Low budget Ironman

For many triathletes a low budget Ironman is the only answer.

The beginner triathlete might appear to be looking at a costly endeavor when considering taking a run at their very first triathlon or Ironman distance race.

This is especially true with the world-wide recession that has impacted so many people. Not only is the entry fee high, but bikes, wetsuits and other tri gear can be expensive as well.

Just getting yourself to the race and finding a place to stay has to be taken into account.

However, a low budget ironman is very possible.


Let’s not forget to include coaching for the beginner triathlete when it come to their Ironman budget.

For those who are completely new to the sport, fitness club membership fees, and all that pool time that has to be payed for also have to be taken into account.

On the positive side, you can learn from books and train yourself as many triathletes do.

Low budget ironman

Is becoming an Ironman expensive?

For instance Total Immersion has a great swimming technique that you can learn from their books and tapes and if necessary, do without costly swim-coach fees. Visit the Total Immersion website and see how to get yourself a 10% discount on purchases.

See, you are already learning ways to save money and learn how a low budget ironman is very possible.

Then of course there are all those special drinks, vitamins, gels, powders, and other magic elixirs that will make you faster than a speeding bullet. Well, if you believe all the hype.

Keep in mind that the earliest Ironmen made it basically on water and their own drink concoctions and favorite power food.

For Dave Scott it was figs and bananas with not a power gel in sight. The high tech drinks, bars, and gels were not even invented back then.

So what does all this mean?

Should the unrelenting call of the Ironman be left in the distant swirling dust along with all those other forgotten dreams. Dreams that have been lost on this freeway called life that is passing you by at breakneck speed—all because you are restricted to a meager Ironman budget?


Not in a million years should you let this opportunity pass you by. There is always a way to become a low budget ironman and be successful if the desire is in your heart to discover what you are truly capable of.

It will require some imagination and a bit of sacrifice. However, the low budget ironman that might seem impossible at first is truly a very possible concept that can make your Ironman dream a reality.

Low budget ironman

Nashbar "no-frame" sunglasses under $25

First of all, don’t get swept up by the mentality that all the fancy gear you see in tri magazines is necessary to your ultimate success.

Yes, there is some amazing ironman technology out there and some stunning gear and clothing as well, but it is not an $8000 bike, a $600 wetsuit, and $400 sunglasses that are essential to propel you to the Ironman finish line.

Just fancy sunglasses can cost as much as an Ironman entry fee and will take up a lot or your Ironman budget.

What’s truly important is the heart and courage to maneuver through the 2.4 mile swim, the skill and tenacity to make it through the 112 mile bike. The vision to never lose sight of the finish line that will be the real tools that will sustain you through-out your journey.


Keep in mind that in the early days of the Ironman, none of the current technology existed. There were no snap-in pedals, aero-bars, bike computers, and frames made of titanium and other space-age metals were still on the drawing-board somewhere.

You might say that back in those days every Ironman was a low budget ironman.

Pretty much all of the expensive gear available to today’s triathletes was simply not available to us old-timers. We made do with cheap bikes, cheap swimsuits, and cheap running shoes for the most part.

As a matter of fact, just finding a pair of tri-shorts was a challenge.

The fact that the Ironman has been growing so fast over the past decade and new races are being developed is good news if you are on a tight budget. If you live in the U.S. there is sure to be one or more Ironman races within driving distance.

Even if you live in Canada you have the option of entering Ironman Whistler in the West or Ironman Mont Tremblant in the East.

There is also the option to drive down to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho if you live in Western Canada or Lake Placid, New York if you live on the East side of the country.

It’s also the same for Europeans. There are races all over Europe now and most European triathletes can find an Ironman race to drive to and eliminate expensive flying costs. Travel expenses are the best way to save money if you are planning on doing a low budget ironman.

I will forever remember heading out on the King K. highway in Kona that memorable day in 1984 when race-day temperatures hit over 105 degrees on Ironman day. I will remember it not because of the weather, but more because of the piece of crap bike I was riding. Talk about a low Ironman budget.

