Everyone has an opinion. While giving your opinion is an essential part of communication, there are some things you should keep to yourself. Whether you’re married to a triathlete or are simply friends, chances are you’ve said something you shouldn’t have. Next time you feel the burning desire to give an opinion, quickly review this list. You may just save yourself the wrath of a road worn warrior.

“Do you have a life outside of working out?

Want to really get under the skin of a triathlete? If so, then say this. Remember, triathletes are unique in their sport. As with many athletes, training is among the most important aspects of life. Of course, triathletes have a life outside of working out. However, for millions of triathletes, working out is part of their life.

“I could do a triathlon, but I’m just too busy.”

Update: triathletes are busy in their own lives. You think they decided to do triathlons because of the sheer amount of downtime in their life? Triathletes must sacrifice their free time to satisfy the demands of this sport. They have passion. They have desire. Shouldn’t this be respected and not talked down upon? Next time you feel the urge to comment on their busy schedules, put yourself in their shoes. More than likely, your feet and mind will instantly start to ache.

“I knew a person who did an Ironman in record time.”

Well good for you. It’s important to remember, the term “Ironman” doesn’t refer to a single type of triathlon. There are some Ironman races that are easier than others. Before bragging about how fast your friend finished, remember one thing. It’s rude. The final time is based upon a myriad of factors. Be a little more sensitive and keep such comments to yourself.

“All you ever talk about is a triathlon training or race days.”

You try training hours each day and altering your entire life for a sport. You’ll likely find this is the topic of choice in social settings. Sure, there’s such a thing as overkill. Some triathletes really do talk too much about this topic. However, most triathletes discuss their experiences due to the boost in self-esteem and confidence these races provide. Maybe listen to what they have to say. You may pick up some excellent tips regarding sacrifice, dedication and passion. Who else better to learn these from than a seasoned triathlete?

“I don’t know what the big deal is. All you’re doing is swimming, biking and running.”

From the outside, triathlons can seem “boring.” Repetition, in any form, can gain the reputation of being boring and predictable. However, this is far from the truth. The sheer amount of physical and mental effort of a triathlon is anything but bland. Not convinced? Try your hand at it. You’ll soon discover, triathlons are filled with excitement, anxiety and pure satisfaction: three elements that are far from boring.

“You must need to train differently. I thought you would of finished faster.

There comes a time when a triathlete comes across a know-it-all. These people tend to have training experience in some fashion. Unless you’re speaking to a complete newbie, keep training tips to yourself. The bulk of triathletes have dedicated countless hours to training knowledge and techniques. Suggesting they’re doing something wrong can be quite disheartening. Not only that, but giving bad advice could put your friend at risk of injury. Let their training coaches determine if there’s an error in their training routine.

“I’m so jealous. I bet you can eat anything you want.

Actually, no. The core of a triathlete’s power is nutrition. Simply because they spend hours training doesn’t mean they go home and munch on nacho’s and cheeseburgers. While an occasional splurge is common, 99% of the time what goes into a triathlete is carefully monitored and studied. Have you heard your triathlete friend refer to food as “fuel”? This is exactly how many triathletes think about food – it’s nothing more than a substance to fuel their craft.

“I do marathons all the time. I bet I could do a triathlon.”

That’s wonderful. However, such assumptions dilutes the blood, sweat and tears most triathletes put into their training. While engaging in marathons is an excellent first step, it’s nothing like digging your feet into grime of triathlons.

“So you’re done with an Ironman. What are you gonna do next?”

For many triathletes, there’s no end to their training or racing. Asking “what’s next” is suggesting their commitment is short-lived. If you wish to receive the rough end of an athletes glare, ask them this question.

“How can I lose weight?”

Perhaps one of the most common questions asked of triathletes is how to lose weight. While triathletes are at the peak of their strength and endurance, they aren’t weight loss coaches. Many didn’t begin their journey to shed unwanted pounds. Any weight lost was a byproduct of their determination to cross the finish line. Next time you’re compelled to ask a triathlete how to lose weight, instead, discuss their training routines.

Now You Know…

We’ve covered the basics of what not to say to a triathlete. What all these points boil down to is respect. Triathletes are unique humans. With their passion and dedication, they overcome physical and mental hurdles. Want to learn more about what it takes to be a triathlete? Wish to connect with like-minded individuals? Connect with Triathlon HQ on Facebook to get the latest scoop and discussions regarding all things triathlon.

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