The Excuse: I don’t have enough money.
The Answer: Yes, triathlon is a pricey sport. But there are ways to get by without zeroing out your savings account. Meaning, as slick as those race wheels and TT bike look, you don’t need top-of-the-line gear right out the gate. “I did my first triathlon with a borrowed bike from my friend’s garage,” says Stock. “Triathlon can be a single-event accomplishment or a lifestyle, and the reason it’s so fun is because there is always room to improve, always opportunity for upgrade, and none of it can or should be done overnight.”
The Approach: Invest in the important stuff: properly fitting running shoes, goggles that don’t leak, a decent-fitting tri kit and a good helmet. Borrow or rent the rest until you’re completely committed to the sport. Bonus: This way, you’ll get to test plenty of gear before you plunk down the cash.
Try This: Go local. A large portion of triathlon costs are tied to travel, so save on gas and hotels (and the dreaded bike fee on airlines) by finding a race you can drive to. And seek out races with lower entry fees—with so many new races popping up each year, there’s bound to be an affordable event near you.