Triathlon Laws 101

Ruan's Application of Parkinson's Law

Triathlon equipment increases to fill the garage and basement space available for its storage.

Second Law of Applied Confusion

Deliveries of new race essential triathlon toys and gels that normally take one day will take five when you have a race that weekend.

The Ordering Principle

The E-caps and gels necessary for yesterday's race must be ordered no later then noon tomorrow.

The Prime Maxim

If it would be cheaper to repair the old bike, insist that your significant other buy you a new one.

Howe's Law

Everyone has a race plan that will not work.

Simon's Law

All race plans fall apart sooner or later.

Finagles First Law

If everything is going according to plan on race day, something has gone wrong

Finagles Second Law

No matter what the finish time, there will always be someone eager to believe it happened only because you were drafting.

Issawi's Laws of Progress

Most races that start off badly steadily get worse.

Cheop's Law

No race ever starts on time.

Luposchainsky's Hurry-Up and Wait Principle

If you are early, the transition area won't be open. If you knock yourself out to be on time, you will have to wait in line. If you're late, you will be too late for the swim start.

The Queue Principle

The longer you wait in line to pick up your race packet, the greater the likelihood that you are standing in the porta-potty line.

Law of Institutions

The SWAG at the race varies directly with the solvency of race director.

Murphy's Law of Thermodynamics

Things get worse under water.

Miller's Law

You can't tell how deep the water is until the next wave swims over top of you.

Yeager's Law

Wetsuits leak only when the water temperature is below 60 degrees.

Harris' Lament

All the good bikes are gone from transition by the time you get out of the water. You are stuck with yours.

The Murphy Philosophy

Smile in T1. The bike leg will be harder than you think.

Chisholm's Law

When things just can't get any worse on the bike, the wind will change direction and still be in your face.

Chisholm's Commentary

Anytime things appear to be going better on the bike, you are probably going the wrong way.

Martin's Axiom

No matter the wind direction when you leave T1, once you have reached the turn around, the wind will be in your face.

Law of the Highway

If the truck is headed right at you, you're probably in the wrong lane.

Eighth Law of Road Racing (Revised)

All roads have more uphill sections than they have level or downhill sections.

Fish's Second Law of Dog Behavior

The probability that a dog will run at your front wheel is directly proportional to the speed of the bike and the amount of gravel on the road.

The Rule of the Bike Leg

The only way to make up for being lost on the bike is to make record time while you are lost.

Second Law of Bike Dynamics

Bikes that function perfectly on training rides will break down in the first three miles of the bike leg on race day.

Corollary to the Second Law of Bike Dynamics

When any bicycle fails on race day, it will do so as far as possible from the SAG wagon.

The Flat Tire Corollaries

No one who you ask for a spare tube will have one. Anyone who stops on his or her own to offer assistance will not have the right size one

Stockmayer's Theorem

If the hill looks easy, it's tough. If it looks tough, it's impossible.

First Law of Cycling

No matter which way you ride, it's uphill and against the wind.

Anthony's Law of Eating on the Bike

Any gel pack, when opened on the bike, will either slip through your fingers or leak all over the aero bars.

Westheimer's Rule

To estimate the time it takes to finish the race, estimate the time you think it should take, multiply by two and change the unit of measure to the next highest unit. Then allocate two hours for additional time penalties.

First Rule of Drafting

You will save yourself a lot of needless worry if you don't draft on the cyclist in front of you until you catch up to them.

Charlie Crawford's Theory of Selective Enforcement

The one time in the race that you draft is the one time Charlie Crawford will be right behind you.

Charlie Crawford's Law

You can fool all of the USAT marshals some of the time, and some of the USAT marshals all of the time, but you can't fool Charlie Crawford - ever.

Murphy's Second Corollary

The run takes longer than you think.

Boling's Postulate

If you're feeling good on the run, don't worry, you'll get over it.

Frothingham's Corollary

The finish line looks closer than it is.

Todd's First Law

All things being equal, you probably will not win your age group.


All things being in your favor, you probably still will not win your age group.