For this Question of the Week, we’re asking some of the FBGs: What do you splurge on and where do you save when it comes to fitness? See Susan’s answer below!
As a general rule, I like to keep things on the thrifty side when it comes to Ironman triathlon. The sport isn’t a cheap one, but it doesn’t have to break the bank, either. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a total cheapskate. There are things worth spending money on, for sure.
Splurge: Comfort Items
Because I spend a lot of time in the pool, on the bike or pounding the pavement, it’s important I’m comfortable while doing so. That means buying tri tops that don’t chafe or dig into my shoulders (I’m a devotee of the Smashfest Queen tri tops with built-in sports bra), Hoo-Ha Ride Glide (it’s just as fun to wear as it is to say!) to keep my lady bits intact over eight hours in the saddle and a steady rotation of good running shoes.
My big splurge item, however, is a pair of prescription cycling sunglasses from SportRx. Recently, I got the “you’re getting older” talk from my eye doctor, and it wasn’t fun. Like most people, as I’ve — ahem — matured, my eyes have become cantankerous. Last season, I noticed these changes gradually — leaves on trees were fuzzier, I couldn’t read street signs from far away and I had a headache at the end of long rides and runs.
Since I’m not a fan of contact lenses, especially while training and racing (if one falls out and you can’t find it, it’s not fun trying to find your way home), prescription sport sunglasses have proven to be a valuable solution. SportRx offers the best variety, in my opinion, and their customer service is outstanding — just contact them with your vision prescription, and they’ll walk you through the process to find the right pair for your peepers. They’ll even help you with insurance reimbursement, if you have a plan that supports eyewear.
Save: “Free Speed”
Beware of products promising to unlock the secrets of speed — they’re everywhere in triathlon. I’ll let you in on a secret about getting faster — there is no secret. You can drop a lot of money on expensive gear, but it won’t get you to the finish line if you don’t work hard and recover well.
Where some people spend $11,000 on a carbon-fiber bike, claiming “lighter is faster,” I’m more apt to spend a fraction of that for an aluminum bike and lose five pounds — good for the body and the wallet! The same frugal philosophy goes for cycling shoes (I’ve worn the same pair of shoes for four years) and wetsuits, which I buy used from a local triathlon shop at the end of the season.
When it comes to triathlon, where do you splurge? —Susan