Combined events involve competitions where athletes compete in various athletics sports over a number of days and the total points accumulated from all events determines the winner. As with many forms of professional sports, combined athletics requires intensive training and can be very stressful, and many athletes seek stress relief in recreational activities such as gambling (games like Blackjack, poker, and roulette), team sports, and yoga or meditation. Although there are many types of combined events, the most common are the heptathlon, decathlon, and pentathlon.
A heptathlon combines seven track and field events over two days. Athletes participating in these events (heptathletes) compete in high jump, long jump, shot put, javelin, 100 meters hurdles, 200 meters track, and 800 meters track, although the events may differ depending on the style of competition. Generally, four events are held on the first day, with the remaining three held on the second day. A double heptathlon (tetradecathlon) also existed and contains fourteen events held over two days.
The decathlon is mainly contested by male athletes and is composed of ten field and track events in two days, five being held on each day. The events, separated into two days, usually follow the order of high jump, shot put, long jump, 100 meters, and 400 meters on day one, and 110 meters hurdles, pole vault, discus, 1500 meters, and javelin on the second day. Decathlon athletes are regarded as some of the top athletes in the world, as a result of the extensive training required to be skilled in a diverse range of athletic sports.
Pentathlon events are now a female-dominated field of athletics, as the decathlon has become the standard combined events contest for men. In the times of the ancient Olympics, the pentathlon was comprised of the five events of long jump, javelin, discus, wrestling, and a sprint. The modern day pentathlon consists of high jump, long jump, 80 meters hurdles, 200 meters track, and shot put.