Half-Ironman 70.3 Distances:
How Long is a Half-Ironman Triathlon?
In the world of Iron-distance and long-course multisport racing, the half-Ironman is one of the most popular distances. The level of lifestyle commitment and dedication to training is dramatically less than that of a full-Ironman, but still offers triathletes a very challenging distance that typically requires 4-7 hours to complete.
How long is a half-Ironman or 70.3 event? Ironman 70.3 distances entail swimming 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers), cycling 56 miles (90 kilometers), and running 13.1 miles (21.09 kilometers), or a half marathon. The term “70.3” is simply the total sum mileage of the swim, bike, and run combined. This distance is a perfect marriage between endurance and stamina, as well as speed and efficiency, as the pace for high-level 70.3 athletes is often extraordinarily fast.
|Half-Ironman/70.3 Triathlon||1.2 miles (1.9km)||56 miles (90km)||13.1 miles (21.09km)|
Ironman 70.3 Triathlon: The Perfect Long-Course Distance
Ironman 70.3 triathlons are often considered the perfect distance for athletes who are leveling-up to long-course racing. Due to the heightened popularity of 70.3 events, most races sell out rather quickly, as registration is often limited to a few thousand athletes, depending on the event.
On the professional level, half-Ironman distance triathlons fringe on near sprint distance speeds. For example, the fastest 70.3 was Jan Frandeno’s 3:36:30 at the 2018 Ironman World Championship in South Africa where he ran 5:05 mile run splits to break the world record. Such speeds also point to other top-performing Olympic distance pros like Javier Gómez and Alistair Brownlee who have entered the Iron-distance scene with great success.
While average times typically range between 4-5 hours for professionals triathletes, amateurs and age groupers spend significantly more time on the course. For top age-groupers, good times on moderately difficult courses can range between 5-6 hours. But for busy athletes who have minimal time training, you can expect 6-7+ hour average finisher times for 70.3 triathlons.
In most cases, Ironman 70.3 distances are more approachable for amateurs and age grouper athletes, as the level of commitment and training substantially escalates for full-Ironman distance triathlons. While many athletes are capable of developing their own training program, both amateurs and professionals often find value in triathlon coaching. Working with a triathlon coach can not only be helpful for motivation and accountability but also providing structured training plans that are custom-programmed to an athlete’s goals, skill level, and lifestyle. Learn more about online triathlon coaching to get access to an experienced long-course triathlon coach.