10 things you should know before dating a triathlete

(Photo: Charlotte Mensaert)

Earlier this week we announced the new Triathlon Dating app, which connects triathletes with each other, either for training or an actual relationship. Since so many of you were enthusiastic about Triathlon Dating, maybe we should “warn” you about certain triathletes’ habits that are a bit different.

1 – Triathletes don’t party, unless its a post-race party

Belgian athletes celebrating after a race. (Photo: Belgium3Team)

Parties with family, friends or going “clubbing”… that’s not going to happen once you date a triathlete. Especially as a race approaches and all their extra time goes into training or resting. But don’t despair: triathletes do love a post-race party now and then. Don’t be surprised if they call it a night after three beers, though –  after a long day “at the office” it doesn’t take much. Besides, have you seen a triathlete walk after a race?

2 – You’d better love Italian food

Do you like Italian food? Perfect! Triathletes generally eat loads of pasta and double plates of the stuff on the days before a race. And, if you like to eat candy, you’d better find a good spot to hide it. Because it will be gone in no time if your partner sees it after a long training session.

3 – Half your life will be on Strava

We won’t ever forget that romantic stroll through the forest, or that bike ride you did on a beautiful summer day. No matter the pace, it will probably end up on Strava, because “If it ain’t on Strava, it didn’t happen.” Also, make sure to learn important terms like KOM and QOM so  you can follow the conversation.

4 – Be careful in February and don’t dare to plan anything in October

October is Hawaii month (Photo: 3athlon.be/Hans Cleemput)

Have you been dating a triathlete for a while and are thinking about the future? Buying a house, getting married or having a baby? Plan those well. Getting pregnant in February doesn’t work, and forget about getting married in October. Unless, of course, you’d like to get married on a beach in Kona, Hawaii, the site of the Ironman World Championship every year. Did you know that most triathlon babies are born in the middle of July? Exactly nine months after the race in Kona…

5 – Mechanic, support crew and mental coach, all at the same time

Be prepared to be used as an all-round assistant on race day: hold the pump, keep gels in your bag, hand your partner a drink on the run, keep track of the rankings, all while shouting time differences and positions. The most important task? Being a mental coach to your partner.

6 – Fashion statements and Ironman t-shirts

Are you usually the “fashionista” of the family? Forget about getting creative with colors. Once the color of the bike is chosen, the rest will follow the same color scheme: cycling kit, helmet, socks, sunglasses and hat. And be prepared for lots of T-shirts. Triathletes collect them like treasure, and you will probably find big piles of them in the closet. There is also a good side to all this, though – you can share tips on removing leg hair!

7 – Impress with a barista diploma

Do you want to impress your triathlon partner? Work on your barista skills and learn how to make the perfect coffee. Coffee is most likely almost every triathlete’s number one addiction – besides buying equipment and, of course, training.

8 – Accept the “pain cave”

While many women would love to have a walk-in closet, that extra space will probably be taken up by an indoor trainer and turned into a “pain cave.” Your partner will spend most the winter in this room which is typically also filled with race medals and training equipment.

9 – Extra time for yourself

If you enjoy some “me-time” now and then, or going out with your friends without your partner, a triathlete is a good choice as a partner. Are you more the dependent type? Then be prepared for the long hours you’ll be alone when your partner goes for a long bike ride or run.

10 – Just join in!

Triatlon couple qualified for the World Championship in Nice. (Photo: Charlotte Mensaert)

To be completely on the same page, there is only one thing you can do: join in! Become a triathlete yourself. There are many enthusiastic triathlon couples who train and race together.