Save on: The Race
You may be dreaming of conquering Kona, but that doesn't mean you have to head to Hawaii for your first tri. Get a feel for racing by signing up for nearby event at first. Not only do smaller races typically offer lower entry fees, but by staying local you'll eliminate travel costs.
Plus, with less pressure (and less people), you'll have more fun while allowing yourself to make—and learn from—rookie mistakes well before your "A" race.
Splurge on: The Race Kit
The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable out there while you're swimming, biking and running. That's why it's best to invest in some top-tier race gear like a tri suit—a one piece outfit you can wear in all three disciplines.
Look for key components like rear pockets (to stash your gels in), a not-too-bulky chamois (to keep you comfy on the bike), and leg grippers (so the suit stays in place). Whatever you wind up wearing, go for wicking, breathable material to keep you cool and prevent chafing so you look sharp—and feel great—on race day.
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