How To Be A Student Triathlete On A Budget
It’s no secret triathlon is an expensive sport and can slowly drain your student loan. With Freshers entering University all over the country, our ambassador Laura Rose Smith has put together some ideas on how you can make the sport more affordable whilst living as a student.
Get your meal prep on point
Meal prep (especially batch cooking) is the key to keeping food costs down whilst getting the nutrition you need for training. Instead of grabbing food whilst you’re out and about, bring it with you and save those pennies.
My rucksack is always packed with a flask of tea and copious Tupperware meals to keep me well fuelled throughout the day which additionally contributes to waste reduction from overly packaged food and takeaway cups. Overnight oats is always a winner for a post-swim breakfast on the go.
Swap and share
When I started triathlon it was great to be able to use teammates when I needed kit that I didn’t have. We would often trade a trisuit for a wetsuit and wheels for some aero bars to keep us training and competing without blowing our budgets.
In with the old out with the new
Whilst swapping and sharing can be good, there is only so much you can get away with borrowing. Look for second-hand essentials, like a bike, that are in good working order to ensure you have the basics.
Opt for cheaper kit alternatives
I love the idea of kit that looks the part, but financially this isn’t always viable and can result in having to wear the same pair of bib shorts all year... which no one wants!
Keep your eyes peeled when in supermarkets for kit that doesn’t cost the earth and have the luxury of a choice of shorts.
Bike maintenance isn’t hard and there are plenty of YouTube channels that guide you through how to service and fix your own bike. Learn the basics and use the knowledge of others to keep your bike in top shape whilst saving on the cost of a bike shop visit.
Utilise the perks of being a student
Being a student does come with its benefits, including cheaper gym memberships and affordable University clubs, so make sure you use them!
Get the essentials first
Yes, a disc wheel is very fancy and sunglasses that match your bike are cool but are they really necessary? Prioritise purchasing the gear you NEED initially and then, if you have the funds, you can go crazy on all the added extras.
Support local events
Who doesn’t love a trip abroad and racing in major Championships but realistically it isn’t affordable all the time. Make use of nearby events to save on travel expenses whilst keeping your local events up and running.
Cut down on travel expenses
If travelling is inevitable then opt for the cheaper options of car sharing and camping. Saving money and socialising… no brainer!
If all else fails do what I did...
Find a triathlete partner and steal all their kit, hijack their trips abroad, and use them as a personal mechanic. Easy.
So that’s my top ten tips for cutting the costs in triathlon… No excuses not to get out there and swim, bike, run!
About the author: Laura Rose Smith is a Team GB Age Group triathlete and Sundried ambassador.