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Is your frugality affecting your race results?
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This place does a great job of breaking down the impacts of various equipment on aerodynamics, rolling resistance, or weight, but what about the broader impacts on life stress?

We all make sacrifices to participate in sports but performing at higher levels can require going above an beyond what is needed at the recreational level.
Ever stay at a shitty hotel by the train tracks because it was actually affordable?
Late night, long drives, or last minute travel instead of taking extra time off of work? I hit a deer while making an early morning drive when I could have taken a day off. Of course the insurance deductible is almost less $ than the vacation day.
Push the longevity of those tires, running shoes, clothing, drive train, etc (what crack?)... just a little too far and have issues during an important race or training session?

Any tips or interesting stories? for instance, I'm not a great sleeper so I don't really get a lot of value out of expensive hotels, so I camp for all of the races I do in the summer, and I splurged on a sleeping pad. Has keeping spending at a more sustainable level allowed you to stick with the sport (and ultimately spend way more money!) than just merely being one and done?
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [pknight] [ In reply to ]
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I would posit that spendiness rather than frugality affects more peoples race results. They spend on some piece of equipment thinking it will help them more than it really does. People focus more more mental energy on what they can buy vs the training that really matters.
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [pknight] [ In reply to ]
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Yes absolutely. If a race is within 3 hours I drive morning of. Usually after a real shitty pre-race night of sleep cut short by a 3:30 or 4:00 AM alarm clock. If that doesn't affect your performance I don't know what will. But if you stay at the town hosting the race, you deal with hotel checkout, finding food for dinner/breakfast, and of course the expense. We don't have enough $ to me to add $150-200 onto a race entry. I've done the camping thing where available and yeah that $aves a lot. Still have to get up at the crack of dawn and tear down your tent, often in the dark.

Equipment-wise, yeah because I refuse to buy a 2nd bike and I only have a roadie. But no, I won't let parts get to a dangerously worn level it's not worth it. But sure, no I'm not in great aero position even with clip-ons. Regular old helmet and Al climbing rims. I did go with a full sleeve wetsuit and make sure I have good running shoes. But no fancy bells and whistles, no. No power, no GPS other than phone app. If that makes me slower so be it. It's just a hobby and last I checked no matter how good I am as a (usually) FOP'er AG'er they aren't paying me for my results. But it's fun and keeps me in shape. Got better things to save $ for.
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [pknight] [ In reply to ]
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I have slept in the truck more times than not.

Air mattress in the bed. Bike in the cab. Usually sleep pretty well too. Bring a tarp just in case it rains.
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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I've built a sleeping platform in the back of our Ford Escape for this very reason. Well, not just for races, we use it for driving vacations too, but it's a real mattress with a queen length and width of a full with plenty of headroom and space under the bed to store gear. I sleep like a baby in there. Wife and I have lived in there for weeks at a time.

I was too cheap to stay in a hotel and don't sleep nearly as well in sleeping bags, so this was a low cost solution.
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [ripple] [ In reply to ]
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I have the same 3-hour rule of "driving the morning of." I break that rule if there is campground really close to the race site. Many of the races I do are held at public parks on lakes or rivers, and that's also where campgrounds seem to be. If pitching a tent for $15 a night allows me to catch a few more hours of sleep, I'll go that route every time. Between tenting, bringing my own food, and buying most of bike parts used, I save a ton of money...which means I get to race more often. I'm not always a penny pincher. Sometimes I'll live like a king and spend an extra 5 bucks to get a tent site with an electrical hookup. That way, I can run a fan to keep cool and charge my phone. At $15, I'll even pay for an extra night so I can leave the tent up in the morning and deal with it in the afternoon (after the race).

There's a medium sized, well-run half-distance race (USAT but not WTC with about 500 participants) next July that I've already registered for. Earlybird entry fee was $65. Two nights in a tent pitched three minutes from transition will be $30. I'll spend $50 in gas and another $10 on a loaf of bread, some sliced meat, and some marshmallows (cause ya gotta have those when you're camping). That's about $150 in total expenses for the whole weekend. Yeah, I'm frugal. But, I'm not there to see the sights or experience the 'fantastic restaurants.' I'm there to race, and it's not like I'd race any faster if spent $125 per night to stay in a hotel.
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [pknight] [ In reply to ]
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I race a fair bit and try to be moderate with spending. I don't stay in a POS hotel, but I definitely don't need a 5 star room. I'm single and I have no problems splitting a room with two doubles but am not doubling up in a bed with some other person and going 4 deep in a room just to save money. If I can get up at 4-4:30 am in the morning and drive to the race in plenty of time, I'm fine with that. Otherwise I'd rather drive up the day before just to save money.

