15 Unexpected Ways Life Changes While Training For Your First Triathlon

Many eons ago, runners, swimmers and bikers alike argued over who was the best athlete. So after a fist fight, they invented the triathlon, where real athletes would be determined.

Just kidding, that didn't happen. Regardless of the history, completing a triathlon not only demonstrates the strength of the participant, but of the endurance and speed as well.

This isn't a normal run of a race; this is a swim, bike and run that has to be completed before the allotted time. The race competes not only against other athletes, but against weather conditions, high waves, cut-off times a potentially flat bike tire and exhaustion.

In other words, if you complete a triathlon, you're a badass. Although there is no cheat sheet for completing this race, there are a few things that first time are not aware of. Despite the seemingly difficult lifestyle challenges that come with it, crossing that finish line is all worth it.

1. You are tired all the time.

Literally, all you do is eat, sleep and train. Oh, and go to work. You may fall asleep at work, but at least you made it there.

2. You end up paying for more things.

Halfway through training, you'll realize you need more equipment. This means you may have to eat canned tuna to support your expensive habit.

3. Chores like cleaning become secondary.

Dusting your room, vacuuming your car, organizing your files, etc. is on the back burner. You will live in mess and filth but it's OK, because at least you're sleeping 70 percent of the time.

4. You pretty much live in your car.

Your car is where you keep your gym bag, your bag for hair supplies and your bag with an extra outfit in case you get FOMO and ditch training. Also, riders may get secondary privilege when it comes to the front seat. Your gym bag gets priority.

5. There's no point in doing your nails.

Thanks to swimming and biking, pretty nails are existent in the triathlon world. Dirt under the fingernails, however, is so fashionable.

6. Your social life is pretty nonexistent.

Not only is training very time consuming, but the idea of putting on heels after four days straight of two-a-day workouts sounds like hell. Plus, your bed wants you.

7. You eat twice as much.

What used to fill you up is now a child's meal to you. All-you-can-eat buffets are your friend.

8. You do a ton of laundry.

Between your swimsuit, your running clothes, biking clothes, towels and tri suit, there is a never-ending, smelly pile of clothes that always needs washing. Always.

9. You get horrible tan lines.

Thanks to your one-piece bathing suit, bike shorts and running shirts, a two-piece bathing suit makes you the laughing stock of the beach.

10. Everything needs to be preplanned.

Left your gym clothes at home? There goes your workout. You don't have lunch is packed? You will starve and be even hungrier than usual. You may even contemplate eating paper.

11. It is a waste to do your hair.

You're going to swim and sweat in less than 24 hours, so why bother? As for your make-up, the same rules apply. It's better to go au natural, baby.

12. You have to be flexible.

I'm not just talking physically, although that helps. It's more about being flexible when it comes to your workouts. You can switch from one gym to another that stationary bike in your nearby gym still isn't fixed.

13. You'll take multiple showers a day.

Thanks to two-a-day workouts, you'll have to shower two to three times a day. It's best to budget for your water bill.

14. There are many accoutrements involved.

You need extra goggles, bike cleats, sneakers, food gels, sunscreen, towels, water and Gatorade. The list is never-ending.

15. You will amaze yourself.

When push comes to shove, you will be astonished by how far you've come on race day. Finishing the race is one of the best feelings in the world. You can now put that glorious sticker on your car.