U.S. Womens Triathlon Team
Courtesy: USA Triathlon
Olympic Triathlon races combine three separate events into one; swimming, cycling and running - in that order. The swimming is typically done in a lake or other type of open water for a distance of 1.5km (0.9 miles). The cycling is usually done on a large, paved road for a distance of 43km (26.7 miles)...note that this is approximately 3km longer than the normal course length. Finally, the running element is done for a distance of 10km (6.2 miles), also commonly known as a 10k.
Rain: This is by far the biggest issue for Triathletes. This not only impacts the running element of a triathlon, but also the cycling sector. Slippery roads have the biggest risk for the cycling part of the event because all the athletes cycle so close together, that if one person slips and slides, the others are affected as well.
"It could rain anywhere," U.S. triathlete star Gwen Jorgensen said. "We've prepared for that. I think everyone has put themselves in a training situation where their training environment is similar to London's."
Temperature: The swim often takes place in open water, so the temperature of that water is just as important as the air temperature. Also, temperature is an obvious impact element to the running part of the event.
Wind: A favorable tail wind is essential because it could either assist you by pushing you from behind down the track, or slow you down by pushing against you.
"I like to look at the wind direction and if I know I have a four hour bike ride I will try to do the first two hours into the wind so I have a nice two hours on the way back with the wind behind me," explains British triathlete Todd Leckie.