30 July 15:25 (BST)

A guide to triathlon at Glasgow 2018

GLASGOW - With three disciplines in one race, triathletes at the 2018 European Championships will require supreme levels of fitness, strength and endurance.

What is triathlon?
Triathlon combines swimming, cycling and running. Athletes compete against the clock and each other for an overall race time. There is no rest period between disciplines.

How many events will be held at Glasgow 2018?
There will be two individual events, one each for elite men and women over the Olympic distance, and a mixed relay.

What is the Olympic distance?
The Olympic or standard distance is a 1,500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run. Triathlon has been held over these distances since the event was first staged at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

What is a mixed relay?
Two men and two women each complete a mini triathlon (300m swim, 6.7km cycle, 1,500m run) in a female-male-female-male order. The total time for the team is from the start of the first team member to the finish of the fourth member. The clock continues to run during exchanges from one team member to another.

What is a transition?
A transition is a switch between the individual segments of a triathlon. Transition 1 (also known as T1) occurs between the swim and cycle legs while Transition 2 (also known as T2) occurs between the cycle and run sections.

What happens in a transition area?
In the transition area, athletes transform from swimmer to cyclist and from cyclist to runner. These areas are used to store bicycles, performance gear and any other accessories needed for the next stage of the race.

What is an age group triathlon?
This is an event for non-elite amateur athletes, who compete within pre-defined categories that are divided by gender and age, and are set apart by five-year age bands from 16 to over 80. Glasgow 2018 will feature the first ever Age Group Sprint Distance European Championships on 11 August.

What is a sprint distance?
The sprint distance is a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.

What equipment does a triathlete need?
Triathletes wear trisuits. In the swim segment they can wear goggles and caps, in the bike leg they must wear a cycle helmet and in the run section they need trainers. The helmet must be put on before the athlete mounts the bike and must remain on until the competitor has dismounted.

When might an athlete receive a time penalty during a triathlon race?
If they begin riding their bicycle out of transition before they are over a clearly marked line, or if they touch a competitor's equipment. Other common offences which incur time penalties include blocking, improper passing, littering on course and unsportsmanlike conduct.

The triathlon competition takes place at Strathclyde Country Park from 9-11 August.

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