Lake District Triathlon
The beautiful hills and valleys of the Lake District - one of the best natural adventure playgrounds in the UK – sets the scene for our demanding multi-activity challenge. The route is designed to test your skills, stamina and mental strength as we set off through this fabulous scenery – by canoe, then bike and on foot around Haystacks, before returning to bikes once more to finish the route.
A triathlon is one of the trickiest and most difficult types of event you can try, but the challenge is what makes it great. It comprises of a swimming section, followed by a large bicycle ride, and finally a long stretch of running.
For anyone who has ever done an event involving one sport, such as a 10K run, and found themselves bored by the end, a triathlon might be the exciting fitness challenge you’ve been looking for! Combining three sports – swimming, cycling and running, a triathlon provides a varied and challenging workout that test your fitness and endurance across multiple disciplines.
Find a Traithlon near you
Sprint | Super Sprint | Olympic | Half Ironman | Ironman
What is a triathlon made up of?
The distance of a triathlon can vary, but the race will always begin with a swim start. Depending on the length of the course this could be in a swimming pool or an open water swim such as a lake or sea.
The swimming section of the triathlon is then followed by a cycling section – beginners don’t need to splash out on an expensive new bike, if you already own a mountain bike you can use that for your first few races! The cycling section is considered by many triathletes to be the most challenging part of the endurance event, with standard triathlon courses incorporating a 40km bike leg.
The final leg of the triathlon is a run. Again, the distance will vary depending on the length of the course, but a 10k run is considered standard for a triathlon.
Between stages there is also a transition, which is often referred to as the fourth discipline. The transition area is where you change your kit between stages, for example switching from your cycling gear to your running shoes. The time it takes you to do this is counted as part of your total triathlon time, so serious triathletes will have got their transitions down to a fine art.
What are the benefits of taking part in a triathlon?
Triathlons are great for those who are looking to improve their fitness, lose weight but don’t like the idea of doing a regular marathon of running event. The varied stages keep training and competing challenging and interesting, providing a total body workout. Those prone to running injuries may also benefit from the swimming and cycling sections, as the movements are lower impact on joints.
Regardless of sprint length, triathlons are typically divided into age groups. This means that you will be competing alongside other triathletes who fall into the same band for age and sex as you, with the exception of triathletes who fall into the separate elite category.
Top Triathlon Events in 2020
We have picked out the best events taking place in 2019. We have lots more listings available, just click on the 'Triathlons' tab at the top of this page to find them.
Ironman UK Wales
This event is well established as having one of the most challenging bike and run courses on the IRONMAN calendar. It also boasts the most spectacular swim location of any IRONMAN event, and the inspiration gained from one of the most vocal and enthusiastically-supported events with tens of thousands of spectators who turn out for race day on all three disciplines.
Early morning arrival and registration at our start point on the east shores of beautiful Derwentwater. After an introduction and briefing about the day’s events, we get acquainted with our canoes!
After a safety briefing, we head out onto the open expanse of Derwentwater – which gives us a unique view of our surroundings and an idea of what lies ahead of us today! The conditions will dictate our goal on the water, but if conditions are good we’ll aim to paddle around St Herbert’s Island in the middle of the lake, named for an Anglo-Saxon priest who lived there for many years; parts of the hermitage are still visible.
Returning our canoes to shore, we change into dry kit and prepare to start the first of our cycle sections. We ride alongside Derwentwater, heading towards the beautiful Borrowdale Valley and the tip of the lake. The fells rise up around us and the views are wonderful. Reaching the end of the valley at Seatoller our route climbs up to Honister Pass, a very tough climb with a height gain of over 200m. Hopefully the views from the top will be a wonderful reward before we descend into the Buttermere valley; care needs to be taken on the steep descent. Towards the end of Buttermere we come to Gatesgarth, a small village lying at the foot of Haystacks – the trekking section of our challenge.
At 597m, Haystacks is not one of the highest fells in the Lake District, but is popular largely because it was Wainwright’s favourite mountain walk. The curved crags visible from Gatesgarth give us a taster of the wonderful views awaiting us. The ascent is steep in places but we take it steady and it’s not too long before we reach the summit, with its small tarn, rocky outcrops and wonderful views across to some of the main peaks in the region. Descending again, we return to our bikes.
Our second cycling section, which is slightly longer than our first stint, takes us along Buttermere. We then turn right into the Newlands valley and start the second of our big climbs, gaining 200m in height once more as we climb to the pass of Newlands Hause. The scenery through the Newlands valley is spectacular. After reaching the summit, a wonderful descent takes us back to Derwentwater, and we skirt round the northern tip of the lake and finally come back to our start point. Challenge completed, you should be feeling very proud of your achievements!
1-2 miles canoe, 23 miles cycle, 6 miles trek