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13682 Views 30 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2010 11:38 AM by IronMakeover 1 2 3 Previous Next
IronMakeover Community Moderator 738 posts since
Jul 7, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Mar 18, 2010 10:17 AM

Triathlon Stinks!!

... while you know I LOVE triathlon, parts of it really do stink! I've been in the pool 3x in 2 days and I'm wearing parfume de'chlorine... which most of the time I kind of like because the association I make with chlorine's smell. Chlorine = pool = good swim = happy.


I know there are a ton of other triathlon-related smells. I'd like to blog about it, but first I thought I'd see what you all thought.

Ideas? What do you smell while training? +/-. What memories do you associate with smell? Does a triathlete stink?



Sara Cox Landolt

  • tom360 Amateur 31 posts since
    Mar 5, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Mar 18, 2010 12:39 PM (in response to IronMakeover)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    Interesting topic. Here are a couple that come to mind for me:


    Lemon Lime Shot Block smell = bad, after consuming 5 bags on the bike in my first 70.3 a couple years ago I cant stand the smell...not sure I really needed 5 bags. I have since cut that back

    Black magic marker smell= good, reminds me of race day getting numbered.



  • Amigold Legend 185 posts since
    Nov 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Mar 18, 2010 2:17 PM (in response to IronMakeover)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    Oh, Gawd, it's bike chain oil. I smell it everywhere. And once it's on your hands it stays on for a long time.  Or on your legs, if you are awkward like me. I noticed a zipper of chain oil grease the other day about 18 hours AFTER my shower running up my back leg.  Nice.  Wonder what my co workers thought.  New tattoo maybe?


    Add in the smells of sweat (usually someone else's--why we are engineered not to smell ourselves as much as others I couldn't tell you), sunscreen, and fear. If you don't think fear smells then you haven't raced enough.


    Finally--dead skunk on the ride or run. Always one there. Always on my side of the road.  Usally across from the town garbage dump.



  • drmiles85 Pro 84 posts since
    Nov 5, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Mar 18, 2010 3:46 PM (in response to Amigold)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    I have to agree with the skunk.  It's a pretty significant smell, if nothing else.


    I'll just say the series of smells on my training route/ride to work: suburbia, industry, woods/park, and sizzling road (and skunk); then flip it for the return trip.  My trek through suburbia is pretty quick, and I'm either half-awake or too sweaty to smell anything else.  The industrial portion is short too, but is the hardest part of the ride aerobically - even without the noxious smells.  The park is my favorite part: rolling hills, woods on both sides, riding around a lake, and a couple big hills.  I finish on a highway nestled against the foothills; gorgeous in the morning, sizzling in the afternoon - smelling like asphalt and exhaust.  Oh and the skunks.  All the time.

  • SharynLS Amateur 22 posts since
    Feb 7, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Mar 18, 2010 6:26 PM (in response to IronMakeover)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    I LOVE this question and all the responses!  I am so new to this.... but I smelled everyone else's dinner cooking tonight when I ran around our condo's parking lot!


    Can't wait to smell more chlorine and magic marker...etc.


    ...skunk.... not so much!!

    Moe’s Firecracker 5K 2008 – 50:07:14

    John Clay 5K 2008 – 50:30

    Pilot Club 5K 2008 – 49:45:44

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  • pacificfit Legend 147 posts since
    Jan 9, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Mar 18, 2010 9:59 PM (in response to IronMakeover)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    Due to our heavy carbohydrate and starch consumption, we certainly do fart alot. I actually talk quite a bit about that, as well as some fiber issues, in a recent podcast here:




    My blog is at

    Also, I'm giving away a free 7-part series on "How To Become Superhuman" at

  • KurtinSC Pro 126 posts since
    Nov 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Mar 19, 2010 6:15 AM (in response to IronMakeover)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    After 12 years of competitive swimming in my youth, the chlorine odor is becoming one of the great things about training for my first triathlon.  I didn't realize how many positive associations I had with the odor until I started up swimming again.  After the first couple of pool work outs I realized how good that smell made me feel... like I had accomplished something... even if it was just swimming a thousand yards or so.


    When I walk onto the pool deck and the smell hits me... it's kind of hard not to dive in and rip off a 100 yard sprint as fast as I can go.  It just makes me want to go FAST.

  • rachapkis Amateur 12 posts since
    Jan 6, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Mar 19, 2010 6:56 AM (in response to KurtinSC)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    As a male, this may sound odd, but I associate the smell of shaving cream with shaving my legs, as opposed to my beard. 

  • KurtinSC Pro 126 posts since
    Nov 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Mar 19, 2010 7:02 AM (in response to rachapkis)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    rachapkis wrote:


    As a male, this may sound odd, but I associate the smell of shaving cream with shaving my legs, as opposed to my beard.


    I relate.    Except for me it's legs, arms, chest, back... essentially whatever is not covered by a suit, cap and goggles (though I never did the eyebrows).


    That was back in the swimming days though... I can't imagine shaving for a tri at this point.

  • kapfast Pro 53 posts since
    May 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Mar 19, 2010 7:26 AM (in response to IronMakeover)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    Great question Sara!


    The smell that gets me fired up the most is the rubber smell from my wetsuit. Honestly, if they made it into a cologne, I would buy a gallon of it!



  • JJJimenez Amateur 6 posts since
    Aug 31, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Mar 19, 2010 7:53 AM (in response to IronMakeover)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    First off, I LOVE the smell of chlorine and bleach.  I wear my Eau de pool with great pride and there is not any more sexy smell for a lady in my book than chlorine.


    Sweat.  I love the smell of a good sweaty workout but enjoy the cleanliness of a nice hot shower equally as well.  I think many have heard of the studies that presented blinded females to different scents and the one that was found most appealing was guys sweat.  I'm sure there is some pheremone in there.


    Training rides in the country.  This is where it sucks.  I live in central IL and there is a hog farm that I must ride by at the very beginning and at the very end of some of my training rides.  The smell is so bad, so vile, you can taste it!  Skunks and other rotting carcasses...eewww.


    The smell that comes off the road after summer rain shower...awesome!


    The smell of grape gatorade when you are parched...Awesome!


    The smells that emanate from the pizza joint and steak restaraunts that I must ride past at the end of my evening training rides when I haven't eaten any REAL food since lunch...CRUEL AND PUNISHING.

  • hitman786 Amateur 35 posts since
    Mar 2, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Mar 19, 2010 7:56 AM (in response to IronMakeover)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    You made me laugh Sara


    Yah Triathlon Stinks

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  • lilac2045 Rookie 4 posts since
    Oct 13, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Mar 19, 2010 10:09 AM (in response to IronMakeover)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    How about the smell of car exhaust? I hate riding my bike by stinky cars.

  • RollTyde Amateur 19 posts since
    Jan 18, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Mar 23, 2010 8:23 AM (in response to IronMakeover)
    Re: Triathlon Stinks!!

    As a tri newbie, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely the chlorine smell from the pool.  I've been swimming for several weeks now, mostly on my lunch break, and even though my local indoor pool has a shower area, I still head back to work smelling like the pool.  I've actually grown acustom to it, and enjoy it now because it means that I got the swim in.  I now use it as a sense of accomplishment to help me make it to the next day.

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