With just under three weeks to go until The Triathlon, I’m getting acquainted with Trianoia, the older brother of my old friend, Maranoia.  Maranoia, as you may recall, is a state of pre-marathon nervous exhaustion where you become convinced that you are ill, injured or otherwise about to suffer a marathon ruining calamity.  Trianoia is even worse than Maranoia, because you have three times as many things that can go wrong.  So without further ado, here is my worry list:

Triathlon by Dylan Shearsby


I am starting with this one because the blasted contraption is more of a source of worry than everything else put together.

  1.  Bike might get stolen.  Have taken to checking bike cupboard at 1am to make sure it is still there.
  2. Vehicle defects, including but not limited to punctures, sticky gears, self-detaching chains, loose saddles, failing brakes and wonky handlebars.
  3. Everyone will laugh at my bike.
  4. Forgetting to put on helmet.
  5. The hazard of Other Cyclists on the lapped course, some of whom will be moving at twice my pace.  I tried to calculate if I could procrastinate long enough on the swim for them all to be finished by the time I started, but realised I would then be caught by the fastest athletes from the next wave.  There is no escape.
  6. Might get overtaken by someone on Boris Bike.
  7. Bike might turn into bucking bronco mid race and throw me in the sea.
  8. The creeping realisation that, actually, U turns are harder to navigate than hills.
  9. I might fall off my bike.
  10. I might fall off my bike and a really fast cyclist might go into the back of me and there might be one of those massive pile ups like you see on the telly and I will become an international hate figure and my face will be on the cover of Lycra Monthly.
DIY triathlon around London, Britain - 23 Jul 2012
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Daniel Lynch/Shutterstock (1824433f) Man with Boris bike for cycling section DIY triathlon around London, Britain – 23 Jul 2012 Metro Journalist Warren Pole poses for editorial use


  1. Leaky goggles.
  2. Might get stuck in wetsuit.
  3. The prospect of a “Paula Radcliffe moment” (I mean toilet related, not breaking world records).  This would be bad enough in a running race but what if it happens in a wetsuit?  I think that would actually be the end of the world.  There is no coming back.
  4. Sharks.



  1. Forgetting to take my helmet off.
  2. Blisters from wet socks
  3. Come to think of it, getting socks on wet feet in the first place.
  4. Running without music! I will be able to hear every insult the spectators throw at me!
  5. Being so slow that everyone else has finished the run before I even start and having the whole of the South Coast staring at me as I run 5km all on my own.
  6. Johnny Brownlee.



  1. The prospect of accidentally bearing my midriff or touching my bike without my helmet on and getting disqualified.
  2. Getting all my fucking triathlon shit down to Seaford on my bike.
  3. Illness
  4. Injury
  5. Death
  6. Mental collapse

Fits of terror aside, one positive thing I can say is that I am feeling better about The Triathlon than I did at the corresponding point before The Marathon.  At least I can say that the training has made me feel fitter and better, even if the progression has only been from “absolutely hopeless” to merely “not much good”.  It hasn’t injured me (there is still time) and I am not much more tired than my default state of always being tired.  I do actually feel ready to give it a go, whereas I believe my exact words before the Brighton Marathon were “Ready?  I am ready to drop.  I feel a complete wreck.  Just take me to Brighton, sling me by the side of the road and wait for someone to sweep me up and put me in the bin.”

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