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Confessions Of An Age-Grouper: A Perfect Match

Crafting the perfect dating profile, triathlete-style.

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Crafting the perfect dating profile, triathlete-style.

The topic of Internet dating — and particularly how people portray themselves in their online profiles — featured prominently in a recent conversation among my friends. I know several veterans of the online dating scene, and their sagas of stretched truths and disturbing surprises (and, fortunately, also some real-life success stories) are plentiful.

This got me thinking: How would one go about crafting the perfect dating profile for a triathlete — one that would draw in-it-for-the-right-reasons attention and, ultimately, an ideal partner? We all know triathletes are absolutely awesome at relationships. We’re healthy, we’re fit and we’re so high on endorphins we’re nearly always happy (unless we’re mid-bonk, when we’re downright cantankerous). We keep everything in our lives — especially the time we spend swimming, biking and running — in perfect balance and perspective. And we never, ever get too self-absorbed. Wait a minute … maybe we do need a little help in the dating department.

But for a triathlete casting his or her love net further afield than the local tri club, there’s an imminent danger. To the uninitiated, a triathlete’s sport/life balance and unusual obsessions may seem oddly askew — enough so that some romantic prospects might flee before ever giving us a fighting chance. So, while I’m a proponent of honesty, I would urge any triathlete in the dating game to somewhat temper your truth. I don’t recommend springing the full extent of your swim, bike and run fetish on a potential partner completely unawares. Filter your endurance addiction — at least until you’ve locked down a second or third date, at which point Cupid’s arrow has generally found its mark, courtship is in full swing and all may be revealed — the good, the bad and the ugly equally glossed over by goo-goo eyes. To that end, here are some guidelines to help single triple-sport studs and studettes create the ultimate online dating profile.

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Post no more than one photo of yourself topless (men) or in a bikini (women). Indeed, you’ve worked damn hard for that body — it’s understandable that you want to flaunt your taut abs, your toned thighs and your glistening guns. But hold off on the skin-baring selfies. There’s a time and a place for body bravado — namely, the privacy of your bedroom, perhaps a few dates in.

Similarly, limit yourself to one race photo. There will be plenty of time to tour Miss or Mr. Right through your trophy room if and when this relationship gets off the ground.

Feel free to call yourself an “aficionado of fine nutrition,” or even a “foodie.” Later you can fess up to knowing the calorie, sodium and potassium count of every energy gel on the market, yet being unable to cook much more than mac ’n’ cheese.

By all means, avoid the phrase “going long.” We know what that means in iron-speak, but outside of the endurance sports bubble it could easily be misinterpreted.

Under no circumstances should you post a photo of your bike (unless you’re riding it), or admit that it shares your bedroom.

Be honest about your age. It’s a single number, not a five-year range.

Crowie worship is not, in fact, a recognized religion.

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Do not admit to your actual bedtime. No matter how you slice it, crawling under the covers at 8:30 p.m. is not a turn-on.

Never post a photo where you’ve obviously cropped out a former fling. That’s just lame, triathlete or not.

If you’re fortunate enough to catch someone’s online eye, you may need help navigating the next step: the first date. Be wary of first-date full disclosure, because trust me — not everything about triathlon is as sexy as you might think. First impressions are everything, so steer clear of certain taboo topics and avoid any precarious pitfalls in order to ensure an encore in your budding romance.

Don’t invite a non-triathlete new relationship prospect on a ride or run. The goal is to get some ass, not kick some. Nobody likes being humiliated by his or her date, and you’re probably far too competitive for a fun run.

Never utter the phrase “saddle sore.” You may have one, and you may be in utter agony as you shift uncomfortably on your barstool, but smile and keep mum about it.

Similarly, talk of GI issues is not a topic for normal adult conversation beyond the triathlete bubble. Don’t go there.

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Sticky, sweaty and stinky are A-OK for the gym, the trail or the race course. For your date, shower up and by all means don’t wear anything that wicks or features the words “Ironman Finisher.”

Being well-read means that you’ve indulged your intellect with something other than both the print and online versions of Triathlete.

Resist the urge to name-drop. No matter how many pro athletes you count as Facebook friends, it’s meaningless drivel to your non-triathlete date.

Follow this advice and you’ll be on your way to finding amore — even if your idea of a long walk by the beach is actually a shuffle through the lava fields in Kona.

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