Triathlon Swim Distances
The swim distances for the various triathlon distances are below. You can also check out our triathlon training programs. If you’re looking for swim gear, check out our top swim goggles, top wetsuits, and top swimskins.
Sprint Triathlon swim distances will vary but the usual distance will be ¼ mile or approximately 500 yards / 400 meters.
Olympic and International Triathlon swim distance is 0.93 miles, which is 1.5km, or approximately 1,700 yards.
Half Ironman Triathlon swim distance is 1.2 miles or approximately 2,000 yards.
Ironman Distance Triathlon swim distance is 2.4 miles or approximately 4,000 yards.
Pool Miles, Yards, and Length Distances
The conversions are below for miles, yards, and lengths. You can also view our swim workouts here.
25 Yard pool (Short Course)
|Miles and Triathlon Distance||Yards||Lengths||Laps|
|25 yards (from wall to wall)||1 length||0.5 Lap|
|50 yards||2 lengths||1 Lap|
|100 yds||4 lengths||2 Laps|
|¼ mile (Sprint Distance)||about 500 yards||20 lengths||10 Laps|
|½ mile||about 800 yards||32 lengths||16 Laps|
|1 mile (Olympic Distance)||about 1700 yards||68 lengths||34 Laps|
|1.2 miles (Half Ironman Distance)||about 2000 yards||80 lengths||40 Laps|
|2.4 miles (Ironman Distance)||about 4000 yards||160 lengths||80 Laps|
50 Meter Pool (Olympic Size)
|Miles and Triathlon Distance||Meters||Lengths||Laps|
|50 meters (from wall to wall)||1 length||0.5 Lap|
|100 meters||2 lengths||1 Lap|
|¼ mile (Sprint Distance)||about 400 meters||8 lengths||4 Laps|
|½ mile||about 800 meters||16 lengths||8 Laps|
|1 mile (Olympic Distance)||about 1700 meters||30 lengths||15 Laps|
|1.2 miles (Half Ironman Distance)||about 2000 meters||40 lengths||20 Laps|
|2.4 miles (Ironman Distance)||about 4000 meters||80 lengths||40 Laps|
In swimming, a length describes going from one of the pool to the other. If you swim one length you will end up at the other end of the pool. A lap is considered ‘there and back’, meaning you will end up where you started if you swim a full lap.
In a 25 yard pool, one mile is 68 lengths of the pool, or 34 laps (there and back) in a 25 yard pool. In Olympic size pools (50 meters), one mile is around 30 lengths, or 15 laps.
1.2 Miles is the length of the Half Ironman swim distance. In a 25 yard pool, 1.2 miles is around 2000 yards, 40 laps, or 80 lengths. In an Olympic size pool it’s around 20 laps or 40 lengths.
68 laps in a 25 yard pool? 68 x 25 yards x 3 = 5,100 feet. That’s 180 feet short of a mile (5,280 feet). So 70.4 laps would be a mile.
Is there something I am missing?
For whatever reason, wether it’s because of surface tension or not. Swimming a mile in a swim race -not specifically for tri purposes- is 1650, which isn’t accurate math. Haveing swam for some 39+ years I still find it funny and truthfully because I grew up competively swimming I used to get this question wrong in math class. Hope that helps
A mile is 1650 meters (technically) in swimming because of a little bit of obstinance and economic reasoning:
I have been swimming 5000 a day,is there any need to pick up the pace. It takes me about an hour and twenty five minutes , no stopping. Thank you. I will be 60 this year.