Lindsay is back with Part 2 of her article, Single, 20-Something, & Tri-ing On A Budget. In Part 1, she talked about budgeting, managing her finances, and relationships and money. Now, she’ll tell you how she makes it all work. We know it’s difficult just starting out in life after college, but when you add the expenses of competing in triathlons onto that….Well, we’ll let her tell you all about it.
It’s certainly not easy trying to make all ends meet on my budget, but I’m not willing to give up any aspect of my life at this point. So, after much research and trial and error, I’ve learned how to find tri gear and clothing that I can afford. It’s really not that difficult and if you love the sport as much as I do, so worth the effort…
So, here are some of the ideas I’ve come up with to make tri-ing work on a budget:
GET TRI GEAR ON THE CHEAP
There are many places to get tri gear on the cheap. Here’s a sampling:
- You have to be dedicated to digging through the depths of Amazon to find tri tops and bottoms in your size for $25 or less, but they are there and there are cute ones, too ! Here are 2 examples I recently found: a tri tank and bike shorts.
- Go on Craigslist for ex-triathletes selling their trainers for cheap!
- Check out 3Dealz for a complete list of coupons and discounts on tri gear.
- If you know any of those triathletes making $126,000 a year, ask them if they have any used gear to sell or donate to an up-and-coming triathlete!
- Swimming at a community pool is cheap – like $3 a swim vs a $45 fancy gym membership.
- Look at local run shops, such as A Runner’s Circle in LA, who do regular GROUPONs/Living Social deals and holiday sales on running shoes!
- Local bike shops rent bike travel cases for sometimes $50 for a whole weekend!
- There are sites and meetup groups that do swaps. California Triathlon has a swap spot!
- The TriWivesClub actually did a whole article on Spring Cleaning your used tri gear awhile back. This will give you some great ideas for where you can get used gear.
JOIN A TRIATHLON CLUB
There are triathlon clubs that are free and those that charge either an annual or monthly fee. The number one thing is to connect to the triathlon community through clubs and events. You can join a not-for-profit tri club like California Triathlon, that lets you volunteer for a race to receive a free entry to another race. It’s free to join, has cheap tri kits ($60 for a whole kit), has free training groups and clinics, and offers a “volunteer for one race, get one race free deal”! You just need to volunteer some, be a part of the community, and give back, so they can keep offering an affordable and fun way to be a triathlete and a part of the community!
Those clubs that charge a fee can also be to your advantage, too. You just have to compare your triathlete expenses to that of the club’s and what you get in return and determine which is the better deal. Other ways triathlon clubs can help keep your costs down:
- weekly workouts
- club races and rides
- bike services, including maintenance classes
- discounts through sponsors and local bike and tri shops
- social events to meet other like-minded athletes
- access to coaching and training programs at all skill levels
SAVE ON RACES
Do more local races. This is where you can really save a buck or two. You don’t have to fly; sometimes you don’t need a hotel room; and you can hitch rides with other racers to and from. Plus, entrance fees are a lot cheaper! This is the way to go until you’re prepared enough for Ironman distances, too, unless of course, an Ironman race just happens to be in your backyard!
Share hotel rooms. You can also save on hotel rooms by splitting with others and cramming into one room.
Camping. You can do races such as Wildflower Triathlon in northern California, where you camp out and only have to pay for a camping pass.
So, I truly hope this helps you either stay in the sport or venture in. We need a new stream of athletes to join us to keep the community growing and flourishing and to make sure I have competitors! If you really want to be a triathlete, you will find a way. Use your ingenuity and know the really nice gear will come in time… In the meantime, keep being young, wild, and free, you sexy, single, 20-something trident triathlete you. And, go PR on the course and in life.