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Fan's world of triathlon
A relative newcomer to the world of triathlon. No groundbreaking insights, just my thoughts on training, racing and life in general...

Is expensive snazzy kit the equivalent of performance enhancing drugs for amateur triathletes?

fannyjaneby fannyjaneSep 16th 2013
This is something that I found myself pondering today. What set me off was browsing through the October issue of Triathlon Plus magazine. I haven't read it before. The only reason I bought it - and I am about to show off a bit here - is that there are some pictures of me, totally unrecognisable in wetsuit, goggles and swimhat, splashing about in the sea to advertise the benefits of sea swimming. A large part of the magazine is made up of features on product testing all sorts of kit - bikes, running jackets, funky GPS watches - all sorts of gadgets and gizmos. Obviously that's entirely expected and I'm sure a lot of people love reading about the technical specifications of all that stuff and they're clearly who the magazine is aimed at. But it got me thinking... what does it mean to people like me who have just started off in the world of triathlon?

All my kit is either borrowed, second hand or hand-me-downs from kind friends. The only thing I've spent (to me) a lot of money on is a decent pair of trainers. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't afford to spend £100 on a saddle for my bike, let alone several thousand pounds on a bike itself - so does this put me at a disadvantage when it comes to racing? I train as hard and as often as I can. I can see the improvements I make in my run times. I can feel myself getting stronger cycling up hills but when it comes to racing will I lose precious seconds because I haven't got those super quick go-faster rims?

Obviously being lucky enough to afford the good stuff is not illegal. To be honest, maybe I'm just a tiny bit jealous! But I also think it would be a shame if newcomers to the sport, like myself, were put off because they thought they couldn't compete without spending a small fortune on the latest gear. Everyone has to start somewhere and better to get on any old bike and do your best than be put off by feeling that you're not competing on a level playing field. You may end up surprising yourself along the way!
Hannah1234by member: Hannah1234, Nov 16th 2013 00:21
Yes it is, I'm all the gear no idea. Best bit of Tri kit ever is elastic laces a bargain at three quid....
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