously need a roadworthy bike that is suited to the type of terrain you will be racing on.

For the open water swim stage, it’s recommended that you wear a wetsuit for extra buoyancy, insulation, and streamlining in the water, although they are not usually mandatory. It is compulsory to wear a cap to help you appear more visible in the water, and most people also wear swimming goggles to protect their eyes and have better vision. 

If you are looking for open water swimming wetsuits in the UK, please visit our website today.

Tommy Reed