Tips for relationships with endurance athletes

Obviously a triathlete’s POV, but could certainly apply to OW so I’ve changed one or two (italics).

A dating guide to understanding your triathlete (or swimmer)

“I am an outdoors type of person.”
Really means: I train in any type of weather. If its raining, snowing, 90 degrees w/100% humidity, or winds gusting at 30 mph. I don’t want to hear any complaints because I will still train in it and you’re just a big wuss for complaining about it.
Though you may not have been able to see me for the past three hours, please be waiting and have my clothes ready.

“I enjoy riding my bike.”
Really means: With or w/o aero bars, alone or in a peloton, I don’t care. If you can’t do a spur of the moment 30 miler then you’re not my type. I will let you draft, but if you can’t hang and I drop you – I will see you later. I am a capable mechanic, but don’t expect me to change your flats or tune your bike. You need to learn that on your own.

“I enjoy swimming.”
Really means: Let’s get in the sea while it’s snowing and Force Three onshore. No, really.

“I enjoy dining out.”
Really means: I enjoy eating out, in or anywhere else I can find food. Don’t be shy because with the amount of food I eat, you can have that main entree instead of a salad and you will still look as though you eat like a rabbit in comparison. Don’t get your limbs too close though as I may take a bite out of you. Most importantly don’t expect any taste off my plate unless you can bring something to the party like more food. Eventually though if your not burning 4,000+ calories a day you’re going to plump up and have a terrible complex due to watching me eat deserts and not gain any weight. Friends and family will eventually decide not to dine with us anymore due to my horrid table manners. Oh, and don’t ask me any questions during breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon lunch, dinner or recovery dinner as it does not lend to efficient food intake. Chocolate and ice-cream are a perfectly acceptable breakfast. 25 Cadbury’s Chocolate mini-rolls is not an unreasonable amount to eat in one day.

“I enjoy quiet walks on the beach.”
Really means: Walks on the beach warming up into an 8 mile run and then plunging myself in the ocean for a 2 miler. If you get in my way you’re going to find out what mass start is and let me assure you that you don’t want to find out.
I am a very friendly person who will nevertheless punch you out of the way or push you onto the rocks going around Sandycove.

“I find fulfilment in charitable work.”
Really means: If I am not racing, I am volunteering or cheering on my buddies and I expect you to be there along side me as I stand out in 10 degree weather for 8 hours handing out Maxim to swimmers who can’t stand hear, straight up straight or talk. What do you mean you don’t want to spend the day at Sandycove? What about the barbeque?

“I enjoy sharing quiet moments together.”
Really means: It’s taper time. Just back off because I am strategizing, trying to get into the zone and in a pissy mood because I am worried about my “A” race and can’t workout.
Jesus, I can’t believe I’m not swimming today. Hey, why don’t we take the dogs down to beach anyway?

“I am an active person.”
Really means: Aside from my 40 hour job, and the 8 mandatory hours of sleep a night. 10 hours a week are devoted to me during the off-season and 20 during race season leaving us 4 hours. 2 of which are spent inhaling food and you not talking to me, so lets make the best of the 2 hours we will spend together on average each day. Or, in the case of Channel swimmers, more like 2 hours per week.

If you are a licensed message therapist or doctor this would make the most optimal use of our time together. Nutritionist is also acceptable, but I probably already know just as much as you.

“I enjoy road trips and vacations.”
Really means: You have your choice of Knightstown, Kinsale, Cork, Caherdaniel, Ballycotton, Dungarvan but don’t expect to do much sight seeing. But if I get enough support from you we might be able to include Dover in there.

“I enjoy sight seeing.”
Really means: Let’s go the coast again and think about new places to swim. And take some pictures of the sea.

“I like stimulating conversation.”
Really means: while we are going to swims, we can talk about food. Then we can talk about the map of the swim course, and I will muse on the tidal effects and weather and on the temperature, how horribly out of shape I am, and how I am nervous and all my previous experience counts for nothing, how many metres we did last week, and how many we will do this week and next week. Then we can talk about food.

“I enjoy relaxing soaks in the tub.”
Really Means: Eilis told me to stop on the way home and buy two bags of ice, throw them in the tub with some water, and sit in this torture chamber for 30 minutes.

“I’m interested in photography.”
Really Means: I have an awful lot of photos of the sea. Calm sea, choppy sea, stormy sea. Rips, waves, foam, rocks. Sometimes my friends send me photos of the sea or we look at videos of the sea on YouTube. We have more words to describe the sea conditions than Fine Fail has for describing how it was not all their fault.

“I’m into technology.”
Really Means: I have a blog and an obsessive need to play with the numbers on my training spreadsheet. I like talking about goggles. You could be a good girlfriend by feeding my dependency and buying me more gear/giving me vouchers for Wiggle.

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