The most important things you will have to explain to a non-athlete partner

Updated: Jan 26

If, like most triathletes you are in a relationship with a non-triathlete then at some point you’re going to have to provide them with a few insights on what they are getting themselves into.



So, whilst you have might, just might have been able to hide just how much of your life is consumed by swim, bike and run through the initial stages of the relationship, it’s time to provide some insight on what life will really be like.


Here are a few of the things you should explain:


Weekends are dedicated to training


OK, not the entire weekend. There’s some time between 6 and 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday night. Saturday’s long ride, though, tends to leave triathletes pretty tired, so the Saturday date time needs to be pretty mellow. (Actually, ideally it includes food, too – see below). Sunday’s Brick workout and swim are equally as tiring, so an early dinner and bed seem like a good plan that night as well.


Bike, wetsuit and running shoes come on ALL trips


What’s the point of heading to a beautiful cottage for the weekend if you can’t enjoy the roads and get some open water swimming done?


You eat … a lot


Triathletes have a very simple eating program – it’s called the “see food” diet. Everything they see, they eat, much like a swarm of locusts


Equipment takes up all available space …


In your house/apartment/their car/your own car, when you are both going somewhere and any other storage areas, there is access to.


Holidays will always be for races or training


There is a definite upside to this, though…. they usually hold triathlons in beautiful spots! Nice, anyone? Or, If you truly achieve your dreams, Kona? Who doesn't want a holiday in Hawaii


Please don’t make them choose between you and triathlon …


Of course, they are important to you! Here’s an idea – if you want to spend more quality time with them, why don’t they start training for a sprint?


On that note … be prepared for lots of fitness-oriented gifts


It is just so much easier to get gifts whilst at at the bike or running store! Other than the grocery store, those are really the only places you shop.


Don’t expect prompt replies when out training


Yes, I know that the insanely expensive watch and bike computer you have does show texts as they come in, but when you are out training, you are dialled in to my power numbers or pace. And, when you do stop, you really must eat (see above), so there’s not much time there to respond to a text, either.


When you both get together with your friends, you will pretty much only talk about training


But I’m sure they will soon become fascinated with how much your FTP has improved this season, and how close to the podium you all finished at that last race!


Believe it or not, you want me to do all this training


Even you don’t like yourself when you miss a workout…..


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