Joining a club can help you find like-minded people of varying abilities to train with and learn from.
Training costs come mainly from use of facilities and coaching. Here are a few suggestions you can use to maximize your training while minimizing the costs.
1. Utilize Your Local Club
Clubs often have free organized group training sessions and even free organized races (like the Triathlon Club of San Diego). You can also connect with others looking to organize training as a group.
Club meetings may feature speakers who offer great training advice as well as freebies and raffles of great training gear. Clubs also arrange discounts with local businesses and may have a classifieds section on their website that is a great resource for local used training equipment at good prices.
2. Use Online Resources to Supplement Your Training
These days, there is plenty of great information (including videos) that can explain aspects of training for all levels of competitors. Online training programs for specific events such as a triathlon, 5K, 10K and marathon are available at very low cost, and sometimes even free depending on the level of detail you desire in your program.
3. Workout on Your Own
Aside from using the great (and free!) outdoors for your workouts, find the local public track for your running interval workouts. Community pools usually charge a minimum drop in fee that is cheaper than only going to coached swim practices.
Mix it up. Hit one coached workout every week or two, and in-between do your workout on your own. It's a good idea to have your workout planned in advance so you don't just show up at the pool or track and lose motivation.
4. Find a Fitness Club With Everything
Not all gyms are built to bust the wallet. Gyms, such as LA Fitness and many YMCAs, that offer a pool, treadmills, spin classes, recreational sports leagues, group exercise classes and strength equipment are great one-stop-shop options for a very reasonable cost to benefit ratio.
5. Rent Before You Buy
There are convenient rental services for people who can't or don't want to shell out the money for expensive gear without trying it out first. Wetsuits, race wheels and snowshoes are great examples.
6. Create Your Own Home Gym
There are numerous, cost-effective tools these days that will help enhance your training. The TRX Suspension Training System, mini-bands, jump rope, and Valslides are just a few. Combine those with a few balance exercises on one-leg and plyometrics for an endless variety of workouts.