Relationship Advice for Triathletes

6) Stock your own nutritional supplies.

Picture this: Most triathletes eat a regimented and specific diet to optimize their energy. Your daily consumption might consist of fruits, vegetables, energy bars, power drinks and protein shakes. Five minutes before dinner you ask, "Honey, where is the organically-grown vegetable bean dip I usually have with dinner; didn't you go food shopping?"

Advice: Keep a running list of the items that you need daily, weekly and/or monthly; and, either communicate well in advance that you are running out of something or buy it yourself.

7) Be gracious.

Picture this: You miss your weekly massage with Olga so you ask your spouse/significant other to give you a quick rub down after a workout. When they ask how it feels you respond, "You're not as good as Olga but it'll do."

Advice: If you ask your partner for help, accept it graciously without pointing out what they do wrong or differently. And maybe even book your partner their own massage the following week to thank them for their support.

8) Create a line item in your budget for training and racing.

Picture this: Your partner comes home after a long day at work, walks in the front door having to maneuver around your brand new Cannondale Slice and asks "whose bike is this?" You reply: "Oh, I didn't tell you?"

Advice: Allocate money each month for nutrition, race entry fees, maintenance and new gear. If you are looking to purchase a new pair of Newtons, go for it. The money is in your account. And since you do your own shopping for nutrition you can feel free to stop at the health food store on the way home and stock up.

9) Use your own razor.

Men, this is for you: After a long day you and your partner are sitting on the couch watching your favorite program. You nestle close together and she puts her hand on your leg and says, "Wow, your legs are smoother than mine. What razor do you use?" You think: 'play stupid.' She repeats the question. You reply: "Why, Lady Bic of course, why do you ask?" Her reply: "I was wondering why my razors are always dull, why don't you use your own?" "Well, if I use my own, I won't have any to shave my face with."

Advice: Sanctity in the shower is important. Honor this humble but important piece of real estate and, though you may be fond of Lady Bic, get your own.

10) When all else fails, revert back to #1: Communicate.

If your partner knows why triathlon is important to you, and you make a visible effort to keep the lifestyle from overpowering your relationship, you both will be a lot happier.

Frank Sole is a premier swim coach and tactician with extensive experience coaching high school swim teams, club teams, masters swim programs, and working with all levels of triathletes from beginner right up to Kona qualifiers. Sole enjoys writing about triathlon training, technique development, relationships and the lighter side of triathlon. For more on Frank Sole, go to

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