Triathletes are a peculiar bunch. They're passionate, eccentric and just plain crazy (in the best way possible), and their enthusiasm and discipline is undeniably contagious. But with three sports as performance-orientated as swimming, cycling and running combined into one, the quirkiness is almost inevitable. Mind you we're not giving them a pass perse, but we get it .
From peeing on themselves and their gear to wearing compression socks in public, here are 10 quirky habits all triathletes have.
Riding a Bike Worth More Than Their Car
After cruising the neighborhood on a $50 Walmart bike as a kid, it's crazy to think that a triathlon bike can cost over $10,000. However, triathletes have embraced this price point wholeheartedly, opting for carbon frames, carbon aero wheels, custom paint jobs and wireless electronic shifters. If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing, so who cares if it's strapped to a 1998 Toyota Corolla.
Peeing on Themselves
Have you ever been to an IRONMAN and wondered why nobody is using the porta potties? Triathletes, especially IRONMAN triathletes, have no shame emptying the tank wherever they are on the course. They'll pee in their wetsuit during the swim leg, on their bike while riding and mid-stride on the run. Seconds matter—there's no time for a bathroom break.
Compression Garments in Public
It's one thing to wear compression socks under your pants while traveling, but triathletes seem to embrace wearing compression anytime anywhere. The majority of races take place in warmer climates, so once race week rolls around, it's not uncommon to see athletes walking the streets in shorts and compression socks. No shame for gains, right?
4 a.m. Wake-ups
While this isn't specifically applicable to only triathletes, they do often wake up before the crack of dawn to squeeze in a coffee-fueled masters swim session, indoor spin or training run before work. If the session is long or if travel is required, this may require a 4 a.m. alarm. #ouch
Creeping on Strava
Whether it's on Instagram or LinkedIn, creeping on people has become almost accepted in today's society. Triathletes have taken this one step further by frequently snooping on their competitors' Strava accounts to see if they're putting in similar mileage or what their power output looks like. It's probably not the healthiest habit, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
Running Sans Socks
Triathletes are the ultimate quick change artists. They're able to change out of a wetsuit and into their cycling gear in a matter of minutes, and the same goes for transitioning from the bike leg to the run. When 30 seconds might be the difference between making it on the podium or finishing in fourth place, saving the time it takes to put on a pair of socks is a no brainer.
Launching Snot Rockets
Say what you will, but triathletes have perfected the art of a well-timed snot rocket. It's especially useful to clear out the sinuses after a salt-water swim and to prevent snot from running down their faces when dropping the hammer. It's gross and unattractive, but it works.
Keeping up With the Joneses
In a sport where details matter, any performance advantage is crucial for either setting a new PR or winning an age group. The triathlon industry releases new "breakthrough" gear on a yearly basis, so of course a triathlete will spend hundreds on a new aero helmet or wetsuit if it'll save six seconds over last year's model—especially if they see their friend or competitor with one.
Triathletes ride their bike, so they shave their legs to be more aerodynamic. They swim, so they shave their upper body to be more hydrodynamic. They run, so they shave any remaining areas that might cause painful chaffing. What does that leave you with? This .
Training on Vacation
Vacation is a time to unplug, kick back and relax, right? According to a triathlete, this instead is the perfect time to schedule a destination race, complete with training days and a strict race diet. They may take a few days off post-race to enjoy the local cuisine and tourist traps, but soon enough they'll be back at it again .