Ironman Costs What?


Not Far From What I Ate The Next Morning After Ironman Texas

Racing Ironman costs quite a bit of money.  I’m not just talking about the registration fee of $600+.  I’m not talking about the cost of the bike, the helmet, the cycling shoes, the running shoes, the wetsuit, the travel costs as that alone is a lot.  What I’m talking about is what it costs to Feed An Ironman.

We consume calories like most people breathe.  We need to fuel our swims, our rides and our runs.  We need to recover from said training.  There are the late night sneak attacks on the pantry.  There is the breakfast order of eggs, waffles, pancakes and two sides of toast.  If you are not swimming, cycling or running you are stuffing your face hole.  Sleep?  That falls in line as the 5th item that an Ironman or Ironman in training needs.  We are awake for 17-18 hours and you are training or eating to train or recover.

With that in mind I had exchanged emails with Summer Bailey who is training for her first Ironman, which will take place in November at Ironman Florida.  We were discussing training and proper fueling / hydration for the 140.6 mile race.  From there we were talking about all the food we eat and whether or not it would be cheaper for a vegetarian versus a carnivore.

With that as way of background I am bringing you Feeding An Ironman.  We will go over the costs and what that resulted in terms of food, supplements, training products, etc.

Week 1 of Ironman Arizona was last week and I spent a total of $215.71 on feeding my passion.  The dollars break down as follows: $89.06 for groceries, $111.21 for supplements and training items and lastly $15 for eating out.

The $89.06 netted me nearly 7 bags of groceries.  I had bananas, brussels sprouts, red cabbage, coconut milk, etc.  Just about everything I would need for nearly two weeks worth of cooking.  I made my favorites which include veggie tacos (homemade tortillas of course), veggie stir fry (also the quinoa version), quinoa and roasted vegetables, quinoa and chickpea veggie burger (recipe here) and the always on hand oatmeal and almond butter (homemade of course) and jelly sandwiches.

The $111.21 garnered me items for my smoothies but most importantly netted me the items I need for being on the bike for hours on end.  Lastly, the $15 for eating out is part of a networking group I attend and is the only time I ate out all week.

I am very happy that this bill is not bigger but we are still in the base building phase and when we hit peak phase that amount is sure to jump.

What Do You Think It Would Cost Weekly To Feed An Ironman?

Thank you for reading.

— If you are the owner of the picture on the cover page please let me know.  I tried finding it again so I could give proper credit but can’t find it anymore.

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  1. BDD says:

    I remember having breakfast with you after Ironman Texas, being twice as big as you, you ate 4x’s the amount of food I did, I was amazed. I even had to chuckle when the waitress had to come back and confirm all the food you ordered. Up here in Ohio, now that the outdoors training is in full effect, I find myself starving all the time. Good post.
    BDD recently posted..Flag City Multisport Festival Olympic Triathlon ReportMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      Haha. We had no room on the table so I told her to just put the waffle on top of the pancake. It was al going to the same spot so why not,

      With the summer training I have a feeling that the consumption is going to go up quickly too.

      • The day after we raced IMFL, my friends and I found an all you can eat place. We put on such a clinic that I think there may be our picture near the front door not to let us in again.

        They definitely lost big bucks on us.

  2. misszippy says:

    Yep, it is not a cheap sport in any way, shape or form. It’s my only pet peeve about it–it makes it prohibitively expensive for many people. But anyhow–on the food issue (not talking cost) I will say that I think IM ruined me forever in that I increased my caloric intake back then and not sure I’ve ever brought it back down to where it should be! ; )
    misszippy recently posted..(Mostly) Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  3. Triathlon costs baffle me. I cannot even fathom spending $5000 on a bike, $600 on race entries. Honestly I felt like I spent way too much at Boston when my total bills ended up being around $1800. I have no idea how the young college grads balance triathlon costs.

  4. Jeff Irvin says:

    The worst part is when you are NOT training for an IM and still are starving all the time!

    Yep, this stuff is expensive and the food is just one part of the myriad of costs.

    You’re costs for food look actually pretty decent.
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Things of Interest …My Profile

  5. Feeding the ironman is a huge cost! The ironman registration should come with an automatic sponsorship from Gu. Right there with you man. Try pricing a fruititarian diet. it’s insane. Pair all fresh seasonal fruit with an ironman training appetite and you’ve got a recipe for the poor house.
    Carolina John recently posted..Gluten Free SucksMy Profile

  6. I know exactly what an ironman eats. I googled it.
    Shut Up and Run recently posted..Want to Run Effortlessly and Injury Free? Chi Running Might Be for You.My Profile

  7. Natasha says:

    Yes it is getting so expensive to do these races and now I hadn’t even thought of considering some of the things you mentioned, like gels etc. I am still glad I do it in the future I may just consider doing smaller races that are less expensive b/c they don’t have the famous name… But that is why I am stuck doing the same IM I did last time b/c I had to be able to drive to it.
    Natasha recently posted..So that happened…My Profile

  8. Kevin says:

    Don’t forget about the cost to your life that all this endurance training is eating away. It is a miracle you are still alive! haha :)
    Kevin recently posted..Race Report: Grand Rapids TriathlonMy Profile

  9. Jill says:

    What supplements do you take? (email me when you can, I don’t subscribe to followup comments cuz I’m too lazy to come back :)). Did I ever tell you I wanted to reg for a full Ironman when I turn 50? That’d be next April.
    Jill recently posted..No Beaching… but a Little RacingMy Profile

  10. Chuck says:

    Whoa, it costs $600??

  11. Matt Oravec says:

    This is exactly what I was telling you months ago about eating healthy being expensive… I guess I meant eating the AMOUNT of food we eat as endurance athletes is expensive ;)

    Just keep fueling the machine.
    Matt Oravec recently posted..Funny StoryMy Profile

    • CTER says:

      It is definitely the quantity but I think you’ll agree that spending $ on healthy eats is better than spending $ on diabetes medication.

  12. katie says:

    we’ve been spending about $150 a week average lately. sigh.
    katie recently posted..three things thursdayMy Profile

  13. lindsay says:

    so it sounds like these costs are for more than 1 week of training? which is slightly helpful. but still, sheesh!! however, better to eat healthy than crap! medical bills would assuredly be MUCH more.
    lindsay recently posted..welcome backMy Profile

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