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A Guide to Becoming a Professional Pentathlon Athlete

During the modern pentathlon, a fencing session is followed by a 200-meter swim. A round of show jumping follows next with athletes mounting a horse selected at random. The finale involves athletes running a short course that is used to lower their heart rates and then shooting. 

For mastery of this sport, you must be proficient in each of the disciplines involved. If you are new to modern pentathlon, it is best to try each sport individually. Unless, of course, you are feeling confident and you want to start right off. Getting involved at an early age is the best way to achieve this. Anyways, here are some tips that will help you on your way to becoming a professional pentathlon athlete.

What is Modern Pentathlon?

Take part in this exceptional sport created just for the Olympic games. Participants in Pentathlon have been entitled to the title of World’s Perfect Athlete since its conception at the 5th Olympic Games in Sweden.

It contains five different disciplines, each focused on the mental and physical aspects of human nature.

During the Modern Pentathlon competition, fencing, shooting, running, horseback riding, and swimming are all performed in a single day.

What You’ll Need to Practice

Running, and swimming are the base sports of the Pentathlon. Shooting, fencing, and riding are the other sports that make up the well-rounded pentathlete. Swimming and running are excellent for improving aerobic endurance and strength, while fencing is excellent for developing hand-eye cooperation, stamina, and endurance. A fencer’s rapid reflexes and mental strength are also enhanced while fencing. You will learn to be focused and controlled in any environment as you practice shooting under pressure.

Disciplines You Will Need to Practise

Naturally, to be able to become a professional pentathlon athlete, you will need to dedicate some time to mastering the five sports disciplines:

  1. Fencing
  2. Swimming
  3. Equestrian Jumping
  4. Running
  5. Shooting


In the finals, each competitor faces their opponent in a round-robin format. The epee, without a sharp blade at the end, grew out of nineteenth-century tournament rules that allowed for duels not to end up with fatal consequences. A victory occurs when the sword touches anywhere on the body of the opponent. An athlete who wins 70 percent of his or her matches is rewarded with 250 points. Each additional victory earns six more points.

U.S. Army, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


There will be a freestyle 200-meter event immediately after the fencing competition. An athlete earns 250 points for swimming this distance in two minutes and thirty seconds.  Every second faster gives you 3 points, and every second slower means you lose 3 points.

Equestrian Jumping

They are given only 20 minutes before the competition begins to become familiar with their horse, which they draw at random. It consists of 12 to 15 jumps that range from four feet high to 350-450 meters.

Run and Shoot

Modern Pentathlon becomes a race after the first two disciplines are completed. The athletes are assigned a “handicap” based on their score and performance. Cross Country Running and Laser Shooting are both arranged so that the athlete with the highest score starts off at an advantage.