Green Point Reserve: Sydney, NSW. Great spot to run/cycle to.

One of the reasons participation rates are much lower in triathlon when compared to other sports is that it’s just so expensive; particularly when you have a baby to pay for!! Of course, the mental and physical strength required for triathlon also plays a major role in peoples desire to train and compete in this sport, but lets call a spade a spade, its expensive! Even for a beginner, buying all equipment required for each discipline, regardless of the triathlon distance and what you want to achieve, is an expensive task.

To be clear, I don’t believe in going cheap on everything, particularly when I’m spending so much time training for competitions. If you’re going to put a great deal of your time into training, you need to invest in some good quality gear. After all, you’re investing in yourself. You of course don’t want to be buying the cheapest helmet that doesn’t protect you, or buy a cheap bike that can’t handle the distances. I believe there should be a good middle ground. Perhaps scope out what you should spend more money on, and what you can afford to go cheap with. Check for second hand bikes for example.

To this point, 14 months into my triathlon journey, I have taken part in just one triathlon – Ironman70.3 Western Sydney. I now have my second event in November and I’m hoping to beat my time from last year, and having had some experience in the race, I decided to invest in some more equipment to allow me to train more specifically and compete at a higher level.

Heres a list of nearly everything I’ve purchased so far and at what cost (EST);

Cannondale Supersix – $900 (Gumtree – fantastic condition. Purchased July 2018)
Bontrager Starvos Helmet $140 (Don’t want to go too cheap here)
Bontrager Shoes & Shimano Cleats – $180
Cycling tops/shorts/jacket/socksDecathlon has everything you need here at very affordable rates compared to high street stores such as Specialized or Giant – $150
Indoor Bike Trainer – $89.99+ (Amazon is your best bet here)
– Bike Servicing – $100 (Basic service. No alterations required. Will need another one a couple of weeks before race day)
Aerobars – Decathlon $34.99
– Water Bottles – $10
Bike lights – $20-$50 for a good set
Spare inner tube/pump $20-30

HOKA ONE ONE – $159.99 (plus extra shoes as you train and enter race day)
Garmin Watch (Forerunner 225 bought 3 years ago in England) – Forerunner 245 available $469AUD. Could also last you 3-5 years (Good investment)
– T-shirt/shorts/socks/jacket – anywhere from $30+ each?
– Running/cycling glasses – Oakley start from around $160+. On Amazon you can pick them up for $30+ for a lesser branded style. Obviously quality comes into play quite significantly here I feel.

Zoggs performance shorts – $39.99
Speedo Finger paddles & Speedo Elite Pullbuoy – $29.99 & $34.99
Swim Pass – $124.80 (20 passes) (3 sessions per week – 20 weeks of training; you do the math)
– Trisuit – At 2XU you’re looking at $200+. Decathlon trisuits start from around $49.99
Zoggs goggles – $49.99+ ESSENTIAL – you don’t want to go cheap here
Westsuit – 2XU $300+

**Add nutrition costs to this – gels, snacks, protein powders, other supplements throughout training and competition

**Entry fees – Ironman70.3 $486 (2018 & 2019) – you may have also entered some smaller events to get you race ready ($$$)

As you can see, that’s around $3000 worth of equipment right there (not including entry fees), and I’ve been very savvy with my purchases. What about if you were to buy the slightly more expensive range of equipment? A sparkling new bike, a more prestigious indoor trainer, a better wetsuit? You’d be at $4000-5000+ and you haven’t even started training yet! How does that work!!?

HOWEVER! With the cost of participation comes a great understanding that this is my hobby. I enjoy training for these events and so I’m obviously happy to spend the money. This post is for the likes of myself, and anyone else out there who doesn’t yet want to be spending $6000+ on a new triathlon bike without spending some time testing the water and refining training and performance to ensure this is something you really want to become more invested in.

Added to this, we have to remember that not all triathlon distances would require you to train as regularly or spend as much money. Sprint distances, for example, would probably be a more appropriate entry into the sport, requiring a smaller investment as you wouldn’t necessarily need equipment that takes you a great distance. The nutrition required for a sprint event would also differ from that needed for an Ironman distance. It’s all about researching and working with what you’ve got. What best fits your lifestyle, budget, and intentions in the sport.

One of the key elements to take out of this post is that the one-off costs to triathlon are initially pretty high. But once you’ve invested in the expensive items, they should last you 2-3 years, maybe? After this, much smaller costs are incurred, alongside the entry fees, of course.

If you’re wanting to get into triathlon, shop around to see what you can find at the best price. Have a scroll through Amazon, and while you’re at it, add some nappies and baby wipes to your basket!!

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