Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Things that Bother Me: The Triathlete Edition

We wear lycra in public. Normal conversations for us involve poop, puke and snot. We think it is awesome if you pee on your overpriced carbon bike.  Yep, us triathletes are a very unique group and with this uniqueness comes a few inherent bothersome traits.

Without further delay here is a small sample of Things that Bother Me:  The Triathlete Edition ...

- The Aero-Wienie Triathlete: This is the guy (yes, this is 99.9% dudes) that will spend thousands of dollars on "aero" advantages but will never even consider the possibility that dropping a few (or many) pounds will do so much more.  The next time someone tells me the exact time savings an aero helmet (about 8mins in case you were wondering) will save over 112mi course I will reply by asking how much of a time savings can be had by removing 20lbs of fat from his ass?

- The Gadgeteer Triathlete:  Us triathletes love us all the fads and gadgets! We must be an absolute wet dream to Marketing Directors. Jason bought the new Speedfil A2 Torpedo Mount Hydration system last week and I could not wait for his review.  I emailed him a ton of questions and ideas about the product and for his review.  Other endurance athlete do not seem to be as enamored with the new and shiny as triathletes. The Gadgeteer would choice a new device over actual training to improve performance!  Actually this doesn't really bother me, might have to change the title!

- The "I Am Spartacus" Triathlete:  You've all heard this joke: "When you walk into a room how do you know who is a Triathlete? They will tell you!"  Since it is true it is okay to laugh. This is mostly newer triathletes. They are sort of like six-month old puppies who are so proud to show you the pair of shoes he just chewed up. Cute but sometimes a touch overbearing!

- The "Just a Training Run" Triathlete:  This guy is my personal favorite! He is the person at a running race who needs to let us all know he is a triathlete (related to I Am Spartacus).  He will be recognizable by his sporting of head-to-toe lycra, rocking a hydration belt with four flasks, sipping on an energy gel, proudly displaying an M-Dot logo on all clothing - except his socks because he is not wearing them under his Vibram Five Fingers, and he loudly proclaims time and time again that this is just a training run for him because he still has to ride 40miles after the race. This is all done to prove to everyone that he is so much more hardcore than just runners.  Look for this guy at your next race, he might just be you.

- The I am so Vain I have a Blog Triathlete:  umm. ahh. cough. scratch. What is that ov-er there?

- The Zero Variance from Training Plan Triathlete:  This person is usually quite the rule follower of society and does not deal well with changes to their training plan. You have probably done a group ride or run with this person. It could be in the early spring when the sun is out for the first time following winter. Someone in the group suggests adding a little extra distance and everyone enthusiastically agrees except Mr Training Plan Follower. He explains that he has already reached the distance his coach told him to do and will do no more.  Now this same guy will call you all a bunch of pansies if you ever cut a ride shorter than his plan calls for.

- The Huge Bag of Gear at the Pool Triathlete:  Pull Buoy - check; Flippers - check; Paddles - check; Snorkle - check; GoPro Video Camera - check; Clear Goggles - check; Yellow Tinted Goggles - check; Dark Reflective Goggles - check; PB&J Sandwich for Refueling - check; Workout Typed and in ZipLock Bag - check; Hydration in Bottle - check; Gel Packets - check; TriSlide - check; Waterproof iPod Case - check; Getting Lapped by a Blue Hair in the Next Lane - check.  Did you forget anything?

- The Cannot Change a Flat Triathlete:  I've experienced this person many a times during races and training rides and the vast majority of the time this person is a chick!  C'mon ladies, admit it, you cannot change a flat. You just bat your eyes at the skinny, dork male triathlete and let his male ego take over. I am on to your little game.  And once all the other dudes read this they will have an epiphany and we will all band together and deny you our flat changing skills from this point forward. Okay, chicas, you've been warned - now watch this and take notes:

 The over/under is 5 for the number of ladies who will tell me in the comments they can change a flat. Smart money is on the under!

I am guilty of 4 out of 8 of these little indiscretions.  Can you guess which ones? Anything else bother you about Triathletes?

Thanks for Reading,


If you liked this Things that Bother Me here are some from the past:

Things that Bother Me:  The Gym Edition

Things that Bother Me ...


