You also need an athletic swimsuit to train in. I have purchased these all on Amazon so far, most recently for $23. I search and read the reviews, then carefully select a size based on the sizing chart.
Optional (sort of): I personally think a trisuit is worth purchasing, but you can do without if you're not sure you'll stay with it. Here's why: It's easier to trim time off of your race by saving in transition than trying to take time off of your bike or run. I have three trisuits, all purchased on Amazon. The most expensive was $54, the cheapest was $22. Search for clearance deals and keep an eye out.
|Best $22 I spent so far|
For the bike, you obviously need a bike. This is the most expensive aspect of triathlon by far - you'll see a few people with $200 WalMart cruisers, along with people rocking bikes that should make you dinner and wash your car for the price they cost.
I bought Belle the bike on Craigslist for $550. This was a steal as triathletes can spend the price of a car on their two-wheeled chariots. In addition to the price of the bike, I spend about $50 a season on tune ups, and I recently invested $100 in a complete bike fitting. I've also purchased handlebar tape, a saddle, a snack box, a bike computer, a tire and various repairs, probably totaling at another $250. I also added clipless pedals and shoes this season, which cost another $70. There is a Pear Izumi Outlet store near me, which is where I got the shoes. I save on the other items by buying online and comparison shopping. I use a bike trainer to put on miles and do intervals inside. Jenny gave me her trainer, but you can find these for about $50 on Craigslist. Finally, a lot of the cycling accessories are straight forward purchases that I would be comfortable putting on a holiday wishlist.
|I might have a pair of shoes or two.|
For your transition area, you need an old towel to lay everything out.
Optional: I also dust my shoes with baby powder and use copious amounts of sunscreen and Tri Slide before putting on my wetsuit. Instead of Tri Slide, some people use WalMart brand Pam because it's much cheaper, but I went with the pricier stuff because it's thicker and wetsuit safe. All of these items cost probably $20.
There's also nutrition to think about. I get my favorite brands as giveaways at expos or make my own running fuel. You also need water bottles for your bike, which I frequently get as giveaway items.
There's race fees, too. Racine was $280, Gull Lake was $75 and I received a comped entry for Iron Girl. Watch for early-bird specials for races to save money.
|Gimme that race swag|
|Dexter Inn ... It's to die for|
I've only taken one swim lesson so far and it was $40. This was well worth the money and I'd do it again. It's so much easier to enjoy swimming when you're using proper form. Spend the money here - it's an investment.
I've also purchased a few swimming aids to help me with drills. I got a giftcard for these from a blog contest from Steve in a Speedo. I highly recommend Aquagear for these - they're constantly running sales and the customer service is top-notch. I had no idea what to buy and e-mailed a customer service representative. Lizzy recommended a few items that I've used ever since, so it must be working.
So yes, I've spent a lot of money on this pursuit. But I've invested wisely and it's not a waste of money if I enjoy wasting it. It's also a hell of a lot healthier than my previous pursuit of the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
And it's all worth it to sport this.
How have you saved on triathlon-related expenses?