Often triathlon perceived as an expensive hobby. So many use the “I can not afford this” excuse, when offered to try the sport. Sure looking at our last years expenses, I can agree that it can cost money. But really, it does not have to! If you don’t believe me, see my list of things you will need to compete in your first race. You will be surprised how many of them you own already.

Swimming suit

Iswisuit, gear, thingsf you are planning to do a triathlon, chances are that you know how to swim. So, clearly, you’ve been to the pool or swam in the open water lately and, most likely, you own some sort of the swim suit. Honestly, if you are looking to try to complete a “try-a-tri” distance, you will be ok even with a bikini or beach shorts. You might want to upgrade, though, if you like the sport and decide to do more than one race.

I personally use Dolfin’s Uglies because they are very colourful (and that is important to me). But seriously, they are relatively inexpensive (I think I got mine for under $70, and you can get some models from Amazon for even less than $50). I have mine since last April, and it is still looks and feel like new, even though I swim about every week.


Another thing that you might already own is the swim goggles. Very practical in the triathlon, since, first, you will be swimming in not the cleanest water and, also, you will kind of need to see what is going on around you.

I have hand-me-down Sables. I think they were in our family for at least 5 years, and they are still working perfectly fine. Again, Amazon has them for around $50. Also you can find way cheaper models, and you will be fine, as long as they fit you. But if you are set on not wanting to own a pair of goggles, I am sure you can borrow them from someone you know just for the race.


This is the first item that you might not have before thinking about racing. Again, you do not absolutely have to have one, but if the water is cold, the distance is long, and you are not a good swimmer, you will enjoy it.

New one will cost you anywhere from $200 to over a $1000, but fortunately at least one triathlon store in your town will offer a rental option.Renting a wetsuit will add up about $50 to your race weekend. On that one, I was fortunate that my sister in-law who is about the same size as me worked in the other country and did not need hers for a season. I got the experience of racing in a decent Zoot model, so I am sure now I will have a hard time picking a less expensive kind.

Bikebike gear, things

You knew this one was coming. But seriously, bicycle is probably the most expensive part of tri gear, but just like a swimsuit, you probably own one if you decide to compete in a triathlon. You might not have one of those speedy bikes that you see in the magazine, but seriously, you do not need one of those. If you are doing any distance shorter than Sprint, you are OK with your commuter or department store mountain bike (as long as it is safe and reliable). For the longer distances you might want to look into a road bike, but seriously, who signs up for Ironman without serious cycling background?

Up until this Christmas I only had an “up-cycled” Miele mountain bike, and I borrowed my husband’s family’s “community” hybrid for both of my races. So, ask around before rushing to the store – someone about your height might just have something you are looking for.


If you are telling yourself that you don’t have any training clothes – you are lying! Go back to your closet, and find a t-shirt and pair of shorts.While a jersey or tri-suit are nice to have, any gym appropriate clothes will do. Just go for the more loose kinds, since they will be easier to put on over your wet swimsuit. So is it fair enough to put clothes budget at $0?


running gear, thingsYou probably own a pair, but if you are looking for something to spend money on something, you should invest in the good running shoes. The sports store will have something for you in a $100 range, and you can use them for both run and a bike.

For the first of my triathlons I used my Brooks Launch 2 for both sports, and in the second one I decided to try my clip shoes for the bike, but kept the Brooks for the running.


So after all, triathlons are not that expensive as they seem.With a bit of something new, something used and something borrowed, you can introduce yourself to something you’ve never tried before.

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