Skip to main content

Triathlon: Terms to Know

New to Sports Guide/Terms to Know: Triathlon hero image

Breakaway

Similar to a surge in running, when one or more cyclists increase their speed significantly in an attempt to create distance between themselves and the rest of the competitors.

Clip-ons

An extension of the handlebars, allowing a cyclist to achieve an aerodynamic position while riding.

DNS/DNF

Did Not Start and Did Not Finish.

Drafting

Proceeding directly behind someone in an effort to gain an advantage by conserving energy. Look for weaker swimmers and cyclists to find the toes or wheels of other athletes to try to maintain pace during the swim and cycling legs.

ITU

The International Triathlon Union, triathlon's international governing body.

Olympic-format

The style of triathlon contested in the Olympic Games, consisting of a course of multiple loops in all three disciplines and a draft-legal format during the cycling portion.

Racing age

The athlete’s age on Dec. 31 of the competition year.

Race packet

The packet each athlete receives before a race. It usually includes a race number, swim cap and timing chip. 

Surge

Similar to a breakaway in cycling, when one or more athletes increase their speed significantly in an attempt to create distance between themselves and the rest of the competitors.

T1

Slang terminology for the swim-to-bike transition.

T2

Slang terminology for the bike-to-run transition.

Transition area

The hub of the triathlon course, the place where athletes transform from swimmer to cyclist and from cyclist to runner. Races can be won or lost in the time it takes for athletes to change from one discipline to another.

Waves

When a race does not start in a mass, the race director will break athletes into groups called waves, often separated by gender and age groups.

 

Sports in this article

Triathlon

Tags in this article

New to Sports SportsEngine Inc.