Having decided to give triathlon a go two years ago, it has been a steep learning curve to get to grips with the training, lingo and not least equipment required to be part of this sport. Unlike running, where all you need are some trainers and basic sports kit, triathlon seems to have an endless list of items you ‘need’ to participate. However, the line between ‘need’ and ‘want’ slowly become more blurred in the mind of a triathlete and therein emerges the fourth discipline in triathlon…online shopping!
You may be a good runner, smash the field on the bike or swim like a fish, but move aside athletes because my strength lies in finding bargains, scrutinising reviews and eating little packets of Haribo to fuel the weekly catwalk show modeling the latest purchase of bibshorts/ goggles/jersey/trainers/shoeslaces*
*differs on a weekly basis.
Shopping has changed. Almost gone are the days where you actually ventured to the local sport shop and browse for a new item of sportswear, now the world of reviews, discounts and even being able to purchase items whilst undertaking one of the other triathlon disciplines (turbo shopping) are readily available. If there was an award for spotting bargains I would be up there with the best and will spend hours ensuring I get the best item for my hard earned cash. If there is no review, youTube video or rave report on a triathlon website it won’t be found in my shopping cart, no stone is left unturned to ensure I get an item for the lowest price…and when you do doesn’t it feels great? YES! I’ve beaten the system by saving £5 on a pair of shorts or another essential item, hi five to me! Then follows the eager anticipation as you wait for Christmas day #10 to arrive and you can rip open the box and try out your latest purchase.
However, I have to admit this may have got a little out of hand, if you have more than one of the following symptoms, like me you may have let this retail therapy go a bit crazy:
1) you spend more time in a day shopping online than training for disciplines 1-3
2) you read every review about an item on website of reputable online retailer then get annoyed when they turn to another language and can’t read the rest
3) despite 200 4/5 star reviews for an item, you read a couple of negative ones and then get flustered and can’t decide if the item is good enough, you then proceed by spending another hour looking for better items before finally going back and getting the original one
3) your partner asks you what said parcel that has arrived in the post contains and you sheepishly say ‘oh just another thing I need for triathlon’ and then bundle it in a drawer
4) you cannot say no to a cycling jersey/t-shirt from an event you haven’t even done being sold for £2.50…it’s such a good deal.
5) you must buy the helmet/bottle/tyres/wheel set/bottle cage that is going to shave about 30 seconds off your bike time
6) You visit Google shopping on a daily basis
If many of these ring a bell, you are probably, like me, more likely to win an award for most time spent reading online reviews than any triathlon event. The other day I spent about two hours looking at transition bags and still didn’t buy one because they were either too expensive or because one rogue reviewer said they were too small!
Like any addiction, the first stage is admitting you have a problem, so repeat after me… ‘I have a problem. I am a trishopaholic’. Now move slowly away from the computer and get your numb shopaholic bum out for a run in your shiny new trainers!