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140.6 in 2012: Pinch Pennies

The line, “I’m going broke!” has left the lips of more than one of soon-to-be Ironman athlete I’ve coached, and I assure you it isn’t from the exorbitant coaching fees I’m (not) charging. The thing is, Ironman training doesn’t make you go broke. Poor planning for Ironman training makes you go broke. As I former Certified Financial Planner I would put Budgeting on the short list of considerations for your Ironman planning.

Everyone looks at the $675 race fee and shreeks. But have you added up the rest of the costs?

Let’s start with travel – don’t forget the higher cost of gas if you’re driving or the cost of shipping your bike if you’re flying. Hotels in smaller cities (St. George, Lake Placid, Madison, etc) will jack their prices up for race week because they know you will pay a small fortune to sleep close to the start of the race.

Then there’s the cost of gear. Unless you’re a documented gearphobe like me (that bike in the pic is what I actually finished my first long-course race on) you’ll need some new toys. Sure, you already factored in that sweet new P3 with a Di drive train. How about the after-market parts and fitting? And running shoes – you’ll burn through a couple pairs of those. And then there will be a couple hundred dollars of little miscellaneous thingies that don’t cost much individually yet will add up over time, like extra tubes, socks, lube, battery for the heart rate monitor and other items you will wear out quicker than normal with increased use.

And other costs indirectly related to training. If you plan on taking a trip to the race site to ride the course you’ll need some place to stay. Oh ….and your food bill. Not only will you burn more calories, you’ll be eating out more since you won’t have the time or energy to cook at home.

Oh …and don’t forget the dozen branded items you’ll buy the next morning.

None of the above should scare you. Just take the time to plan ahead for those costs so they don’t surprise you.

This is post number eight in a ten post series to prep you for your long-course race next year. Check back tomorrow for thoughts on building your High Performance Team for your 140.6 in 2012.

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