8 Things Only A Triathlete Would Understand
1. Why it is imperative that your business trip hotel has a pool and/or treadmill.1 of 9
Sure, the trip is only 24 hours long and you'll have to wake up at 5 a.m. to get that run in—the fact is you don't let any business trips get in the way of your rock-solid training plan. We're the weirdos you see working out feverishly in that darkly lit, closet-cum-workout room in the middle of Omaha during a thunderstorm. It's a daily box that needs to be checked, and quite frankly, you'd be useless in those meetings if it didn't get done.
2. You forgot to restart your bike computer after your mid-ride pit stop and now your data (and pretty much the rest of your day) is ruined! Ruined!!!2 of 9
The over-analyzing of data is imperative to any triathlete's self-worth and performance gains. Do those 10 miles of dead space really matter? Yes. Yes they do. It's the continuum of analytics from start to finish that give us the most accurate average watts/speed/cadence calculations, and knowing how we fared up that one three-mile climb compared to last month shows us how much fitter we are. And, most importantly, it gives us the ability to steal that KOM away from our racing nemesis. So yeah, our day is now ruined.
3. That $800 is a perfectly acceptable amount of money to spend on a race.3 of 9
Even our marathon-running friends are puzzled by this one. Is upward of $800 a lot for an entry fee? No. The $800 along with the $400 in bike shipping fees, $500 in physical therapy, $1,000 in hotel rooms and $1,500 in airline tickets is a large amount of money. The initial $800 is just what gets us a spot on the starting line.
4. The Queen K Highway and Ali'i Drive on the Big Island are hallowed grounds.4 of 9
If you've ever been to Kailua-Kona during any month other than October during the IRONMAN World Championship, you might have mistaken it for a tropical ghost town. But come October, it springs to life overnight, transforming into the mecca of endurance sports competition and a symbol of the history and passion of the sport.
That dusty, windy highway has swallowed up world champions and spit out ingénues who spend the last several miles of the race running down Ali'i Drive looking desperately for their country's flag, all so they can bring it home and introduce themselves to the world.
Every centimeter of that course has a story—and any triathlete who says they don't dream of racing there is lying to you.
5. Vacations are really just excuses to train non-stop for days on end.5 of 9
Sure, triathletes like to relax on the beach while sipping margaritas. We just prefer to do that after we've spent the entire morning swimming, biking and running until our legs feel like they are going to fall off. Without pesky annoyances like "work" and "making a living," we're free to pretend, if only for a few days, that we are professional triathletes. Just let us live this delusion for a few weeks a year and we promise we'll make it up to you.
6. Learning to unclip/clip into your pedals while riding your bike in and out of transition doesn't just save you valuable time, it looks really cool too.6 of 9
Have you ever seen the pros slide into transition and jump off their bike without even stopping? It's. So. Cool. And even if you are dead last in your age group, rolling into transition looking like a baller will make everyone think you are really fast. Those 20 seconds can really add up when you're competitive—but let's be honest, the real reason you fell on your face repeatedly while learning how to do it is because you wanted the street cred.
7. Post-IRONMAN pizza is one of the most glorious things you will ever eat. But any other time it is basically poison.7 of 9
It's been sitting there for hours. It might not stay down. But every single bite of that soggy pepperoni slice is worth it. You've been eating energy gels and gummy chews for an entire day, and the salty, fatty carbohydrate goodness of pizza just hits the spot like nothing else. However, after this (and maybe a few more pizza outings during your recovery week) you will go back to telling people things like, "Oh, I'm gluten free so no thanks." Or, "I eat clean, so pizza is a no-go."
Until the next finish line, dearest pizza. It will be waiting for you.
8. Your weekly long run and/or long ride with your friends is way more fun than any hangover-fueled brunch.8 of 9
Your Sunday morning riding group occasionally rolls past an outdoor patio filled with large groups of people—their hair still disheveled from the night before—laughing and drinking mimosas. Meanwhile, you're in your target heart rate zone, sweating and telling your legs to shut up. But yet, your heart is singing. This is where you'd rather be.
The meaningful exchanges you have with your training partners, the amazing sunrises and new trails you explore as a group—they are far more fulfilling than any Bloody Mary could ever be.