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Triathlete Love: Side By Side

  • By Susan Lacke
  • Published Mar 28, 2016
Photo provided by Erin Klegstad


Age groupers and pros share how to train and race alongside their partners.

When people find out my husband and I are both triathletes, they often remark on how fun it must beafter all, what’s not to love about training and racing together?

When this happens, I always have to elbow Neil in the side to keep him from responding with anything other than “Yes! Yes, you are right; it is so much fun!”

Because here’s the truth: we’re both 50 Shades of Insufferable while training. I’m grumpy when I get hungry (and I’m hungry 99 percent of the time), and Neil can be callous about our vastly differing speeds on the bike and run. Training with my husband is a lot of things, but “fun” is not the first word that comes to mind.

As it turns out, we’re not the only ones who feel this way. When we talk with other two-triathlete couples, the sentiment is the same: Training with your partner is the worst. And, at the same time, it’s also the best. For every grumpy exchange, there’s a perfect pep talk from the one you love. For every time you get dropped during a workout, there’s motivation to be faster. For every middle finger at mile 75, there’s a finish line kiss.

The key to Triathlete Love success, then, is to find out how to manage the sucky parts of training together. Today, real-life triathlete couples from both the pro and age group ranks share their top tips for training and racing together.

Get On The Same Page

Erin Klegstad, Age Group Triathlete

What’s helped us navigate 15-plus hour weeks of training: having the same coach and a lot of communication. Our coach structures our weeks similarlyfor example, our long rides are the same day, so we often head out together, meet midway through for water and Mexican Coke, and then cool down together.

As for communication, we talk a lot about triathlonsome might say too muchand in general about our schedules for the week. Starting on Sunday, we run through what’s ahead that week for workouts, any work-related events, social gatherings, dinner ideas, etc. Every morning, we check in about what’s on tap for the day to make sure we know what’s up and, most importantly, what’s for dinner (obviously). It’s worked really well through three 140.6 training cycles and, while Nick’s not racing one this season, he’s right there beside me cheering me on to my next finish line in October.

RELATED – Triathlete Love: The Hangry Games

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