Would you be able to spot a triathlete among other athletes just by looking at them? Here are a few tips... you'll soon find out that triathletes are hard to miss!


Some people do sport, others do triathlons!!!


In the sports world and among all other athlete profiles, triathletes stick out like star dancers at a hard rock concert… They don't go unnoticed and are easily recognised by sight alone.  

In this article, I will outline the clues and characteristics that give them away so you can spot them at first sight. If you do decide to start a conversation with these aliens, their ego is bound to be given a boost when you tell them they have succeeded in their mission... not to go unnoticed!!!


Yes, triathletes are often too big for their booties! They also display exemplary gender equality, as whether they are male or female, they all follow the same style and love to be in the spotlight. Indeed, triathletes long for a position at the top of the sports hierarchy, by swimming faster than Michael Phelps, cycling harder than Lance Armstrong and running a marathon in under 2 hours!!! No wonder they invest so heavily in cutting edge and next-generation equipment—if they can get 10 seconds ahead of their opponents: the investment has paid off!!!


If you meet a cyclist clamped in a bike that looks more like a UFO, you are no doubt in the presence of a triathlete, not a cycling tourist as you may be inclined to believe!!! They hate being confused with other sports species, that's why they use and abuse signals like a peacock in mating season!!! If the flying saucer they call a bike weren't enough, ltriathletes don't cycle in cycling gear but in a trisuit (ready for a swim or run if needed)—half-way between a wrestling singlet and cycling shorts. This outfit is difficult to miss, as the slightest cheat meal will be spotted immediately... but given that triple-effort-addicts hold their body in high regard, they wear it with pride. 


While lazing on the beach during your holidays, if you see someone racing down the spit of sand separating the crowd of beach goers, wearing a tight-fitting one-piece suit and sporting a cap depicting a race with a high-flown name... There's no doubt about it, a triathlete is about to perform their 3000-metre swim—triathletes don't like to be discreet. 




Triathletes have a particularity that they share with no other athlete… They are allergic to fabric. Whenever possible, they run in shorts and bare-chested, said chest being impeccably waxed (it's more aerodynamic and improves performance). Furthermore, this mysterious allergy allows them to perfect their tan, worthy of a sunbed fanatic. The less fabric covers their body, the more likely you are to notice the M-shaped tattoo on their skin representing a famous brand (not the fast food chain). This allows them to be noticed by fellow athletes, the only ones who can understand why running in shorts in freezing temperatures is a good idea—triathletes are not sensitive to the cold.


Triathletes are easy to identify even when they are not training (which is rare!!!). Indeed, their aversion to discretion leads them to adopt a particularly distinct dress code. Leaving common mortals in little doubt that this guy does three sports at the same time!!! With their permanently uniform tan in mind, and because of their allergy to fabrics, their wardrobe consists mainly of shorts. These are matched with different pairs of running shoes, each more eye-catching than the next (in case they have to go for an unexpected run). They are frugal with their tops, the most common being racing T-shirts on which the word FINISHER appears in huge letters. Triathletes are indeed modest.



Accessories are another chance to affirm a triathlete's unwavering personality. Whatever the season, triple-sport lovers will have a cap (preferably one with a flat visor) nailed onto their head. A famous American brand of sunglasses will be perched on their nose just underneath it. If you are privileged enough to go inside a triathlete's home, you will be astounded by the decor. Chances are that a bike hangs where a picture normally would, if it doesn't take pride of place at the centre of their living room. Although the position of the bike may vary, you can be completely sure that their hard-won medals will be proudly exhibited, glinting and gleaming. Finally, they will display their sports measurement watch on their wrist like a modern jewel, never taking it off for a minute whatever their outfit or circumstances! Triathletes don't stand on ceremony.


You now have all the elements you need to spot a triathlete in a crowd of athletes, but if for any reason you let them slip you by, don't worry as they are bound to identify themselves verbally. Triathletes are generous and love to share their passion for the discipline that has given them so much. So take care, they may well convince you and before you know it you'll recognise yourself in this description.

photo advisor


I've been a fan of triathlon for 5 years, doing long distance, L and XL triathlons. I'm a member of the AMSLF Triathlon Club in Fréjus. A few of my moments of glory: Ironman 70.3 Aix en Provence, Polar international triathlon in Cannes, Embrunman… As a seasoned cyclist and less-than-mediocre swimmer, what I love about triathlon is pushing myself to my limits and beyond!