All of the mentors I’ve had in life had at least one thing in common; they knew that wisdom is counter-intuitive. It’s counter-intuitive to think about thing you don’t need to succeed.   And then there are the definitions of “need” and “want.”….and only you can define “want” versus “need” in your case.

So, let’s get started….

2nd Day of Christmas….Two Things You DON’T NEED.

You DON’T NEED a really nice bike. In fact, you DON’T NEED a time-trial (TT) bike with aero-bars. What you do need to do is figure out your goals for triathlon and then get gear that helps you meet those goals. If winning the Ironman World Championships is one of your goals, well…ok…then you probably need a really sweet $10,000 bike.  If you want to enjoy the effects of triathlon training…better mood, better physique, lower cholesterol, and all those things….a bike can’t help with those things.  Take a year or two beforel you go big-spender on the bike, and you’ll be much smarter about what you want and what you should get.  I didn’t wait, and I now have a bike I’m not completely happy with (although it fits exactly what I wanted…basic TT bike).

If you already have a mountain bike, then look for Xterra races in your area. If you already have a road bike, then spend your money on better things like  a wetsuit, pool membership, and such. For most people, time and money spent on taking ten minutes off our time should be spent on the swim.

You DON’T NEED all the supplements that the marketing guys and gals throw at you. Yes, I just did a post about Hammer Nutrition and all the great things that will do for you, but re-read it and you’ll see several mentions about how I minimize their intake. Like the bike, they are really expensive and might not directly help you meet your goals. My annual budget for supplements is about $70-$100 (a bag of protein mix, a bag of Recoverite, a couple bottles of gel, and a few individual servings of HEED), and I think that is almost excessive.  I save alot of the individual serving items from races and use those during breakthrough training sessions. This is all for what I consider a fairly competitive season.  You can get all the nutrition you need (and get from supplements) from stuff likely already in your kitchen.