Ask a Random Triathlete: Life Hacks and Chamois Cream

Also good advice. (Photo: John Sonderman/Flickr)

As always, I am here, your Random Triathlete, to solve all your random triathlon problems. Just because I don’t know what I’m talking about doesn’t mean I’m not right. Check for yourself by reading all our best advice or ask your own question by leaving a comment below or messaging me.

What are your best triathlon life hacks? I’m trying to understand how to balance family, work, life, and triathlon.

Here’s a hack: get rid of the family. Also the social life. It’s a lot easier to juggle two things than four. Basically, in the circus that wouldn’t even be called juggling. It’d just be called holding two balls.

People talk all the time about ways to “balance” life and triathlon: Leave before your kids realize you’re gone. Do your workouts in the dark morning hours. Hire a gardener. Make your meals on Sunday for the whole week. Pack and label them in cute Tupperware.

But these people are lying to you. There are no hacks for creating more time. Time is finite. A four-hour ride takes four hours whether you start at 6 a.m. or 10 a.m. All you can do is waste less of that time picking out an outfit or hanging out at the coffee shop. 


The only real hack for balancing it all is to stop caring about all of it. You know what takes less time than hiring a gardener? Not caring about having a garden in the first place. I actually cooked a few meals from scratch last week and I finally figured out what you all are doing instead of your workouts: chopping vegetables. You do know it’s 2016, right? You can buy that shit pre-chopped. And they’re doing amazing things with frozen and prepared meals these days. If you stop worrying about decorating the house or browsing the farmers’ market for freshly picked kale or blow-drying your hair or attending baby showers and gender reveal parties and one-year-old birthdays (tell that kid he gets to pick one party, that’s it), then you’ll realize you have lots of time. You were just spending it poorly.

Has anyone asked what the best chamois cream is?

I’m going to say something crazy, insane, going to rock the triathlon world. But as A Random Triathlete, I feel confident my way is the best way. I also feel confident that you want to hear all about it. Ready?

I don’t use chamois cream.

Since I don’t generally poll people on their genital habits, I’m not sure if this is a gender thing or a specific ‘me being grossed out by shoving something called DZ Nuts down my pants’ thing. But I do know it has not caused a problem in my life.

Look, you’re a triathlete. You don’t even bike that much anyway. Not spreading cream on your junk really doesn’t make things any less comfortable. Unless it’s raining, in which case, yes, then non-chamois-creamed things get ugly. But I’m pretty sure chamois-creamed things get ugly in the rain too. And otherwise, nope, it’s fine. Not a problem. And bonus, you don’t have to worry about that cream getting nasty while you waste time sitting around in your bike shorts at the coffee shop. Maybe instead of chamois cream, you just need nicer shorts?

About the Author

Kelly O'Mara
Kelly is a reporter and writer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She quit triathlon for a few years, because triathletes can be annoying, but now she's back into it and only hanging out with the non-annoying triathletes. She blogs about stuff at Sunny Running.