Doing practically any kind of sport has gone a long way from simple beginnings that involved relying on bare essentials and testing your unaided stamina to a much advanced phase of inviting technology to assist and improve performance. It is not only team sports, like soccer or basketball, that have become commercial enterprises, attracting millions of dollars in advertising contracts, sold merchandise and endorsement deals. And it is not only professional athletes who are steeped in this hi-tech, money-mad approach to physical exertion. Amateurs across the sport world are increasingly buying into the idea that workout has to mean considerable investment, be it in equipment, apparel or venues. Triathlon, despite combining three rather uncomplicated disciplines, has evolved over time into an industry of sorts that consumes substantial budgets. Its lovers, who are by the way dominated as a group by middle-aged, high-income men, are ready to expend considerable resources to achieve their goal of completing the race in the shortest time possible. This commercialization is often seen as inevitable, but in fact it is anything but that. Here are a few ideas that can take this sport back to its purer inception days.
One. Do it yourself whenever you think you can.
Of course, it is convenient to have a steady supply of energy drinks and power bars at your disposal, but the cost of this convenience can be quite steep, to say nothing of losing the opportunity to exert greater control over things you eat and drink. With a selection of ingredients that can be easily found in most kitchens, or every corner shop for that matter, you can make fantastic refreshment and replenishment products on your own. Mixing water, orange juice and a pinch of salt can energize you as well as brand names for a fraction of the cost. You can also make milkshakes after the race and bake low-fat flapjacks to avoid spending too much.
Two. Do not be seduced to possess too many aids.
To be or to have is a common question that can be paraphrased in the context of sport as to do or to have, especially with athletes who seem too eager to invest in support tools. Of course, you need a bike, but there is no reason to go insane with improvements, like trying to make it lighter by going hi-tech. Instead, why not take away several parts that contribute nothing to the comfort of your ride, for example mud or chain guards, or peel off the paint from your frame. You can make similar saving by resisting to possess every single piece of triathlon gear that appears on the market. The pressure on performance is so strong in endurance racing, including in amateur competitions, as can be seen in every other free press release from kit producers, that athletes tend to switch attention from the core of the competition, which is their bodily form and psychological strength. There is more to gain in terms of results from focusing back on this department than burning more cash.