It was about the only bike I could afford and today it probably wouldn’t make the grade as a wind-trainer bike. Still it got me through the day even though I had no spare tire, no computer, no aero bars, no titanium, and about 70 pounds of air pressure in my tires.

So if you are a beginner triathlete on a shoestring budget don’t obsess about not having the money for a bike to do your Ironman. Buy what you can afford. Buy used if necessary.


There’s not much of a market for used tri bikes so the advantage goes to the buyer…buy used, buy used, buy used………I don’t know how else to put it. If the cost of a bike is scaring you off of doing the Ironman, buy a used bike for cheap.

Low budget ironman

A basic road bike will get you to the finish line

Spend 3 or 5 hundred bucks instead of $3000 and save yourself a ton of money and avoid stretching your Ironman budget to the breaking point.

Look for a road bike as opposed to a triathlon bike and simply add profile bars to it. This will also save you money.

This is especially wise if you only want one shot at the Ironman and are not making a career out of it.


To cut down on your Ironman travel costs, pick a race that’s the closest to you. Hopefully it’s within driving distance. Driving has a ton of advantages. First you save by not having to fly and you can pack much of your favorite food to take with you.

Also you can car-pool and even save money on gas. While you are at it, share a place to stay with two or three others and your accommodation costs will come way down. Be sure to get a full kitchenette so you can prepare your own food.

Especially the food you brought with you from home. It’s smart not just because you save tons of money, but also because you don’t have any drastic changes to the diet you are used to.

WHAT TO WEAR ON RACE-DAYWell first of all, you can most likely rent a wetsuit and that alone will save you several hundred dollars. This is especially wise if you only plan on taking part in one Ironman.

It’s possible you could spend 5 or 6 hundred dollars and your wetsuit will hang in your closet for 20 years after the race. Some people decide to rent their wetsuit to begin with and possibly buy at a later date.

Instead of buying fancy, expensive bike clothes, consider purchasing an inexpensive tri-suit that you can wear under your wetsuit. You won’t have to change for the rest of the race. You can bike and run in your tri-suit.

There is no advantage to paying hundreds if dollars for a pair of sunglasses. However sunglasses are essential to protect your eyes from flying debris and bugs during your bike rides. Sun or not, you will need sunglasses.

Buy a pair for $19.99 or something along those lines. Try and find a pair that are shaded yellow. I say yellow because even on an overcast day they will brighten things up while protecting your eyes. Trying to cut your Ironman costs does not mean being careless about your safety.

If you really want your shot at the Ironman but are on a strict Ironman budget, it’s very possible to succeed.

Simply buy what you can afford and at the end of the day when you cross that Ironman finish line, it will make your accomplishment all that more amazing and memorable.

My books have helped many people around the world believe in themselves enough to get off the couch. Many took up the sport of triathlon and even reach the Ironman finish line and amazed even themselves with what they are capable of.

Whether you still have to learn how to swim, or want to take a run at your first Ironman I have a book that will help you realize your triathlon goals and dreams.

Be sure to have a look at the books I have written that have helped many triathletes around the world realize their Ironman and triathlon dreams and goals.

You can visit my ironstruck book store and find the perfect book for the new or experienced triathlete doing their very first try a tri triathlon or the Ironman.


Visit Ironman.com for race information.

Triathlon diets

The best triathlon diets include quality fats for optimum training, racing, and recovery.

Making the right dietary fat choices is just as important to triathlon diets as using the best proteins and complex carbohydrates.

The right amount of protein for strength, power, and recovery and complex carbohydrates for endurance are often talked about.

Ensuring you are making quality fat choices when setting up a training diet is every bit as important.

Beginner triathletes who have a bit of weight to lose will also benefit from choosing the right fats to compliment their carbohydrate and protein intake.

In many cases people are drawn into the sport of triathlon even though they have not exercised on a regular basis for years.

Making the best diet choices is just as important as swim, bike, and run training when it comes to improving overall fitness.


Virgin Olive Oil has long been considered one of the healthiest oils in the world and it should be a regular addition to all triathlon diets.

