A lot of tri words we use regularly could be confusing for newbies, so here’s my updated triathlon vocabulary list. Study up!
» ANAEROBIC: To go very fast. To hurt lots and lots. To breathe heavier than a stalker caller.
» GETTING “BABIED”: There is nothing worse than Mum or Dad going by you pushing a baby jogger while Junior dozes with binky, blanket and Barney. Ouch!
» BODY MARKING: At each event, your race number will be put on your arms and your age on your calf with a magic marker. Some triathletes have started to add personal info. Some as a warning (“divorced with way too much baggage”) or some as an enticement (“single with a really, really large trust fund”). Both are much appreciated.
» BONKING: Reaching the point in your race or workout where the body just refuses to go anymore. See anaerobic… then go just a little bit harder.
» GETTING “CHICKED”: Get used to it, guys, and just face the music. Tri gals are tougher, faster and fitter. Whether it’s your 12-year-old neighbour or your best friend’s granny, women love to run you down.
» COOKIE: Someone who falls apart easily. As in, “When I went by him on the bike, he crumbled like a cookie.”
» CRAMP: Your first one hits at the start. The fun part is stereo cramps, when both hamstrings seize up during the run. Then you stagger across the finish with that cool Frankenstein-like stiff-legged look while your friends point and laugh.
» DRAFTING: Sitting behind someone and letting them break the wind — or water — for you. Legal in the swim (see facial) and the run. Very illegal and very much frowned upon on the bike (see Bernie Madoff, Al Capone or mass murderer).
» EXTINCT: Something that has not survived the test of time. Dinosaurs are extinct. Eight-tracks are extinct. The Seat Shifter and 26-inch wheels are extinct. For us older triathletes, sub-eight-minute miles are extinct.
» FACIAL: What you get if you draft behind someone’s feet in the swim for too long. As in, “I didn’t think that dude knew I was there. Then he slowed down and gave me a two-footed facial.”
» ILIOTIBIAL BAND: A slab of muscle on the outside of each thigh. Unless you’re a triathlete, you’d never know it was there. If you’re a triathlete, they ache all the time, and you become very aware that you have two.
» IRONMAN: The goal, the holy grail, for many a triathlete. You’ll hate the first 140 miles. You’ll never forget the last six-tenths.
» JELLYROLL: The flabby thing that won’t go away. It wraps around your waist and jiggles every time you run. The jellyroll helps differentiate the haves from the have-nots. The pros have not. You have.
» NUTRITION: Something you’ll be very concerned about—until after the race. Then it’s Big Macs, Whoppers, fries, onion rings and secret sauce for everyone!
» OVERDRAFT: A nickname for someone notorious for passing you early and then falling apart later on. “He’ll/ She’ll come back to me like a bad cheque,” you’ll say to yourself.
» TINKLE: In a duathlon or a running event, something you do in a bush, behind a tree or in a Portaloo before the race. In triathlon, something you do in your own personal Portaloo: Your wetsuit.
» UFO: Unidentified flying object. Anything moving faster than you either on a bike or on foot. As in, “That guy went by me like a UFO.”
» X-WIFE, X-HUSBAND, X-GIRLFRIEND, X-BOYFRIEND: If A = a lot of time submerged in the water, B=a lot of time on the bike and C = a lot of time running, then A+B+C=X.
» ZAMBIA: One of the few countries Ironman doesn’t have an event in—yet.