Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Cost of a 70.3- Time and $$$

I knew getting into triathlon two years ago that it was an expensive sport.  For example, you quickly learn that your running clothes are not great for swimming or biking.  Tri specific attire is preferable, and expensive.  Need a new kit?  Be prepared to shell out $120-$180.  And cycling.  Oooh, cycling.  I was lucky enough to find a used road bike for $200 two years ago to get me started.  You also learn that bike ownership comes at a cost.  Get used to paying maintenance fees at your local bike shop.  And even race registration fees seem to be far more expensive than for regular old running races.  In 2014 I did my first sprint.  In 2015 I did my first olympic distance tri.  So naturally, despite the expense, I knew I'd be going for the half Iron in 2016.

I began searching the web for an average cost of such an endeavor.  I found one woman's blog regarding her expenses for a 140.6.  She spent over $3000.  I found another really eye-opening blog comparing Budget Triathletes to Big Spender Triathletes where the author puts costs for Budgets at $7900 and for Big Spenders at $34,000.  Yes, all those zeros belong there.

But surely a Half Ironman will be half the cost, right???  I decided to track my expenses and below is what I came up with.  I tracked everything with the exception of gas.  Everything.

Janell's IRONMAN 70.3 Timberman Expenses

Registration Fees $677.60
  • Frosty 5k $30
  • Race for Women's Health 10k $25
  • Lake Raystown Sprint Triathlon $91.99
  • Wally Man Olympic Triathlon $108
  • Musselman Sprint Triathlon $86.30
  • Flutopia 5k $25
  • Lewisburg Sprint Triathlon $60
  • IRONMAN 70.3 Timberman $251.31
Lodging $743.49
  • camping at Raystown $41
  • camping at Wally Man $64.99
  • AirBNB house at Timberman $637.50
Memberships $614
  • Danville Area Community Center (pool- six months) $234
  • USAT (annual) $50
  • Indoor Cycling Session at Simons Says Fitness $300
  • Team Taper Tri Club $30
Swim $284.14
  • D&J Sports- suit, paddles, goggles $78.33
  • 2XU tri kit $72.48
  • Tri 'n Sell It- random tri clothing $133.33
Cycling $1271.92
  • TT bike (used) $900
  • Bike Maintenance $146.99
  • Gear $224.93
Run $268.97
  • Inside Track - shoes, socks, snacks $181.25
  • MoJo Compression Socks $19.95
  • 2XU Compression Tights $67.77
Well-Being $788
  • Massage (13 appointments) $615
  • Chiropractic (3 appointments) $173
GRAND TOTAL - $4648.12

So was all that stuff necessary/ worth the money???  Well, yes.  You could argue that I didn't need to race so much leading up to my goal race.  But I find real races give me real feedback as to how my training is really going.  You could also probably argue that I didn't need so many massages or chiropractor appointments.  My perception of these things has shifted from one of "luxury" to one of "required routine maintenence" instead.  You'll notice that I don't have a wetsuit listed in my expenses.  That's because one was given to me by a friend.  

I'm hoping that future 70.3s won't be so costly.  (I'd like to do three next year!)  But I love triathlon, so to me, it was worth every single penny (and every extra minute spent at work to earn those pennies!)

Monetary expense isn't the only cost to triathlon though.  If you're considering taking on your first 70.3, be prepared for how much time it might cost you.

Swam nearly 66 miles in over 41 hours
Biked 1394 miles in about 100 hours
Ran about 405 miles in over 60 hours
Core workouts ???
I am quite certain I cut out miles/hours because my current yearly mileage is 2289 miles, and I haven't moved that much since Timberman!

GRAND TOTAL - Covered approximately 1865 miles in over 201 hours

I spent anywhere from six to nine hours a week training, with a few ten hour weeks, twelve hour weeks, and one sixteen hour week.  This is only time in motion.  Those hours do not count time it takes to get to wherever I might be working out.  It doesn't count time spent working with Coach. And it doesn't count time spent planning out how on Earth I was going to fit in all those workouts around the rest of my life.   

But just like the money, the time was well spent.