I guess for running races I'm more likely to drive an hour or two morning off, but for a triathlon I like to get there the night before and make sure I have all my stuff in order. I race mostly HIM+ so probably only race 4 to 5 times a year and I don't mind spending an extra $100 to make sure I have everything in line. If I was racing a sprint/oly in driving distance every other weekend and doing 10-15 a year I'd probably take a different approach.

I signed up for IMFL for 2019 and the main selling point was that I'd be able to stay at a friend's beach house down the road and not have to worry about lodging.
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [endosch2] [ In reply to ]
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Thus, the $1200 wetsuit...

#swimmingmatters
Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.
The Doctor (#12)

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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [pknight] [ In reply to ]
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I went to Lausanne 2006, for less than $400..
free airline ticket using miles, but that routed me Denver - Houston - NY - Frankfurt.
of course the Houston flight was late, ended up spending a day in NY waiting for the next flight. Airline paid for the hotel room, but it wasn't optimal race prep..
Drove from Frankfurt to Lausanne, cheap rental Corolla, nearly didn't make race checkin, bit stressful.
Camped at Camping Vidy, generally was fine, but the night before the race they had live music loud until midnight.. again not optimal.

OTOH it probably didn't affect my results, 55th in AG, maybe I could have moved all the way up to 49th ?
;-)

I don't do races that are beyond morning-of driving distance. Five exceptions in thirty years:
- drove a day to Kansas for Nationals 2006, hotel with family.
- Lausanne, camped.
- drove a day to Kansas for a regional qualifier for Worlds 2007, camped. Finished second in AG but needed a win to qualify, pfui.
- flew and used hotel in Arkansas for Nationals 2009 - too hot and wet for camping.
- flew and used hotel for Budapest 2010. Too wet for camping, Danube was in flood..

cheaping out on tires, wheels or drivetrain isn't frugality though, that's just silly/dangerous..
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [Signal8] [ In reply to ]
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Yea I often find that in the scope of a race weekend, the entry fee for a shorter race will be dwarfed by transportation and accommodation costs (and sometimes broken equipement). I'm not on a tight budget, it can just be difficult to justify the costs vs. going on a bike trip for the fun of it and maybe going after a couple of strava segments.

I propose another question: Anyone who is declining from their prime due to injury, aging, or life circumstances or even those aging into a more competitive age group, do you regret not splurging more on races, coaching, equipment during those prime years?
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [ In reply to ]
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Is your frugality affecting your race results?



Not nearly as much as my inability to quit eating sugar. :-(
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [wcb] [ In reply to ]
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wcb wrote:

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Is your frugality affecting your race results?

Not nearly as much as my inability to quit eating sugar. :-(
Similar, but in may case, my ability to get off the couch, or stop getting injured.
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [pknight] [ In reply to ]
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Use the 3-hour drive rule here too. Earliest departure was 2:30am for a 6am start time in the middle of the summer in Arizona.

Took racecations with the family before there was a name for them. Amazing what the kids remembered as fun: sleeping four to a room with one bed, eating out splitting a pizza 4-ways, playing in the sand & water on the morning of a race, and squeezing into a car with a limit of one bag for them, while the racer bought as many as needed for race equipment. And really special were the all day races when the kids were more tired than the parental racer themselves giving High 5's to everyone with ever lasting smiles.

I'm still racing a road bike with tri bars bought back in 1995 that was upgraded with used tri spoke wheels bought at the same time. Only the tires and bar taped have ever been replaced.

Learned how to dismantle a bike putting it in bags, suitcases, and mislabeled boxes to fly free. Never paid to a tri specific transport either. Also learned dismantling and re-assembling the bike the hard way. Every part needed to be packed (left pedals at home once, cost more to replace them at the race than airfare). Every nut, washer, and big bike part needed to go back in its exact position (gear shift wire not slotted properly). Also that all nuts had to be tighten properly (at one race I asked over 100 racers as they passed me on the bike if they had Allen wrench so I could tighten down loose handlebars. None did!) And that you needed to put the seat and handlebars back in the proper position or experience some gawd awful muscle cramps (well sometimes the cramps occurred even when getting this one right).

