When Your Alarm Goes Off at 4:30 a.m.2 of 15
Whether you went to bed at 8 p.m. or didn't manage to fall asleep until well past midnight, hearing that blasted buzzing at the crack of dawn is never easy. You'd much prefer to snuggle up in your cozy down comforter than stumble onto the cold bathroom tiles half-asleep. But you do it anyway because that freestyle stroke isn't going to improve itself.
Speaking of swimming...
When You Have a Swim Workout but the Water Is Freezing3 of 15
Let's be honest. Dipping even a toe in the chlorinated pool water can make any triathlete run for the hills. But add in cold water, no wetsuit, an early morning or any combination of the three and it's a wonder there are any triathletes at all. But, we persist. Because what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?
When You Get a Flat Tire4 of 15
When you're in your car, driving around, and get a flat tire, AAA is only a call away. But if you're on a long training ride and start to feel that tell-tale wobbling, your body fills with dread. Most likely miles from home, you have two choices: give up and call for a ride home—not that any self-respecting rider would ever do that—or change the darn thing yourself.
And even if you're prepared with a spare tube and flat-fixing experience, this road bump can make any triathlete wonder why they ever picked up the sport to begin with. Just think of this as a practice run for the flat you hopefully won't get in your next race.
When You Do a Brick Workout5 of 15
Finding your run legs after getting off the bike is never easy. It always takes a bit of time to adjust to striking the pavement again. That jiggly feeling can make your question why you ever agreed to tack on two other sports to one that was perfectly fine on its own. But then you remember the finish line is right there. Or at least that's what everyone keeps yelling.
When You Miss a PR by Mere Seconds6 of 15
You've toed the line at a plethora of races, searching for that elusive PR. You choose a race with the perfect course, your training is on point and your nutrition is dialed in. You cross the finish line and look up at the clock, realizing you missed the mark by just five seconds—five seconds! You think that maybe you won't ever be able to reach that goal and even quitting for good crosses your mind. But you don't. Why? Because that nagging feeling won't ever go away, and you know won't be content until you finally reach the milestone.
When You're 100 Miles into a 140.67 of 15
Anyone who even signs up for an IRONMAN has to at least be a little bit crazy. And while you may not realize that fact when clicking register, inputting your credit card information for the several-hundred-dollar entry fee or even during training, you'll almost certainly be asking yourself what drugs you were smoking once you're in the middle of the bike leg, having already swam 2.4 miles and been in the saddle for four hours, with a marathon still to go.
But hearing those words, "You're an IRONMAN"—we're tearing up just thinking about it—makes it all worth it. When's the next race?
When You Get Injured in the Middle of Race Season8 of 15
Really, any injury at all can be a huge motivation suck, especially if you've been spending your days doing two-a-day workouts in preparation for the big race. Whether it's a minor tweak that will threaten peak performance or a bigger setback that will force you to withdraw altogether, being hurt sucks and being away from your training can make you question why you put your body through so much to begin with.
But use the downtime as an opportunity to strengthen supporting muscles. Take physical therapy seriously—make recovery your new goal. Plus, a break to spend more time with family and friends should never be seen as a bad thing.
When You Crash on the Bike9 of 15
No one likes crashing, and the resulting road rash, broken bones‚or worse, broken bike—can send you straight to EBay, wanting to auction off all your various pieces of tri gear. But crashes happen, and they usually make you stronger. Or at least teach you what not to do next time.
When Part (or All) of Your Race Gets Cancelled10 of 15
There's nothing worse than training for a swim, bike, run only for the race to be turned into a duathlon. We didn't spend all those hours suffering in the pool to not even get to swim on race day. Even worse than having to do a du is not getting to race at all. While at first all the training may have seemed like a waste, think back to all the good times you had as well. Then go sign up for your next race—and pray it doesn't get cancelled, too.
When You Place Another $150 Order with GU11 of 15
Dropping $150 in general is rough, but spending your hard-earned money on literal packets of gooey slime doesn't seem right. But if it'll get us to the finish line without bonking, send us all the GU in stock.
When You DNF a Race12 of 15
You trained for months to prepare for the big day only to tweak your ankle or fail to reach the time cut on the bike. But rather than thinking you're not made out for this sport, use the experience to better prepare for your next race. Realize, too, that sometimes injuries happen, and they won't always mean you did anything wrong. Sometimes these things are out of our control, and we can only take them as they come and move on.
When You Say No to Happy Hour for the 100th Time13 of 15
Triathlon is quite social, with community support tenfold of most other sports. But that doesn't really extend to your work happy hour that goes well past your 8 p.m. bedtime. Just once you'd like to say yes to downing a bunch of empty calories and getting a bit loose. You might even consider suffering through morning training with a hangover or forgoing it altogether. But of course, you politely bow out and head home to eat grilled chicken and roasted vegetables before turning in before the sun is even fully set.
When You Chafe Really Badly14 of 15
You've never experienced terror until you exit the water, legs dripping wet only to realize you forgot to pack the Body Glide in your transition bag. And the resulting bloody nipples, raw inner thighs or bottom rash will make you want to swear off triathlon forever. But once the pain subsides and you head out for your next training session, we bet you'll never forget the anti-chafing cream again.
When You Crave that Big Piece of Chocolate Cake You Can't Have15 of 15
When in the middle of training for a race, keeping your nutrition in check is crucial to success. While occasional baked goods are perfectly acceptable, sitting down to a bacon-wrapped cheeseburger, a basket of French fries and a slice of that towering, decadent chocolate cake you drooled over while scrolling through Instagram last night might derail your goals or at least wreak intestinal havoc during a training run.
Don't throw away all those weeks of hard work for one greasy cheat feast. Instead, think of all the ice cream sundaes, brownies and slices of pizza you can go to town on after crossing the finish line.