Here are ten reasons why:
1. Waking up at Ass O'Clock in the morning. Triathlons never start at a lovely 10 AM. No. They start friggen early which means that you need to be at transition and set up at the crack of dawn. It's dark and sometimes cold. If you are training for a bigger distance Ass O'clock in the morning time probably extends beyond race day and to your daily training days.
2. The Swim. Right off the bat you are likely finagling your way into something ghastly like a wetsuit and then at ass o'clock in the morning you are throwing yourself into some sort of body of water. Sometimes it's a calm, temperate lake (lucky you!) and sometimes it's a smelly dirty pond or a cold choppy ocean. But often no matter what the water, you are getting kicked in the face or elbowed in the ribs by fellow triathletes. Joy.
|cold, wet suit, ass o'clock in the morning. Don't let the smiles fool ya... ;)|
3. The Stuff. Triathlon. Requires. Stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. you'll need a tri kit, wetsuit, swim goggles, swim cap, bike, bike helmet, USAT card (or one day pass) running sneakers and that's the bare-bone minimum. As you grow with the sport your stuff will grow. You'll likely want a transition bag, clip in pedals and bike shoes, nutritional needs, tire changing kit, race belt, tri-training watch, gym membership (with access to pool), tri coach (or at least tri training plan), sports sunglasses, visor, you might want even want a fancy tri bike. This sport just requires crap-loads of stuff.
|New "used" bike|
5. Getting your stuff there. So you live in Jersey and want to race in California. Good luck. In addition to the expense of the race fee, and your airline ticket and your hotel stay - you will have to haul your crap clear across the country. So get ready to pay for essentially the cost of another passenger to ship your bike (or rent a bike on location) at the nifty 'location' venue.
6. Nutrition. If you're aiming to conquer a half iron or full iron distance (70.3 or 140.6) you will have to figure out how to NAIL your nutrition. And what I mean by that is how much you should eat and drink on the bike and run. This is critical. Super critical. There is an art to this and it varies for each person. Not enough and you'll "bonk" bringing your epic day down to your shaky knees and have too much and you'll be visiting every port-potty along the way. It's a trying process to get this right and once you do you better make sure to have it/pray that you don't lose anything while biking.
7. The Bike. The bike is a pain in the ass. (I know, I know. The bike is likely your favorite part of triathlon but it is still a bit of a pain) You have to transport it, you have to maintain it, you have to master it. You have to know mechanics like how to change a tire, you have to worry about distracted drivers and you have to always be on-guard to be safe.
8. The Hunger. I am always hungry. This is a pain in the ass (at least for me) if you're (like me) and trying to lose weight. Oh well. Pass me a sandwich.
9. The training time. You will be always thinking about how and when you're going to get that training in. This gets worse as you go higher in race distance.
10. The Addiction! You will curse the expense and all the pain in the ass reasons that exist in triathlon yet find yourself somewhat obsessed and addicted to this sport!!
All kidding aside, I am loving triathlon and am now obsessed. And if you can say that after all the good P.I.T.A. reasons to run in the opposite direction then you know you're on the right path... even if that path is at "Ass o'clock" in the morning ;)
Newbies, don't be afraid. Give it a tri. The water feels great (I could be lying) but still... you'll never know if you don't jump in!
What makes triathlon a pain in the ass to you despite your love for the sport?