Over the Cut-Off Triathlon Event Time

Triathlon Event  I have been training for my first sprint Tri for 3 1/2 months and I am realizing, with 3 weeks left until race, that I will take longer than the 30 minutes that is allotted for the 750m swim. I can make up the time on the bike and run but I’m unsure of the procedure if a person takes longer than the cut off time. Will I still be able to finish the race? Should I not do the race at all? I’m kind of freaking out!

Catherine from New York

Triathlon Event  Hi Catherine,
Thank you for contacting!

First of all, congratulations on taking on the challenge of a triathlon!

Second, we don’t know exactly how far from the half hour mark you are, so it’s hard to give you spot-on advice. Let’s start with the tough-to-swallow advice: If you are WAY over the half hour mark, you may want to scratch this triathlon and sign up for one that is later on in the season so you can train and be confident that you will have a successful swim.

If you are very close to the half hour mark, we suggest that you continue on, spend more time on your swim and give the race a shot. Knowing three weeks ahead that you may not be prepared, might just motivate you to turn that corner and beat the cut-off time!

As an aside, cut-off times are a good thing — believe it or not — and keep a race moving smoothly as a whole; so don’t be shocked if you climb out of the water and they do not let you continue (and they will stop you even if you can make it up in the bike or run). Take it as a incentive to work harder. Do not let it affect you negatively or you’ll lose out out on having the experience of completing a triathlon at a future date.

Please email and let us know how it goes. We wish you the BEST of luck!

Be well.
~Megan staff Recommended Resources:


Triathlon Swim : – Get the low-down on gear and read tips for training and events.

Triathlon Bike: – Learn how to structure bike workouts, find safety tips and read recommendations on great bike gear.

Triathlon Run : – Get the ultimate skinny on running sneakers, running gear, safety tips and much more.

“Triathlete Profile
Read interviews of people like YOU who give advice on training, balance and much more.

There are Newbies Starting Triathlons Every Day. Today Just Happens to be YOUR Day!