The real cost of triathlon…

Triathlon is great. I love taking part and training for it. When speaking to friends or other people about what I do in my spare time, they often say you must need a lot of equipment and it must cost a fortune. This got me thinking. Is this a question that can simply be answered yes or no? Can triathlon be completed on a budget? What is the minimum equipment you would need? How much does it really cost?

My view is that is not a cheap sport, although it can be done on a budget. Yes we can all pick up a cheap bike, or possibly possess one. We probably own a pair of trainers and swim kit, which in theory means we have the means to take part. So you want to enter a triathlon?

First up – Pick a race. If it is close to home, great! No need to travel too far or possibly add the cost of a hotel to stay somewhere the night before. Entry fees from around £40-£100 and that is anything up to standard distance. You want Ironman? Well stump up a couple of hundred quid! Not that cheap is it?

Training – The fun bit for me! Training is great but you need to make sure you have the necessary equipment to do it. If not…go purchase it. This is where counting the pennies comes in. Really, we all want to save money! If your race is in open water, you may need to purchase a wet suit. You can pick one up for around £90. Don’t forget the cost to use the pool each week or the upkeep of training gear.

Race day approaches – Do I have everything I need is often the question that I ask myself? Well after some time in the sport, I have managed to build up my resources which if I were to buy in one fell swoop, may leave me light in my pocket. Essentials are the things to think about here. What are you going to race in? Have you got simple things like a helmet, water bidon or bag to carry things in? Oh and don’t forget the the lube!

Triathlon is as expensive as YOU make it. Yes there is an initial cost and if you really want to improve, take part in a number of races each season, get better gear, then the amount of money you spend on it will start to rack up. When compared to a single discipline sport like running or football, triathlon is hugely more expensive. Entry fees to races are ridiculous and as for the price of gear…well.

The thing is I am lucky enough to be able to afford what I do. I like to make a weekend of it and make my family part of it. This usually means two nights in a hotel somewhere close. Add on the cost of meals and other bits and bobs plus what it has cost to enter, then you are looking at a very expensive weekend. Some people do not have this luxury and do not wish to do it like this. We are all different. So when people now say it must cost a fortune…what do I say?  The short answer is ‘yes’. But I’m sure there are people out there who would answer differently, but I also believe that they are a very small minority.

The sport is definitely growing. How come? Media and the Olympics have opened us up to triathlon. The market is ultra competitive and the range of gear and savvy buyers out there are taking advantage of great deals. It is slowly becoming more accessible but still has a long way to go.

Until next time…happy tri-ing!



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