If you want to pursue the triathlon lifestyle to its fullest extent—and can't imagine living in your parents' basement—you'll need a career that is not only tri-friendly but also allows for optimal training and racing. Work-life balance is great, but if you have a career that is centered around multisport racing, you might be able to further your career goals while also pursuing your sports passion. And while some of these jobs are probably more feasible as side hustles, making money off the sport you love won't ever be seen as a bad thing.
Making a career out of triathlon training and racing just might seem like the most glamorous lifestyle, but only the best pros can sustain themselves on race earnings. In 2017, the pro with the most winnings took home $297,000; this drops off to $65,000 for the 20th-best-compensated pro worldwide. So unless you're the best of the best, you might need a day job while racing as a pro.
If you really want to give back to the sport, host an event. You'll need to start small, and successfully host a local triathlon. Before moving onto anything bigger. Once you learn the ins and outs of hosting a race, you can try to partner with or license a large triathlon.
For those with athletic builds, a gig that puts you in or on triathlon gear could be a dream job. Models are needed for more than photo shoots: Apparel manufacturers like Pearl Izumi need fitting models—a.k.a. "human mannequins"—during product development to ensure that performance apparel is comfortable and functional before it goes into mass production.
Marketing Strategist/PR Rep
Consumer products public relations representatives attend industry events, conferences and trade shows, which is a bonus if you like to travel. PR reps are frequently in contact with event managers and race directors, media outlets and professional triathletes and teams. Being on the front line and representing a triathlon gear brand can be a lot of work at a computer, but it allows for a lot of interaction with others who live the tri lifestyle as well.
Do you code? Companies like Zwift, Strava and Wahoo are always looking for software engineers to develop products and services used by triathletes and other endurance sports junkies. Plus, it's likely you'll be seated for a good bit of the day, which will allow for efficient recovery between your triathlon training sessions.
Engineers with product development, product ownership and other R & D skills are needed by companies that develop the products triathletes use. If you have a background in a STEM discipline, you might be able to bring your skills to the endurance sports products and services sector.
Although educators are not directly in the triathlon industry, many teachers have daily schedules that may be flexible enough to fit in triathlon training and racing—especially during the heart of the triathlon season in the summer.
Coach or Personal Trainer
Do you have expertise in swimming, cycling, running or a related sport? You could use your skills to help others; coaches interact with other sports-minded people and help further their team's goals. Bonus: Some coaches and trainers may have access to a running track or a swimming pool, which would allow you to get in triathlon-specific training after you're off the clock.
Media outlets, PR agencies and consumer products marketing departments need content to be created. If you have specific expertise in an particular aspect of triathlon—as well as credentials in communications or journalism—creating or editing copy might be your next career path.
Those with backgrounds in physical therapy can apply their skills to improving the quality of life of other triathletes. For those PT's with flexible hours and access to training facilities, you might be able to get some flexible training in before work or squeeze in a mid-day or a post-workday workout.
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