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How to go to the bathroom during a triathlon

Bathroom in a triathlon

How do you pee during a triathlon? That’s a very common question I’m asked. It’s a topic that isn’t talked about much, but it’s also a genuine concern for many athletes. And for a good reason! I’ll attempt to answer all of your questions about going to the bathroom during a triathlon. 

We will discuss tips and tricks for both men and women, so you can feel confident knowing that you won’t be penalized for taking care of business on race day! There are a few things to consider, such as if you will need to stop and take a break or if you can just go while you’re still moving. Here are some tips and tricks: 

  1. Make sure to empty your bladder before the race. 
  2. Pooping before the race is a good idea; it will make you lighter and help your stomach. Coffee usually enables you to relieve yourself.
  3. Both men and women can maneuver their tri-suits to pee. 
  4. Some athletes pee while they run or bike. Make sure to alert people behind you if you decide to do so.
  5. Triathlon races always have portapotties available.
  6. It’s mandatory in some races to use the portapotties. In races like the Ironman, you’ll get DNF’ed if you relieve yourself on course.
  7. During longer races, more people will use the portapotties in the later race stages. If you need to go, attempt to do so earlier in the race. This way, you’ll avoid standing in line. 

How do you go to the bathroom during a triathlon?

There will always be portapotties available at triathlon races. Triathletes usually use those facilities. There will also be portapotties along with the bike and run section if it’s a long race. 

It does take a lot of time to stop at a portapotty, so some athletes relieve themself while running or cycling. If you decide to do so yourself, alert the people behind you. 

Personally, I went to the bathroom twice during my Ironman race. I’d rather cut off 5-8 minutes of my final time than relieve myself on the racecourse.  

By ArturLuczka

Are there portapotties available throughout a triathlon race?

There are usually portapotties located at each aid station during a triathlon race. However, they can be very busy – especially in the later stages of the races. If you think you may need to use a portapotty, make sure to do so early on in the race. This way, you can avoid waiting in line or using one that is already full.

Can you pee in a tri suit?

You can, but it’s not recommended. Peeing in your tri suit can lead to chafing and discomfort. It’s also not very sanitary. If you need to go, make sure to take your tri suit off first.

However, it’s pretty common for professional athletes to pee in their tri suits, especially when riding their bikes. If you decide to do that yourself, make sure no one is behind you. I talk from experience when I say it’s not very nice to be the person behind them peeing – and you won’t be popular.

To remove any kind of smells from your training clothes we recommend the detergents:

triathlon how to pee

How do Olympic cyclists pee?

A common strategy is to sprint ahead of the crowd, so they don’t have to catch back up after peeing. They will then pull over to the side of the road and do their business. A cyclist can also slow stop at portapotties along the race track. Another option is to hold it in until the end of the race, when they can finally relieve themselves.

How do female bike riders pee?

To pee, most women must pull down their shorts in the portapotties. However, if you’re wearing a one-piece triathlon suit, you can maneuver it and pee without taking it off. 

By Marijn de Vries

Will I Be Penalized If I Pee on a Triathlon Course?

In some races, like the Ironman races, you’ll bed DNF’ed if you relieve yourself on the race course. Make sure to follow the racecourse rules.

You will not be penalized in other races if you pee during a triathlon course when out of sight of fans. However, it is considered rude and disrespectful to other athletes if you relieve yourself too close to the road. If you need to go, make sure to do it away from the racecourse.

Final words

We hope you found this blog post helpful! Remember, if you think you need to go to the bathroom during a triathlon, do so before the race starts.

If you have to go during the race, find a spot away from the course and dispose of any waste properly. If the racecourse requires it, make sure to use the porta potties.

P.S. If this post was helpful, check out our other blog post on triathlon training tips!

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