  1. Hysterical! I know a "huge bag of gear at the pool Triathlete". I never have understood what he is doing with all the stuff he sets out. He never seems to use any of it... He does bring enough towels to wipe it all down in case it does actually get wet.

  2. I did Boise 70.3 this year and lost 25 minutes waiting for tech support to find me and change my flat. I'm a lady, and I came home and got on youtube and changed my tire. I know how now. RIDICULOUS! But I don't do any of the others...nope, nothing else applies to me...

  3. Ok... I am guilty of having and using a Garmin 310XT so I think I fall under a gadgeteer... although that is the only real gadget I use.

    Um... Ok, I got a blog so I am guilty there too.

    Ever since I watched Chrissie Wellington blast past a bunch of elites at Kona with a regular helmet, I decided that the aero helmet would be the absolute last item on my triathlon purchase list. In fact, it isn't even on the radar for me.

    Btw, I did stop during a bike race to help someone in our training group (chick) change a flat. I was in second place coming up on the first place guy. After I fixed her flat I dropped pretty far back, but made up time ended up in third at the end. Tried to do the Chrissie Wellington thing! LOL!!!

  4. Since I am not yet a triathlete, I will go ahead and study up on flat changing, as to avoid becoming a statistic.

    I'll be on the lookout for the "training run" doucher at my next race. Or Maybe I'll start saying that at all my marathons.

  5. I think I am Spartacus. Or possibly the training run guy. But I learned to fix a flat just last week! It might take me an hour on the course but at least I won't need a dude to do it, ha ha!

  6. I CAN change a flat! Anyone who ride alone should be able to change a flat. Always. Period. My husband and family would NOT be cool with me doing long training rides without being able to do that! Ladies! Practice! Do it at home!!! Dudes! Practice! Big mechanicals happen, but flats should not cost you huge time unless there's a huge issue!

    Oh, and I didn't realize the helmet would save me 8 minutes. I need 10 minutes to break 12 in cozumel.....clicks over to and purchases.......Thanks for htat info!

    I do like the post! We have to be able to laugh at ourselves in this crazy sport!

  7. Awesome post. OK, I'm female...and an engineer (with a PhD no less) and I'm not saying I "can't" change a tire, just that I never have. Now I have tubeless tires, so do I get a pass?

    I am hugely guilty of the zero variance from training plan one...I especially hate to come in under coach-prescribed mileage. Come to think of it, I don't think I ever have ;-)

    My favorite line was the one about peeing on the expensive carbon bike!!!

  8. Hilarious as always but we certainly need the Asshat Triathlete. You come up with the definition of it or maybe he/she is all 8 of your listed items.

    Gott a blog - check
    Got pool toys - check
    Have Gadgets - check
    Shave legs / armpits - check
    Aero helmet - check (used less than pool toys - check)
    Typically don't change from training plan - check (I am paying her to develop the plan afterall)

    Holy Shit I AM the Asshat Triathlete....ha!

    As always good stuff now off to read your aero bottle review link.....

  9. I'm guessing you are guilty of 2, 5, and 6. And... hmm... 7???

    I'd say I am most guilty of Zero Variance from the Training Plan. However, I rarely if ever train with anyone else so I usually don't run into some of the issues there.

    I can be a Gadgeteer to a point, but I do a crapton of research and price shopping before I buy anything. I am far from an impulse buyer. I like to pay it forward by doing the occassional product review post (one coming up soon) for things that work for me so other gadgeteers can benefit.

    I go to the pool with almost nothing. My pool pass, and my handwritten workout in a ziploc bag. The pool supplies kick boards, paddles, pull buoys, and fins though.

    And I can change a flat :)

  10. Newbie that can't yet afford to be the "aero-wienie" or the "gadgeteer" which forces me to just try to lose the 20 lbs (or more). I have found many ways to work the "I am Spartacus" type comment into nearly every conversation since July (my first tri). I've seen the "just a training run" types at even a local charity 5k! Blog - check! I would probably be much more vain though if I followed the zero variance policy. Just goggles and swimsuit for my gear though. I've never flatted, but learned how to remove my wheel this summer. Need to watch the video and master flat changing - although on my mountain bike it isn't much of an issue.

