12 Ways To Keep Costs Down
Author: Tracy Endo
In today’s economy some people find it difficult to enjoy the sport of triathlon because they know the cost involved. Let’s face it: triathlons can be expensive. The investment of tri gear, nutrition, educational materials and an endless array of other items can definitely add up. However, there are many ways to keep the costs down without breaking the bank.
- Race for free: If you want to run a particular race and the cost is too high, racing for a charity might be your ideal option. Check out The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training (TNT) program – The Nation’s Triathlon benefits LLS and right now, TNT is one of the only ways to get into the sold out race. TNT provides race entry, travel expenses, and tri apparel, as well as coaching and a training plan. Racing for a charity can be financially responsible and provide you with the opportunity to improve the lives of others.
- Race locally: This will keep down the costs considerably. Not having to pay for airfare, hotel, bike shipping, etc. will save hundreds to thousands of dollars just on one race. There are a myriad of races in the DC Metro area so racing locally is a reality. You’ll find anything from super sprint to Ironman-distances races all within our local area. If you can’t race locally or if you’re traveling for The Nation’s Tri, check out jetBlue’s flight discounts and free bike shipping!
- Buy a used or clearance bike: Especially if you are a new triathlete, buying a used bike can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Also, checking with local bike shops during their winter clearance times can save you some big cash as well.
- Unique gifts: When people find it difficult to know what to buy you as a gift for your birthday or other celebration, tell them you would really like an entrance into a particular race. Knowing you’ll be using their gift in the future might encourage them to also be there to cheer you on in your endeavor.
- Save your gas money: With gas getting reaching over $4.00/gallon you can save a lot of money this way. You can commute to work on your bike, walk or run to local destinations, carpool to races, etc. It may not seem like you could save a lot this way but I’ve heard stories of people saving almost $4,000/year (gas, tolls and parking) by commuting to work on their bike. This might be your most frugal idea yet!
- Shop wisely for clothes: There are many online stores that discount triathlon clothes in the winter. Know when the big sales are coming and stock up on your items during that time.
- If you can’t purchase a wetsuit, rent your wetsuit: To purchase a wetsuit you’ll spend anywhere from $200 - $600 or more (Remember that Xterra Wetsuits offers all Nation’s Triathlon athletes a great discount of up to 50% off). Renting a wetsuit, however, can cost as little as $25. Since a wetsuit can only be worn at temperatures of 78 degrees or lower you probably won’t use it for every race. So, determine how often you’ll need a wetsuit and you’ll see which option is best for you.
- Register early: You can save tens, if not hundreds, of dollars per race by registering early.
- Maintain your current gear: Make sure the items you currently have are kept in good shape so you can use them long term and don’t have to make new purchases.
- Swap gear with other athletes. Invite some triathlete friends over for a party where everybody brings gently used gear to trade. Maybe that wetsuit that never fit right can be turned into some race wheels. Also, check with your local triathlon group or community for others looking to swap gear or sell it for a bargain.
- Consider bartering: What skills do you have that you can barter services with someone else? Offer your organizing skills in exchange for swim lessons, babysitting for massages or help your coach with their taxes for individual training.
- Free advice: Rather than paying for magazine subscriptions and purchasing a ton of books, sign up for free to online triathlon communities that can provide you with sound advice. And, don’t forget to subscribe to the DC Triathlon Examiner!
Tracy Endo is a homeschool mother of two, a photographer, a freelance writer and a competitive triathlete in the 45-49 age group from the Washington, DC metro area. Tracy started running in 2002. Being very under motivated, she entered races so that the lure of the finish line would keep her on her training schedule. It worked. In the years since, she has gone on to win Half-Ironman races in her age group. Today, Tracy is highly motivated by other people who are beginning their journeys. She finds joy from mentoring and motivating other women in their athletic goals and that drives her towards her own personal goals. Tracy can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org