Did any of this affect race results? Never cost me placing money because I was never a pro. Never sponsored, so place and appearance didn't matter on those results. I might of missed some ranking points here or there or a different number/color on a medal or plague. But the kids remember that some of the neatest places they ever traveled to were for races. They can name the place and fun but never remember the difference between the nicer meals and hotels. It's really all about the journey.

https://www.palmtreesahead.com/tactical-learning
https://www.palmtreesahead.com/today-s-tip-tomorrow-s-workout


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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [pknight] [ In reply to ]
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Not really. I’m lucky to have a lot of races around an hour from my house so lodging isn’t an issue.

My biggest limiter is being too lazy to get up in the morning. I always end up cutting my workouts short at night for whatever excuse I can conjure up.
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [Parkland] [ In reply to ]
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Trying to save money and a pissed off wife I didn’t get to Marion for AOMM till almost midnight and stayed at a crappy place.

Pair that with awaking at 5ish to eat and no breakfast open yet at hotel....was shitty.

Then doing 103mi and 11.5k feet and driving immediately home.

Lovely.
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [djmsbr] [ In reply to ]
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djmsbr wrote:
I'm still racing a road bike with tri bars bought back in 1995 that was upgraded with used tri spoke wheels bought at the same time. Only the tires and bar taped have ever been replaced.

My used 2002 Cervelo P3 that I bought in 2009 for $250 (frame only, built up with random Ebay/Craigslist parts) has served me well but I do wonder what the latest super bike would do for me. If I could afford it, which I can't.
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [pknight] [ In reply to ]
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Here's some of my tips:
  • Air BNB and VRBO.com have been great. I tried sharing places and that was a train wreck. I go for the entire place and I'll trade 10 or 15 mile drives for price.
  • I travel work work once a month. Try and stick with one airline, one hotel chain, one car rental place and earn rewards and use for your travel. Don't use priceline or other sites for work travel if you can.
  • Ebay has been great for items like speed suits and misc gear. Black Friday deals I load up for the year on gear.

BUT, I have found that things like run shoes, bike shoes, clothing and other items are better new, sales, or clearance. Used typically did not work out.
I have driven a LOT to races. Take my own food or get food from grocery stores. Avoid eating out. Save on taking your gear in your car.
Don't by the hype you need aero helmets, aero wheels, latest tri bike, compression gear, etc. If you have the cash, great. If you don't, spend energy training than trying to find the best deal for something that may get you 2 minutes over a 70.3.

Here's a big one. Travel alone or share rides with other people headed your way. Find a local group and share costs if you can.
As much as I want my wife and kids to be at the race, kdis are too young to really be self sufficient so my wife spends more energy managing them than paying attention to the race. We came to the conclusion that while I love this sport, it's better energy and cost wise to leave the fam at home. No matter how frugal you try and get, a 2 year old doesn't care and can upend a trip.

Ryan
http://www.SetThePaceTriathlon.com
http://www.TriathlonTrainingDaddy.com
https://setthepacetriathlon.com/offseason2019b - sign up for my off season webinar
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [Gtjojo189] [ In reply to ]
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Gtjojo189 wrote:
I race a fair bit and try to be moderate with spending. I don't stay in a POS hotel, but I definitely don't need a 5 star room. I'm single and I have no problems splitting a room with two doubles but am not doubling up in a bed with some other person and going 4 deep in a room just to save money. If I can get up at 4-4:30 am in the morning and drive to the race in plenty of time, I'm fine with that. Otherwise I'd rather drive up the day before just to save money.

I guess for running races I'm more likely to drive an hour or two morning off, but for a triathlon I like to get there the night before and make sure I have all my stuff in order. I race mostly HIM+ so probably only race 4 to 5 times a year and I don't mind spending an extra $100 to make sure I have everything in line. If I was racing a sprint/oly in driving distance every other weekend and doing 10-15 a year I'd probably take a different approach.

I signed up for IMFL for 2019 and the main selling point was that I'd be able to stay at a friend's beach house down the road and not have to worry about lodging.

haha this reminds me of when I did rodeo. We would bunk in a POS hotel and be 4 dudes deep in a king bed. Think of the rodeo movies - yea it is a real thing haha
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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I work a minimum wage job. If I need to fly out for a race, I rent a car and sleep in it, with my wife who usually also races. Running race = compact car, tri = small SUV rental.

As for my bike (got it for free being hit by a car) - it was built up over the years, gathering parts for free to real low cost. The feeling of beating people on their super bikes who slept in 5 star hotel = priceless!


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
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Re: Is your frugality affecting your race results? [pknight] [ In reply to ]
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Frugality is what keeps me from even paying the entry fee / 1 day license / active.com fees. So I would say budget is keeping me from even entering races.
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