Common Triathlon Swim Distances & Conversions

By: TGB

Use these distance conversions to figure out how many laps you will need to do in the pool to swim the same distance as your goal race.

  • Sprint Distance Triathlon: Varies, but generally ¼ mile or 300-500 yards.
  • Olympic or International Distance Triathlon:  1,500 meters or 1640 yards.
  • Half Iron Distance or Long Course Triathlon:  1.2 miles, 2112 yards, or 1900 meters.
  • Iron Distance Triathlon:  2.4 miles, 4224 yards, or 3,800 meters.
Common triathlon swim distance conversions - how many laps in the pool

25 YARD POOL

1 length = 25 yards (from wall to wall)
1 lap = 2 lengths = 50 yards

¼ mile = 440 yards = 9 laps
½ mile = 880 yards = 18 laps
1 mile = 1760 yards = 35 laps
1.2 miles = 2112 yards = 42 laps
2.4 miles = 4224 yards = 85 laps
(Laps rounded to the closest full lap)

50 METER POOL

1 length = 50 meters
1 lap = 2 lengths = 100 meters

¼ mile = 402 meters = 4 laps
½ mile = 806 meters = 8 laps
1 mile = 1609 meters = 16 laps
1.2 miles = 1931 meters = 19 laps
2.4 miles = 3862 meters = 39 laps
(Laps rounded to the closest full lap)

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Figure out your swim pace for a variety of distance using these time trials and pace chart.

Did these conversions help with your training? Let us know with a comment below!

2017-05-03T10:18:03+00:00 Categories: Training|Tags: , , |5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Erica February 17, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    I use this conversion chart all the time! Thanks for providing such a valuable resource TGB Training! #swimdistance #waterislife #triathlontraining #TGBisawesome

  2. ME June 6, 2016 at 7:29 am

    I have never done a sprint triathlon that was 400 yards. Your meme should say 800. I really wish you would correct that. You’re doing all rookie triathletes a disservice.

  3. TGB December 8, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    I have done sprint tris with swim distances at every where from 300 yards to almost 1000. Pretty much anything goes in my experience. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. David Szatkiewski April 14, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    I swim 4 times a week at the y it’s a 25 meter pool. I do sets of 12 (meaning there and back is 1 and so on).
    Day 1: I do 8×12, Day 2: 7×12, Day 3: 10×12, and Day 4: 9×12. I’m 54. yrs old. Should I increase to 10×12 all 4days.
    P.s. I do the breast stoke there and the front crawl back

  5. TGB April 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Hey David, Are you getting ready for a triathlon or swimming for general fitness? It would help to know this.

    I’m also not totally clear on your nomenclature. How many meters does 8×12 total?

    If you can reply with that info I can give you more specific feedback. In any case if you are preparing for a tri I’d say your time would be better spent swapping a day, or two, of swimming for a bike or run. I have trained clients for Ironman events on two days a week of swimming with no problems.

    If you are swimming for fitness I’d ask you what fitness goal you are trying to achieve by swimming.

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