Posted in Triathlon

Not satisfied with accomplishing goals in one sport, triathletes will dedicate their lives to doing three. But what about the dedication from friends and family along the journey too? If you're living with a swim-bike-run enthusiast, dating one or are friends with one, there are a few things that you should know, which will ultimately help your relationship in the long run.

With help from our community, we've put together a 'survival guide' of how to live with a triathlete. These are the rules you need to learn to go the distance.


#1 - Agree that N + 1 is the ideal number of bikes and running shoes. It's like how you need outfits for different occasions and situations. 

#2 - Every holiday that you go on from now on, your triathlete will find a local race to enter whilst you are there and you will likely be forced to watch. 

#3 - OR every holiday that you go on from now on, is because of a race they have signed up to in the first place. Most of the trip will be taken up with race prep, a course reccy, transition racking, eating and then the event itself. You'll be lucky to get one day at the end to experience some local culture. 

#4 - Your spare room is not for guests. You thought they were decorating to freshen up for some friends or family to visit? That lick of paint is for the newly established 'pain cave' or 'wattage cottage' - a room where sweat and tears will merge into one. Don't forget you will need to be on hand to pick up dropped towels, reposition the fan or stock up hydration supplies when they are in here because they can't do it themselves once they are in the zone.

#5 - Don't ask how much the kit cost and if you do, always assume the price is actually three times what they have said it cost.

#6 - Expect full reports from each training session. If you dare ask how their day was, you'll be given a full breakdown of training. Learn the meaning of words such as 'tempo', 'intervals' and don't even think about sympathising with the breaststroke swimmer who was in the fast lane. 

#7 - Early mornings are your new best friend. It's the weekend, you thought you'd have a lie-in whilst your triathlete was out for a morning ride? Wrong. You'll be awake whilst they faff getting their kit on, eating breakfast loudly and asking where you have put their favourite jersey. 

#8 - Relax, don't make plans.... because you're going to have to pick them up when they inevitably have a puncture at the furthest point from home and have used all their supplies to try and fix it. You will be their knight in shining armour, at least for a few minutes, when you come to the rescue.

#9 - You don't need the plug sockets. You may as well learn to live off-grid because every single plug will be recharging some sort of triathlon tech. From watches to bike computers, smart-goggles, Di2, headphones and bike lights, there won't be any charging points available for you.

#10 - Kitchen cupboards are for bottles. So are drawers and shelves. And backpacks. And the car. You can never have too many Bidons and they'll know if you've 'accidentally' thrown one away/ 

#11 - Keep a photo of your athlete close by. Once the training really kicks in a photo will be a great way to remember what they look like.

#12 - Don't hold them accountable to time. If they say they'll be gone a few hours, this could mean anything from 2-12 and even then they'll still be late.

#13 - If you don't think you'll survive, become a triathlete yourself.


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About the author

GBurden's picture
Gabriella Burden
Published on: 15 Mar 2022

You'll find me running, swimming, cycling, or hiking. And trying to convince anyone and everyone to do the same.