  11. I can change a flat, but I'll admit my husband had to show me how to change a tubular the night before my first 140.6 :D

    I guess I'm the aero-wienie but for a different reason... I have an aero helmet, after seeing the pictures of me on bike at IMKY hubby says "it looks like you have an animal on your back" referring to my very thick pony tail "I think it negated all of your aerodynamic improvements." Ahh foiled by long thick hair! Totally would have made it to Kona if only I'd have cut my hair. ha ha

    I'd also have to admit "check" on the gadgeteer, but I've got a pretty good reason (ahem... husband works at all3sports... ahem)

    oh yeah, check on the blog too... ugh, I am unbearable! :)

  12. Funny post. I'm guilty of 3 of them. How much time would I save over 112 miles if I lost 10 pounds?

  13. Guilty of a couple of these but I can change my own flat! In fact did (for the most part) in my first, and only 70.3 this year.

    Very funny post!

  14. I've earned the gadgeteer so many times over they should just name it after me and retire it.

  15. Hilarious! I think I'm guilty of most of those. But, I can change a flat!!!

  16. @Kevin - I am #1,2,5 & 7 for sure. Aero Weinie, I am conscious of the straw on my aero drink! I am a gadget dork. Have this blog and have every swim training device ever designed.

    From now on The Gadgeteer is known as JoeTheRockStarTrieeter.

  17. Wait a minute.
    You mean aero wheels and an aero helmet would have given me a 5:30 vs. 5:50 in TX?

  18. This is great Jeff! Flipping spot on for the AG'er with way too much money who thinks he can buy speed or improve his looks to justify that he is going faster.

    Reminds me crap....nevermind ;)

    Yeah, how to spot the triathlete @ the pool. Spot on! Classic, "My toys show off that I am a great swimmer by doing everything BUT swimming."

    What about the "I have way too many tan lines guy." THat guy is such crap, nevermind! ;)

  19. I drive a minivan and am from California. O, wait. That was a different set of things that bug you :)

    I am guilty of none of these…but I am not a triathlete :P

  20. Hiya! I have never commented before but I have to jump in on the side of the ladies and say I can most definitely change a flat (on a bike and a car, for what it's worth). But, I do have a blog - though it is more narcissitic than just being about triathlon, ha! - and I do like my gadgets. "Go on a bike ride without a Garmin?? How?!!"

    I quite enjoyed the part about the blue hairs in the next lane passing the guy/gal with all the swimming accessories - I have seen that in real life many times.

  21. Totally guilty of a few... okay a lot of these! :) But whatever!

    And yep... I can change a flat. You don't think that was one of the first things that Tom taught me when we started riding together? :)

  22. Great post! I really enjoyed this.

  23. awesomely funny--and true--post!!

    and just so you know
    yes, I can change a flat
    just for the record
    the last time I was out riding with the guys, I had to change a flat for a DUDE!!

  24. HA! I am guilty of gadgets, blog, pool toys & cannot change a tire. Although, I have watched changing tire videos many times but I have never had a flat yet. Great post!

  25. lol
    guilty as charged

    8minutes on the helmet ?!?

  26. i might be able to change a flat, but dont count on it!!!!

    i love chicking chubby guys who trick out their bikes and wear aero helmets.

    love the pool thing. that's totally me.

  27. Hilarious! I liked the new puppy comment! Great post!

  28. I have an ultrarunner buddy who has a singe name for all the folks you describe... tri-tards

    and yes he has called me that a time or 2

  29. I am definitely Spartacus. I only have a semi-huge pool bag (2 sets of fins, paddles, pull buoy). I CAN change a flat!

  30. I say everything in moderation, excepting 3,4 & 6, which are annoying in any amount.

    And flats? Anyone who has a bike, whether a triathlete or not should know basically how to fix one.

  31. I don't let the guys I ride with change my flats. It takes them too long;-)

  32. I can change a flat. And fast too! I made the guy at the LBS show me on the same day I bought my bike. I am not a pool toy person - I mostly just swim, but have seen many of the full bag of toys at my pool. I am also not a gadget person but my hubby is!

  33. Alright, I am 1, 2, 5, and 6, but I am certainly NOT #8. Thankfully Matt made me change my own tires this year. Last year that totally would have been me ;)

    Great post! Funny, yet so true!

  34. Hilarious.

    Nothing to the pool but my goggles and my speedo!

    other than that and the changing a tire (since I flat like it's nobodies business) ... guilty.

    Love it.

