If you watched the Olympics last summer, you may have seen USA triathlete Katie Zaferes win bronze for the United States — or heard about crazy triathletes completing an Ironman in Hawaii. The sport can seem inaccessible, but triathlon is a great sport for your kids because it involves three different activities they already love!
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for young children. Apart from teaching basic water safety, swim lessons help your child develop full body strength. And swimming is a sport they can enjoy their entire lives. All they need is a swimsuit and a pair of goggles. Find
a swim class and get them confident in the water. Most youth triathlons have short swim segments, ranging from 25 to 200 yards (1 to 8 lengths of a 25-yard pool).
What kid doesn’t enjoy cruising around their neighborhood on their bike? Imagine putting a
competitive spin on it (pun intended) to see how fast they can go — kids are hooked. Most youth bike segments are 1 mile to 6 miles long. If you can’t afford a bike, call your local bike shop for a deal on used bikes, or search online for programs that offer free used bikes for kids.
This one is easy. Kids know how to run from a young age with little to no training. After they’ve swam and pedaled their bike, the run comes last. Youth triathlon run segments range from 0.5 to 3 miles. When they cross the finish line and experience that sense of accomplishment (and get a nice piece of bling like a medal or race t-shirt), you may just have the next Olympian in your family.
There are great resources out there to help you find youth triathlons in your area, like our Let’s Race app or USA Triathlon’s youth website.
As the weather gets warmer and being outside together is safer, sign them up for a short race and watch their skills and confidence grow!