The eleven things triathletes dread

This morning after an indoor track workout with my wife, I arrived back home to change and shower before heading off to work. Most of the layers peel off quick, but as I turned on the shower to wait for the water to heat up, I looked own at the biggest dread of the day. Getting the compression socks off.

So #11 is the Taking off compression socks or sleeves dread.

#10 is finding missing pieces of gear. You the know drill. You’re dressed and ready to ride and somehow the cycling gloves are missing. Or the shades got lost somewhere in the house. Maybe even a helmet cannot be found. Searching for missing gear is a total buzz killer. Plus it makes you late, stresses you out and sets the stage for a bad workout.

#9… is applying sunscreen. Who doesn’t dread the cold spray of sunscreen on your warm skin at 4:45 in the morning? Or spreading that white gook all over you so that you look like side of greasy pork? It’s the worst. Dread that too.

#8 …thing we secretly dread is that long-ass walk to the Swim In. Everyone pretends to be all chatty and happy, but truth be told, it’s a pain in the ass to be half-bundled up in a wetsuit looking like one of 1000 seals migrating to a forlorn chunk of beach. Dread really kicks in if the water’s too cold or too hot as well. Do I have to wear a wetsuit? Do I get to wear my wetsuit? Walk it off…

#7 ….Dread is crowded transition racks. Most triathletes try to be respectful about alternating bike directions so that everyone can get in or out safely. Most multisport athletes also understand that an organized gear space is an efficient gear space. But when racks get overcrowded it’s everyone for themselves, and things can get nasty, ugly and fussy. Dread the bike tangles. The worst.

#6… Dread is the unfunny, somewhat random and generally unhelpful pre-race directions talk. If the joker up there giving pre-race instructions thinks they should be working the Comedy Cellar and spends all their time (and yours) making idiotic side comments and weirdly awkward inside jokes, a sense of dread takes over that this race might not be as well organized as you’d hope. Dread City.

#5… is the Sketchy Weather Dread. You know the feeling…Those mornings where the low, grey clouds sit on the horizon and the weather radar is cluttered with bright red clusters heading your way. You get your wetsuit on and take it off again after the first delay. They keep on coming. Finally the race directors cancel the swim altogether. The Sketchy Weather Dread just sucks.

#4… is the Full Colon Dread. Nothing worse than wondering if somewhere along the way you’ll be forced to pull over or else crap your pants. Dread that much?

#3… is the Undertrained Dread. Going into a triathlon of any length when you’re undertrained is a sure source of dread. Of course the longer the race, the worse the feeling of dread.

#2… is the Overtrained Dread. Heading into a big race when you’re clearly overtrained, stale and overheating just by getting in and out of the car is a dread of maximal level.

#1… is the This Race is Going to Go Great Dread. Being sure about your fitness and at the same time experiencing fear that you’ll have to live up to whatever thing you achieve is the worst kind of dread known to any triathlete. But you know, that’s a good kind of dread to have.

About Christopher Cudworth

Christopher Cudworth is a content producer, writer and blogger with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing, journalism, public relations and social media. Connect with Christopher on Twitter: @genesisfix07 and blogs at, and Online portfolio:
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