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Spandex Who!?

One of the most challenging parts about our amazing sport is the attire.

OH lawdy, the tight, sausage-inducing clothing that we must wear in races.  This little poster has made its way around the internet for awhile now.  (And yes, this actually was me in 2012, Ironman 70.3 Augusta).


I do think we are very brave!

And I mean that in a good way.  (For newbies wondering what in the #&$* do you actually wear to your first race, check out this post for more info).

Triathlon has really done wonders for me in the world of confidence.  [If you doubt, check out my Instagram.  I have more selfies than Kim Kardashian. It’s comical at this point, but it’s really just something to post… Moving on.]


Okay, so really, truth be told… I don’t have much body confidence. But it has vastly improved since taking on triathlon in 2010.

I mean, try running in material that emphasizes the mom-pooch. That will either make you crazy or you’ll learn to say, “I don’t give a rip.”

While I don’t think I have gained that much confidence, per se, I do know that my capacity for giving a flip… has greatly been reduced.

When you are on the bike or the race course, there is so little time and circumstance to try and look “pretty” or even “put together” for that matter.

So what can you do?

Well, you can slog out of the water like a sexy beast.  If you see the camera, don’t look at it.  Those make for the worst race photos.  Ah-hem, right… we don’t care  what we look like. Right!


I credit Jayne Williams, author of Slow Fat Triathlete, with the idea of encouraging others not to give a rip about what they look like when tri-ing.  I read her book when I was just starting out as a baby triathlete, long before I wrote my own.  But I attribute so much to the concept of just doing your race, training hard, and not fretting about the “costume.”

(And really, it sort of is a costume.)

The bike is even trickier. If you have any sort of pooch in the middle (and I don’t mean a puppy), there you are… sitting on a bike seat in Spandex. Awesome.

Suck it in, people!


I mean… we don’t care!

Okay, so it is hard not to care about what we look like, especially when we are vulnerable and racing.

And right now, we are all nice and cozy inside on our treadmills, or outside bundled up in our tech jackets and beanies… but spring and summer is around the corner, and we’ll be rocking our fancy new tri gear.

Oh, the Spandex! Yay!

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But who cares!

We are triathletes and racers and what fun that is! So don’t worry.

Work hard to ignore the voices in your head and push forward and enjoy the experience of racing, irrespective of our silly, bright (yes!) “costumes”.  If you spend the entire race day bemoaning your thighs, you might miss out on some awesome cheers from the crowds… and encouraging voices in your own head.  Spend some time mentally preparing for the donning of the tri kit this season and get ready to kick some boo-tay.  With your awesome boo-tay!

Happy hump day, friends!


  • Lisa

    January 7, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    I (fortunately or unfortunately) am completely delusional and always imagine that I look like nothing less than an elite athlete in my spandex while I’m racing and then am forced to suffer the shock of viewing the race photos days after the race has ended. Gulp. And the bike is the absolute worst! While viewing racer pics I start thinking things like, “Did I have a fanny pack on during the race?” – the answer is of course no. We all have to remember that really no one cares and if they do it’s their own damn problem. I also know that this is often easier said than done:)

    • Elena

      January 9, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Me too! I just imagine I’m an amazing athlete and then try not to even open the emails with the horrifying race pictures 🙂 If I do see a camera I always smile and wave. But at 46 I don’t really care – I might have at 26 tho……..

  • Maddison @ BeautydoesTriathlon

    January 8, 2015 at 6:59 am


    There is nothing I hate more than the bike pooch. At least in running there is a way to look good and have correct form/posture. Biking, there is only so much sucking in to do when you are trying to push hard.

    Luckily, we are starting to have more options to choose from in colors/design, so that helps at least!

  • cheryl

    January 9, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I still wear a black bathing suit-it’s an old “habit” of mine as that’s what most of us raced in before the tri kit boom. Thinking of dining my two piece for the spring sprint!


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