Home > Feature

8 triathlon habits that make no sense (to the rest of the world)

But to us they are completely normal

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Face it – us triathletes are different. We’re not weird, we’re not strange, we’re just different. And all too often other people struggle to understand what it means to be dedicated to swimming, biking and running the way we all are. What it means to have to squeeze that brick workout in at lunch, running around the block in between bike trainer intervals in the garage. What it means to have to shave down before our “A” race of the year. What it means to … well, there are so many habits that are perfectly normal to us that the rest of the world deems out of the ordinary.

Here are a few more:

Peeing in your wetsuit (And, for that matter, on the bike and on the run.)

Sure, it’s a great way to stay warm before a cold-water swim. Yes, we know it’s impossible to get out of a wetsuit in a hurry when you’ve just got to go. We also understand that when you’re gunning after a podium spot you simply don’t have time to stop on the bike or run. We get all that … the rest of the world doesn’t. So let’s just all keep that to ourselves and speak about it as little as possible. It is, most definitely, not something to be proud of.

Owning a bike that’s worth more than your first car

While many of us triathletes completely understand that saving 10 g of drag will make all the difference when it comes to our bike split next summer (which will satisfy our lives in so many ways), most people aren’t as attuned to those performance advantages and struggle to understand how we’re willing to spend more on our bikes than we did … well, you read it above.

Needing all the latest tech gear

This is going to sound a bit strange to most triathletes, but believe it or not, there are lots of people out there who aren’t convinced that you need all the latest and greatest tech and gear to be able to succeed. Here’s another crazy one for you: most swim coaches won’t let their swimmers wear their watch during workouts – they have to use a pace clock and keep track of the metres themselves!

Getting an Ironman tattoo

This is another one that non-triathletes struggle with. They can’t imagine getting a company’s logo tattooed on their body. Whereas we completely understand the added promotion of the Ironman brand throughout the world. (Or a combination of the Challenge and Ironman brand, as pictured above!)

Leaving race numbers on your bike for … well, sometimes forever

When you think about it, does it make sense to keep the race number on your frame for weeks (sometimes months) after the race? Sure, it might be nice to remember your big achievement for a bit, but …

Obsessing over Kona

With all the amazing destination races on the planet, there are those who don’t do the sport who can’t comprehend why all triathlon roads lead to the Big Island of Hawaii. “What about Nice,” they might say. Or Cancun? Or Australia’s Gold Coast? Or …

Yeah, it’s hard when they just don’t get it, isn’t it?

Wearing compression socks everywhere, all the time

Say what? How can that be something the rest of the world thinks is weird? Recovery is like the fourth component of triathlon. Using every non-training minute to enhance our recovery is critical.

Assume the rest of the world thinks all this is normal

Isn’t it funny when you hang around with a group of people who aren’t talking about their next race or their last workout?