Rowers are like sausages, but what are triathletes?

A few years ago at school, I preformed a tongue-in-cheek speech about rowers. One part goes as follows:

“Our school seems to turn out national standard rowers like sausages in a sausage factory.

And the similarity doesn’t end there. Many of the same characteristics that are needed of a good sausage are also needed of a good rower: you need a tough outer skin to withstand the years of abuse and taunting from non-rowers and “inferiors” alike. You need to be full of meat to succeed in the gruelling challenges of the ergo, and sausages and rowers show one particularly common trait- limited intellectual capacity. I say that most cautiously as I don’t want to offend any sausages by the comparison.”

The #firstworldquestion

As I look back to that speech, I cannot help but laugh at my current predicament. For every mocking point we had about rowers, there are so many more for triathletes. The burning question is of course, what food type are triathletes like?

As I sit here in my many layers, poised for the shortest British winter possible before heading out to Portugal, I cant help but think I must be like a citrus fruit, happy only in the warm, Mediterranean climates. Surely though, there has to be more to it than that?

Perhaps some of us are a bit like sausages, banging and mashing (awful I know but couldn’t resist!) our body into oblivion without much thought. Maybe some of us are more like a "super" blueberry, which has fallen off it's shelf in the fruit aisle, navigating its way through the sudden vast, new environment.

I am sure that every sporting individual has their reasons for an affinity with a particular food type but surely the triathlete is like a good helping of lasagne...


Don't be that disappointing lasagnge

A lasagne is made of layers – many different layers. Each on their own may not fill a stomach, but all together, they taste awesome. Like a sausage, the meat provides the substance to withstand the gruelling training and racing. There are sheets of pasta, which hold the rest of the lasagne together, the family, the supporters. Forget these pasta sheets at your peril – it will result in a disappointingly flimsy lasagne. Then there are vegetables, the sauce and the seasoning: the integrity and interest in the dish. Getting the perfect combination requires thoughtful consideration much like a triathlete needs to tread the cautious line between under and over training.

There is salad on the side. Why? Triathletes are always doing something else as well. Trying to fit 25 hours into a single day, desperately fitting something else onto the plate. Most people want the lasagne and have the salad on the side out of habit because it 'looks more balanced'. Alas, this is a dangerous move, and can lead to the plate overflowing and bits falling off and getting left behind.

Oh the garlic bread.... completely irrisistable, represents the gagets and gismos that triathletes get hooked on and obsessed by. It sits on top of the plate, in pride of place to be eaten first, whilst all too often the lasagne underneath is left cooling and forgotten about. For the most part, completely uneccessary and sometimes useless (the end of the garlic bread which has no garlic on), but tantalizingly mouthwatering nonetheless.

Enjoy yourself.

Finally, should we not be drinking an nice bottle glass of pinot noir? Why? Because no matter how full your own plate is, you should always make the time to enjoy your lasagne with friends and training buddies.


Takeaway (pun intended) points:

1. Like a lasagne, you are greater than the sum of your parts and you wouldn’t be you without all those unique layers and flavours. Remember though, you need to get the balance right – too much of one flavour or ingredient will ruin a perfectly good dish.
2. Triathletes generally have a habit of taking themselves too seriously! Relax, it is the off-season, have a laugh! Yes, you are amongst the top percentile of the population in terms of fitness, but you need to be able to train hard whilst enjoying yourself too! Don’t get caught up in the next big goal straight away – allow yourself the time to recharge.

What food type are you? Comment below...

Enjoy your off season.