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Swim Distance Charts For Racing and Training

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 Distance Triathlon – Swim distances will vary. Usual distance will be ¼ mile or approximately 500 yards.

International Distance Triathlon – Swim distance will vary. Distance may range from ½ mile to 1.5k or 800-1700 yards.

Olympic Distance Triathlon – Swim distance is 1.5k or approximately 1700 yards.

Half Iron Distance Triathlon – Swim distance is 1.2 miles or approximately 2000 yards.

Iron Distance Triathlon – Swim distance is 2.4 miles or approximately 4000 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)

 25 yards (from wall to wall)1 length 0.5 Lap
 50 yards2 lengths 1 Lap
 100 yds4 lengths 2 Laps
¼ mile  (Sprint Distance) about 500 yards  20 lengths10 Laps
½ mile about 800 yards  32 lengths16 Laps
1 mile (Olympic Distance) about 1700 yards  68 lengths34 Laps
1.2 miles (Half Ironman Distance) about 2000 yards  80 lengths40 Laps
2.4 miles  (Ironman Distance) about 4000 yards  160 lengths80 Laps

50 Meter Pool (Olympic Size)

 50 meters (from wall to wall)1 length 
 100 meters2 lengths 
¼ mile   (Sprint Distance) about 400 meters  8 lengths
½ mile  about 800 meters  16 lengths
1 mile (Olympic Distance) about 1700 meters  30 lenghts
1.2 miles  (Half Ironman Distance) about 2000 meters  40 lengths
2.4 miles   (Ironman Distance) about 4000 meters  80 lengths

How many laps in a pool is a mile?

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.

How long is 1.2 miles swimming?

1.2 Miles is the length of the Half Ironman swim distance. In a 25 yard pool, 1.2 miles is around 2000 yards, or 80 lengths. In an Olympic size pool it’s around 40 lengths.

Rating: 3.67/5. From 6 votes.
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Hazen Kent
Hazen Kent
As a former All-American swimmer, Hazen has spent many years as a competitive triathlete and coach of both triathletes and swimmers.


  1. 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?

    Rating: 3.67/5. From 3 votes.
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    • 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

      Rating: 3.00/5. From 2 votes.
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      • A mile is 1650 meters (technically) in swimming because of a little bit of obstinance and economic reasoning:

        Rating: 4.00/5. From 1 vote.
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  2. 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.

    Rating: 5.00/5. From 2 votes.
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