Triathlon Lessons: #1 - Cost

Since I am a newbie to multisport, I figured I can use my naivete to inform and influence others, right? And I better write this stuff NOW while it is still fresh in my mind. Because when I am running Ironmans in 3 years, I won't remember what it was like to be new and clueless (HA!)

First lesson? Triathlons are NOT cheap. My hubby always teased me about how much my running cost us. I keep all my race bibs in a clip that hangs on the fridge. Hubby will kindly remind me that the clip holds about $500+ worth of entry fees and shoes. Yeah, yeah, buddy - but you get a fit and happy wife - so quit your whining.

Used to my race costs for running only, I had no idea that triathlons would be so damn expensive. The running part is only a third of the overall sport. While I would still have to continue spending money on running shoes, I also needed to fold in the cost of swimming and biking.

Swimming cost: I am not a swimmer. Therefore, I don't own a training swimsuit. And I still don't so I won't break the bank on the endeavor. All I own are two piece swimsuits from Victoria's Secret meant for laying next to the pool and frolicking in the water with an inflatable ball. I have been wearing an old Old Navy tank suit I have that provides a fair amount of coverage. Yesterday i wore a black bikini. It's not like I'm breaking any speed records, so it will work for now. But I really do need a regular training swimsuit. Eventually that will set me back about $70-120.
Biking cost - egads. I had no idea how expensive biking is. I love how the green movement encourages people to bike to work to not only save the earth but also save money. HA!!!! Some of these bikes cost as much as small cars. Sure, they are super uber duber fancy racing bikes, but still. I thought I would get off on the cheap by buying a used bike from an acquaintance. Three trips to the bike shop and over $150 in repairs, I am not getting off "cheap." I technically have not even bought the bike from this lovely lady quite yet. Turns out the bike is a hybrid and really slow. If I keep up with this sport, I am going to have to get a road bike. Cost? $500-$1500. Yeah. Small car.

Gear - Then add in all the gear. The swim cap, the goggles, running shoes, gear bag, anti chafing cream, gels, water bottles, race fees, tri suits, tri shorts, wetsuit rental, hotel cost, driving time and gas, bike shoes, clips, aero bars, it goes on and on and on. I haven't even bought 2/3 of this stuff and probably won't unless I get super serious about this. But something tells me I better get a better job or at least a raise, 'cause this shizz is costly.

Anyway - that's the lesson. Want to start on triathlons for better health? Good for you. You just better have a bank account to go along with it, too, if you plan on getting really serious. I am doing it on the cheap just so I can have the experience. But I long for the cool gear and the super cool bike. Maybe one day. Right now, I'm still a fresh faced newbie.


Tiffany said...

I have to admit that cost is one (of a few) things holding me back from jumping into the tri scene. Being a stay-at-home mommy means I watch the money going out closely anyway. I have a hard time justifying the running costs sometimes and the added cost of tris scares me a little. Thanks for your honesty... it's appreciated☺

Julie (ROJ) said...

Yeah you just have to remember a lot of those are one time costs. Like buying ketchup...ok you buy that more than once. But it isn't what you buy EVERY time you eat a hamburger. Worst example ever? Feel free to stop by my blog I'm having a giveaway

M said...

Tiffany - you can definitely get involved and not spend a ton of dough - but if you get bitten by the bug and decide to go full on with it, the costs can pile up.

Julie - You are right - a lot of this is start up cost. Once you have the items in hand, the cost factor drops substantially. It's just that initial capital hit that's somewhat painful!!

Ellobie said...

You forgot to subtract all the costs you're avoiding by not joining the bagillions of obese. :)