Triathlon Jargon

If a triathlon is on your race card you'll want to be up on all the jargon. From setting up in transition to swim, bike and run sport specific terminology can avoid the many connotations that often blur meanings as well jargon serves to create a common identity among the members of any group.


In the Swim: Beach start: when the gun goes you will be standing on the beach and will run into the water. Water start: when some or all of your body is submerged in water when the gun goes. Buoy: The floating markers used on a triathlon course to indicated course layout, distance and turns. Draft: To swim directly behind or beside the swimmer in front of you making it easier/faster to swim. Open Water: Outdoor swimming in a lake, river or ocean. Wetsuit legal: A triathlon in which the water is cold enough to allow a wetsuit. Swim In: Coming out of the water and to the transition area, typically going through an arch, gate or area marked "Swim In". T1: Transitioning from the water to the bike portion of a triathlon.

On the Bike: Aerobars: Most triathlon bikes are equipped with these type of bars or can be added to a road bike and allow you to ride in the aero position. Brick: A Bike-Run training workout, in which you run immediately after finishing the bike. Drafting: Riding close enough behind the cyclist(s) in front of you that you pedaling becomes easier. This is illegal in most triathlons. Disc: A solid wheel that is very aerodynamic and often used as a rear wheel in triathlons. Bike Out: When you head out on the bike leg of the triathlon, there is typically an arch, gate or area out of which you push your bike. Bike In: Coming off the bike leg of the triathlon, there is typically an arch, gate or area into which you push your bike. T2: Transitioning from the bike to the run portion of a triathlon.

On the Run: Elastic Laces: Stretchy laces many triathletes have on their shoes to allow easy and fast entry into the shoe without having to tie a knot. Run Out: When you head out on the run leg of the triathlon, there is typically an arch, gate or area out of which you push your bike. There is no Run In, that's the finish line!

Race Specific: Marshall: Individuals on a course ensuring that the rules are followed. Chip: A device worn above the ankle or on the shoe that allows timing during a race or event. Penalty: If you are caught drafting, littering, cutting the course, passing on the wrong side of the road, or committing any other activity that has been banned by the race director or officiating body, you will serve a penalty. Podium: Typically the first 3-5 competitors in each age group qualify for a podium finish.


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