Tri tosh translator: 10 things triathletes say – and what they really mean

Martyn Brunt reveals the true meaning behind the tosh triathletes talk…


I don’t generally hand out tips to eager triathletes like a zookeeper feeding sprats to barking seals. But  I thought I’d try to pass on some post-race wisdom. So, while at first glimpse this particular column might look like a load of drivel, look more closely and… no, you were right first time. Below, though, are a few of the truth-stretching justifications I’ve heard – and come out with myself – after races so that you can recognise tosh when you hear it.


1. I finished in the top 20 in my age-group

finished 19th in my age-group (out of 23) and 347th overall

2. (For the over 50s) I finished second in my age-group

There were two in my age-group

3. Conditions were much harder than last year

I was slower than last year

4.  I was fifth fastest on the bike

I am crap at running

 5. I was third finisher from my club

I finished 347th overall

6. I’ve been struggling with a cold all week

I haven’t trained hard enough

12 of the best race-day excuses

7. I  overtook loads of people on the run

I didn’t try hard enough on the bike

8. There were a lot of former elites racing as age-groupers and those in the armed forces are basically full-time athletes

I  didn’t qualify

9. If I’d been 18 months older, I’d have finished in the top three in my age-group

I didn’t qualify

10. I did a course PB

I’ve never raced here before


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