You know, I have these discussions at home all the time at home: why would I sign up for this and that race when I could just go ahead and run a marathon in my backyard or do a triathlon around my hometown, just by myself. Because it's much easier said than done. Competing against yourself is much harder than one could imagine and not only because it's all mental, but because it's boring and... there is no medal? Jokes aside, races are a lot of fun. And yes, you're supposed to do this for yourself and have fun even when you are alone with Eminem in your earbuds, but... but it's true that race fees are definitely high on the list of costs to consider when you look at the numbers piling up when you decide to embark into triathlon training.
I am going to be honest here, we didn't really have a triathlon budget and when I think about everything I've spent so far for this "hobby", it kinda makes my hair raise on my head and gives me cold sweats. But thankfully, the investment I've made is going to be long lasting and rewarding enough to make it all worthwhile. In the meantime, why don't we go through my expenses, all triathlon related so far, to give an idea of what to expect to those who are thinking about taking on this challenge?
- Bike $1000 (used)
- Bike shoes, pedals, fitting $300
- Bike helmet $25
- Bike accessories (pump, tyres, tubes, CO2 cartridges, seat bag, bottles, hydration system) $200
- Wetsuit $210
- Swimsuit $75
- Goggles $25
- Bike shorts, tank top $85
- Running shoes $75
- Nutrition $200
- Pool membership (year) $100
- *Finis Tempo Trainer Pro $50 (swim metronome)
- *Tri club membership (year) $25
- *OAT (Triathlon Ontario) membership (year) $40
- *Coaching (year) $600
- *Race fees $110 (I only signed up for one race so far, olympic distance)
- *12-27 cassette + bike tools to help me climb hills $100
- *GPS watch and accessories $600
TOTAL $2295 (without optional items, $3770 max)
TOTAL/month $191.25 ($314)
*optionalNow, these are just to get you started, but thankfully some of them fees are not carried over past the initial investment, such as bike and accessories, wetsuit etc., but you need to know that eventually these costs are going to come back as race fees (Half-Ironman $150-250, Ironman $350-650) plus transportation, accomodation, memorabilia and stuff that you probably don't need but feel that you must have anyway because it makes you feel good, such as an M-Dot tattoo or some crazy celebratory hairdo.
I am known for being quite thrifty, so I try to find used equipment as much as possible and I suggest you do so as well, at least until you are convinced that you want to stick with triathlon training. I have been running for a while so I know that the next step for me it's got to be a triathlon, then a half Ironman, then the Ironman because I need to find that toughness in me to feel complete, at least until the mid-life crisis is over. But not everyone is like me, neither should be. As I mentioned before, it should be all about having fun and not killing yourself with worries that you cannot pay for your bike or your Gu Chomps.
It certainly helps that living a healthy lifestyle imposed by triathlon training comes with the benefit of weight loss and increased confidence, self-esteem and overall superior wellbeing, but you have to find in yourself what really takes you out of your bed at wee hours to do that swim or makes you sweat buckets while completing a 2h brick workout on the hottest day of the year. You need to find the reason to stop counting dollars and rather enjoy being the best you can be, today more than yesterday.