  35. You forgot

    - I am staying for the weekend racer, the one that brings in a bucket, lawnchair, suitcase in transition!!!! Might as well have a tent

    - Mr $15k bike guy that averages 15mph at the race

    - Mr Forum Guy, loves to give out advice to every single post on BT

    - Mr 10 year race veteran that still hangs out on BT and bitches about rookie questions

  36. I can change a flat but I have to admit I'd much rather watch a tri-guy do it for me. I'm an old woman, I have so little left, gimme that please. ;)

  37. You forgot the other version of the "training run triathlete" - the one who puts too much pressure on him/herself, so tells everyone that this race is just a training race... just in case they bomb. I'm totally the blogger triathlete too lol, narcissism at it's best.

  38. Bhahahahaha! This post rocks! I was laughing out loud in my I shamelessly agreed that I suffer from some of these terrible issues. Ummmm, change flat, aren’t going to do this for me?!?!?

  39. Sadly, I cannot call my self a triathlete, I havn't done one in 11 months. But flats I have have too many to count in that same period. This was some funny stuff.

  40. Your things that both me columns are probably my favorite posts that you do, great stuff!

    Lol at the pool toys one - I do carry a waterproof bag to the pool, so I'm guilty of this one!

  41. I have pool toys and use them.
    I have Garmin, albeit an older 305.
    I have a blog.
    I can change my she-flat.

    Everything else is Greek to me....maybe I am Spartacus.

  42. During my last tri I saw a guy on the side of the road standing dumbly with his fancy tri bike, aero helmet and gadgets waiting for a SAG vehicle to help him change his tire. Pathetic.

    Love this!

  43. I can change a flat and even wrote about it on my blog. :)

  44. You forgot the obvious weight weenie who insists on carbon everything, but is 40 lbs overweight

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  46. I am fully Sparticus. I put up terrible times but you know i'm a triathlete.
    I strongly dislike the run race triathlete -- I personally know many. And they ALWAYS tell you about HOW much training they have been doing while you are sucking wind during the race. Ugh.

    I am also an 'excuse triathlete' - can explain those times somehow.

    Excuse Triathlete:Always an excuse, "I did a 100 mi ride yesterday", "It's too hot", "I missed 2 days of training and that is why my time sucks", "My tires were pumped up enough.", "I must have eaten something funny", ad nauseum.

    The 'Mom' triathlete: You don't know where she comes from on her mountain bike and cotton t-shirt but she manages to beat you or come close. You said 'true triathlete' are in full spandex with a fancy road bike. You feel like a tool and vow to avenge all cotton t-shirts in the next race.

    A triathlete known to many a race organizer: The "I know everything triathlete" - Knows how to improve the race route, the transition zone, the apres-race event, loudly tells everyone about said improvements, and about what is wrong. This triathlete often arrives in the back half of their age category. Perhaps they should just shut up and focus on their race.

    Thanks for the great post!

  47. Geez you got a lot of comments from this one! This post totally cracked me up! I am guilty of a few of them too...:)

  48. Now you know I was excited when I saw this topic on comment luv! Seriously, triathletes (and I am one on occasion) are the worst offenders of all thins garrish! Let me add to the list the wetsuiters--those who feel it necessary to take their wetsuits to the pool, make a big production of getting into them on deck, and then swim 3,000 yds. in an 80-degree pool in them. Yeah...don't tell me they're not sweating their #%!@ off! A few hundred yards is all you ever need to know if the wetsuit is working for ya. One time/season.

    I think I sounded pretty damn Jeff there, don't you?

  49. Ok

    And man,.....I think I better sell my 310xt. ;)

  50. So I am late to this, but I can change a flat - on a bike and a truck. Also on a skidder if I have to.

    Does that throw off your over/under?

    On my list of things that bother me is ladies who don't know how to change a flat (of any kind) and REFUSE to learn, pointing to their boobs and saying, I don't need to know how to change a flat, I have these. Eyeroll.

  51. I'll admit it, I still don't know how to change a flat.

  52. Ok fine, my idea of changing a tire is to dial, 1-800-honey can you pick me up. I know, I'm working on it so bite me:-)

  53. I'm definitely the Sparticus Triathlete, I just have to tell people! Aero and Gadget Triathlete do annoy the hell out of me though, so smug!