Running is the most popular way to compete in a triathlon, but it’s not the only way. Several events allow you to compete in a triathlon while walking. These events are perfect for people of all ages and ability levels.
So, yes. You can walk in a triathlon. In fact, several events make this possible for people of all ages and ability levels.
If you’re new to the sport, consider joining your local community swim team and participating in their triathlons. This will help ease you into the world of competitive swimming and allow you to get some practice before attempting a full-distance race.
If walking is more your speed, plenty of options are available for those who want to participate but don’t feel up for swimming or biking for miles at once. There are even events specifically designed for these non-swimmers!
What race should you choose to walk in?
The first thing to consider is your fitness level. A sprint triathlon is designed for people who are new to swimming and cycling, so it might be a good idea if you’re starting out. If you’re more experienced with the sport, try finding an Olympic distance event.
I do not recommend walking in longer races than sprints and Olympic distances. It will take up too much time, and you risk not making it before the cut-off time.
As with any sports event, different categories of athletes will compete at each race. For example, if you want to compete against other runners who are also walking but maybe not quite as fast as they are running (and vice versa), then consider signing up for a duathlon—a race where participants alternate between running and biking during two laps around their course instead of just one lap like most other races do. Or perhaps what appeals most about this sport is competing against others who aren’t necessarily at peak physical condition; that’s when “couch-to-tri” events become attractive options due to their slower pacing, which allows those less fit individuals time to catch up over long distances without feeling rushed or overwhelmed by faster swimmers/cyclists passing them off course.*
Walking in a triathlon is a great way to get involved with the sport and see how you like it. You don’t have to be an expert athlete or dedicate all your free time to training—sign up for one of these events, show up and enjoy yourself!