triathlons ain't cheap.
everyone knows this.
at a minimum, you need: swimsuit, goggles, cap, bike, helmet, running shoes.
but let's be honest. at a minimum, you also need: wetsuit, bike cleats, clipless pedals, bike shorts, bike jerseys, running shorts, running tights, singlets, tshirts, long sleeved tshirts, bike trainer, hat, gloves, sports bras, water bottles, GUs, cliff bars, other nurition, sports drinks, a gym membership, tri transition bag, running socks, cycling socks, iPod, GPS, HRM, an understanding spouse ;).
and then, after the basics, comes the wants.
it's so easy to get sucked in. compression socks? compression tights? new bike! it all promises to make you stronger, sleeker, faster. gear reviews bring out my green eyed monster and I Need It All. I'm not so much into what thoseintheknow call bike porn ... I'm too wet behind the ears to know (and really, that's not a bad thing). swimming... well, aside from from what phelps wore (and I'm not sure if I could wear that in a race, although why not?) there's not a whole lot of tech-y swim gear. I have [cheap] goggles that I like, a few suits, and fins. maybe I'll buy padles but that won't set me back too much. it's with running that I go into overdrive. I love running clothes and my Garmin and it's rare that I leave my friendly local running store without spending at least $200.00.
I'm trying not to get caught up in it. I have what I need to be comfortable and safe and feel good. I'm not a pro. Hell, I'm not an AGer. Last year I got second in the First Annual Fells Point Figgy Pudding Run. [that's probably as close as I'll get to winning]. but I don't do it to win (for the post race cookies? yes.)
anyone can go out and buy top of the line everything, can buy a $5K bike and an aero helmet and the CWX tights (want, need) but that doesn't make you faster. it doesn't guarantee you'll place or even finish.
the best gear in the world doesn't hold a candle to 5:30 a.m. swims, 15 mi long runs in the rain, or 60 mi bike rides. it won't compensate for missing workouts or sleeping late. $15 socks will not run themselves.
it's an expensive sport and it's easy to get caught up in the I-need-the-best-of-everything mindset but what's Most Important is consistent, smart training.