Many, many studies have been done that have confirmed that replacing saturated fats with a product like olive oil will result in lower “bad” cholesterol. At the same time it will increase the “good” cholesterol. How can you go wrong with a fat that is good for you and tastes great as well?

fresh olive-Triathlon diets

fresh olives

As with most foods, olive oil benefits are more likely to be realized if one maintains a diet rich in quality complex carbohydrates and protein.

Combining well-balanced triathlon diets with a regular fitness regimen is a key to success.

A major published study discovered the potent benefits that can come with regular olive oil consumption.

In a major study involving several groups, the focus was on comparing iso-caloric diets that had one slight difference from each other. That difference was the fat source.

This test was conducted over a two month period and it was discovered that the group that consumed olive oil for fat. They had a much higher level of testosterone than the other test groups.

Olive oil was allowing cells to take in higher levels of cholesterol and in turn, convert that same cholesterol into testosterone. This is good news for athletes as testosterone is essential to muscle re-growth.


Testosterone also plays a large part in boosting energy levels. So if someone is doing some serious triathlon training, then it’s really a no-brainer to add a good quality olive oil to the every-day diet.

Incorporating olive oil into a triathlon diet makes perfect sense for triathletes. You can build muscle, recover from work-outs much quicker, and increase endurance all at the same time.

It’s important to remember that all olive oil products are created equal. Labels that just say olive oil are normally inferior choices. They may not provide the same benefits of the virgin olive oils.

olive oil. A key fat for Triathlon diets

Most types of olive oil products are great sources of monounsaturated fat. However, Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains much higher quantities of antioxidants.

At the top of the list is Vitamin E and Phenols. This is because Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the least processed of all the olive oil health products and is actually from the very first press of the olives.

It may be more expensive, but if you want the very best in taste and health benefits from your olive oil choice than this is the oil for you.


It’s sad to see someone train their hearts out all year and then let their poor diet choices undermine all the work they have done.

I found that coconut oil along with olive oil provided me with the two best fats available.

Virgin Coconut Oil could well be one of the world’s best kept nutrition secrets. For years it was believed coconut oil was loaded down with fat that was bad for you.

However North Americans have come to realize that this isn’t true. There are even those who believe that it misinformation spread by the canola industry.

Coconut oil. Excellent for Triathlon diets

Coconut oil may be the next super food

The livestock industry has known for years that if you want to fatten livestock, you feed it corn oil or canola oil. However if you want to make livestock leaner, you feed it coconut oil.

The concept is no different for people and it’s just a matter of consumers becoming more educated. After incorporating coconut oil in their diet people soon learn it’s true value.

Including 5 or 6 tablespoons of coconut oil along with a regimen of regular fitness can actually lead to weight lose weight. It will also increase endurance and over-all fitness.


Many Asian countries have used coconut oil for hundreds of years as a staple part of their diets.

They have recorded far fewer heart disease problems than North Americans. As a people they do not suffer from obesity issues.

Coconut oil is so versatile that they use it in their hair on on their skin skin with dramatic results. Their hair has a shiny, healthy, luster and their skin stays wrinkle-free well into their senior years.

Triathlon diets

extra virgin coconut oil


Now athletes in particular are starting to discover the benefits of coconut oil weight loss and how it can improve athletic performance and recovery.

From my own experience, coconut oil appears to speed the metabolism process. I reached the lowest weight of my adult life after including five or six tablespoons daily into my triathlon diets.

If you have tried everything in order to become trimmer or fitter, consider the benefits of coconut oil weight loss. Coconut oil is not only versatile and easy to use but tastes as well.


You can substitute coconut oil in pretty much any recipe that called for the poorer dietary fat choices, butter or margarine.

It’s relatively easy to incorporate 5 or 6 tablespoons of coconut oil into your daily diet.

Add it to oatmeal, pasta, pasta sauce, smoothies, and use coconut oil (and olive oil) whenever you fry anything instead of cooking with canola and vegetable oils.

You are only limited by your imagination as coconut oil adds flavor and nutrition to so many different foods and should be in every triathletes kitchen. Be sure to make it part of all your triathlon diets.


Great article on Nutrition for triathletes.