These past few weeks and months I have been paying closer and closer attention to Instagram (yes, I know I am somewhat behind the curve!), and specifically to those people who spend their time in the world of multisport. As I peruse through the #triathlon posts I can’t help but notice the themes running through the feeds of those committed triathletes.
On a Friday afternoon I take a tongue in cheek look at the top 11 things you need to be posting in your feed to be considered an Instagram triathlete, and gain those vanity inducing followers. For the sake of comparison I have included my own my personal ratings, how do you measure up?
Watches All triathletes love a photograph of a watch displaying their PB and they clearly favour Garmins, especially the Fenix3. Who can resist sharing their latest achievement, as if the world needs to know instantly and if anyone other than watch-pic siblings care? -I qualify on all counts – I love these posts (1 point)
Handstands It astonishes me how many people can actually do a handstand, I can’t, I never have been able to, and will never be able to, even my 9 year old daughter can’t, but there are an awful lot of people that can. Handstands are clearly a ‘thing’ for super fit triathletes, and don’t they make the rest of us feel inadequate and un-zen. -I think they are so cool (0 points)
Bikes Some of the bikes you see on Instagram make the Ferrari Testarossa poster I had on my wall as a kid seem mundane and boring. To be fair some of the bikes will go as fast too. Boardman’s Lotus bike changed things for ever, and now kids will grow up with a Cervelo P5X on their wall. -I only have a Cannondale, ‘only’ 4 figures (0 points)
Bikes In Bed To be fair if you had a Cervelo P5X, then you have to get your money’s worth, so yes you should be sleeping with it (and taking it to the cinema and for dinner). If you haven’t spent 5 figures on a bike, then your partner probably still loves you, sleep with them. (Oh no, I’ve just reread this no puns intended, promise!) (0 points)
Abs To be fair if you have ripped abs, then post them, it’s a sure fire way of gaining followers. If you’re female and have abs you can multiply that by 10. -Sadly I’m not ripped and not a female – not sure which of these I’m likely to become first, but I promise I will post whichever change occurs. (0 points)
Ambassador Everyone who’s anyone is an ambassador, although we all know which brand promotions are real and mean something, and which of those are kinda made up. Be honest with yourselves ambassadors – ‘You’re really spoiling us!’ -I’m not an ambassador, although have had approaches (and will consider all offers ;) (0.5 points)
Kit Committed triathletes have OCD, fact. How can you possibly be organised in transition if you can’t even lay all of your kit out and take a picture? -I do lay it out, I don’t take pictures (0.5 points)
Action Shots To be truly skilled means that you have mastered the art of taking a selfie as you run or ride through beautiful countryside, look amazing, glam and fresh and add a really arty filter to get that intense abstract colour. The best of the best get underwater swimming photos. -I have never even purchased an event photo. I look awful whilst I’m training, don’t want to take a photo, and would certainly never post one. (0 points)
Smell Triathletes (and swimmers) love the fact that they smell of Chlorine ‘Chlorine is my perfume’. It’s their badge of honour, their commitment to their training. It’s a sign that they are putting in the work that no one else is prepared to do. -Wearing my Fenix3 does it for me (0 points)
Priorities In your bio you need to reference your loves; friends, family, triathlon. Just don’t forget to add the caveat, ‘not necessarily in that order’ Every triathlete smirks, every triathlon-widow grimaces. (0 points)
Diet ‘Triathletes don’t exercise and diet, they train and eat’ -I eat, diet, train, exercise, binge, fast (a rather generous 0.5 points)
That’s 2.5 out of 11 – hmm, weak, I’m clearly out of my depth. Check your feed. How did you score?
0-3 Points – Have a life, but harbour jealousy.
You enjoy triathlon, but it’s not everything. You like a challenge, and you are competitive with yourself, but you have a lot of other passions too and there just isn’t time to devote your life to one (three) sport(s). You are able to maintain relationships outside of triathlon (and Instagram), although you probably wish you were slightly more immersed.
4-7 Points – Wannabe Instagram sensation
Triathlon is your passion, competing is what you do, you love your sport and everything that surrounds it. You are borderline. If there were no other commitments you could easily tip into the world of the obsessed, but you understand balance, or a partner dictates it to you.
8-11 Points – Obsessed.
Unless you are a pro athlete you spend far too much of your time training or taking photos or both. You probably don’t have many friends unconnected to the world of multisport, but to be fair you probably don’t care. Who wouldn’t want to eat, sleep, drink triathlon. I just hope your other half understands!
Now think about how you can get your numbers up…I am putting away the biscuits, doing crunches, cleaning my bike and not showering after my swim… Oh, and I apologise to the wife and kids who are about to slip down my list of priorities, although I suspect they will realise this soon enough!