Speaking of community, every group develops language and terms that are unique.  Triathlon is no exception.  Below are some common terms you will hear in the tri world.


Short form for Kids of Steel® pronounced letter by letter (K…O…S).


Long Term Athlete Development.  LTAD models guide programming and training (both recreational and competitive) throughout the lifespan with particular attention to the influence of growth and development on sport training. 


The “fourth” sport in triathlon where athletes switch from one sport to another.  In a traditional triathlon there are two transitions.  T1 = swim-to-bike transition.  T2 = bike-to-run transition.

Transition Area

Location where all gear is kept while athletes are completing each sport.  Usually bikes are “racked” on transition racks.  Athletes un-rack bikes to cycle then re-rack them before the run.  Helmets, running shoes, and any other clothing athletes need is also kept in a small area below or beside the bike.  NOTE – it is not permitted to fully change in transition.

Bricks or Brick Workouts

Training sessions that combine more than one sport in a row.  The most common brick workout is a “bike-run” and can involve repetitions of bike-runs or a long bike followed by a long run.  Other bricks include: swim-runs and swim-bike workouts.

Aquathlon (Splash and Dash)

Swim-run events.  The formal international standard is a run-swim-run events.  Most aquathlons at the KOS level are swim-run and often called “Splash and Dash” events.


Bike-run events.  The formal international standard is a run-bike-run event.

Clipless Pedals

TermsCliplessClipless pedals are the modern shoe-pedal combination where the clip is on the bottom of the shoe and clips into a mechanism on the pedal.  Clipless pedals ARE permitted at KOS levels BUT the clip must be RECESSED in the bottom of the shoe (i.e. not sticking out) and pedals should be double sided mountain bike clips (much easier to clip into).

TermsCageClip pedals are the traditional style where athletes insert their foot into a small basket, then tighten a strap.  Modern “cages” exclude the strap and just have the basket.  Clip pedals and cages are NOT permitted in KOS races at any age.

Aero Bars

TermsAeroBarsSpecial bars fastened to the front of the bike to help athletes attain a more comfortable aerodynamic position.  In KOS races areo bars are ONLY permitted in 14-15 and 16-19 age groups and they must be draft legal (connected in front and not extend past the brake hoods).