7 Ways to keep a triathlon relationship going

Multisport training and racing doesn't have to be a relationship killer. Here are some tips on how to train hard without jeopardizing your relationship.

| May 25, 2017 | TRAINING

Photo >Eric Wynn

You probably know the type, the über age group athlete who is driven and relentless and takes no prisoners. They might also have left a swathe of partners in their dust as they have taken the triathlon challenge to the end and back again.

Recently at a social outing there were the usual complaints of being the triathlon widow as well as the tales of love gone south due to the high demands of living the dream, the triathlon life. But is it all healthy and are there better ways to go about it?

We asked around to some successful triathlon couples to find out how they stay together while achieving their style of triathlon immortality. It can be done. Here's what they came up with:

  1. It’s not all about you! Yep it’s a sad fact! Just because you are an Ironman demi-god who loves the sight of yourself in your own Speedo, you are not center of the universe. Acting like that won’t help you because you can swim bike and run a little. Understand all conversations can’t be circular and end up back to you and your triathlon efforts.
  2. Take a day off. Most folks we talked to were annoyed, at some stage, with their partners because they wouldn’t alter or simply remove training days. Let’s be honest here: sometimes just taking a day out and switching off is the best thing to remove yourself from the constant grind. It might also give you an element of disconnect.
  3. Train smarter. Avoid junk miles, be specific and watch the free time suddenly appear. 


  4. Race Day involvement. If you are too “Zen” to include your significant other in your race day, you might end up at the finish line hugging yourself. Be engaging and have fun with your partner and or kids. If your race goes to crap you’ll need them and if it is a Kona ticket booking party you’ll want them there. Being too focused to include those who support you is a sure sign you’re a wanker and a sure sign you might need to take a step back from your own self involvement.
  5. Training involvement. Get your significant other involved in your training. We have seen this countless times. When the partner has "skin" in the game they will appreciate what you do and, more importantly, understand how tough it is. It will also give you both something to get around. So, whether it be the support biker on the long runs, or the person to help kick your butt outta bed for swim squad, having your partner involved keeps the journey between the two of you. Another helpful tip is not to kick your partner’s arse if they come out with you. Yep, you’re a legend in you’re own bike shorts if you can get your partner involved and proceed to light them up to show you’re the Alpha.
  6. Race week hot head. Nothing is worse than being down at an Ironman Expo and watching a couple melt down due to one of them being a race hot head. Race morning too is a danger time. If you are prone to an exploding head then calm the f#@$ down and plan better or walk it off.
  7. You’re not a pro – interview answers. Ok so every thing our couples told us was that this is vital. YOU ARE NOT A PRO! Don’t go to social occasions and answer questions like you’re on the pro panel. Don’t spend more time worrying about your two logo’d t shirt than those who will be around when this sport is a fading memory. Understand that this is recreation and gain some perspective. A blown race is not the end of the world. You won’t be reading about yourself on awesome tri site like triathlonworld.com or in the newspapers. ESPN won’t be screaming "has been" if you don’t reach that personal best. The bike shop that floats you four free tubes a year won’t come knocking if you take time off to go to the farmers market rather than running those 1 km efforts. Work life balance exists in amateur sports. Have a life enjoy being fit, but understand where it sits in your world.