Unlike other sports, such as biking and Crossfit, running is a low-cost, low-maintenance sport that requires no expensive gear or hefty class fees. In fact, it’s one of the most convenient of all sports.
That said, I’ll be lying to you if I said that running is completely free.
In fact, as you start training more and taking the sport more seriously, you’ll find yourself burning through more than a pair of shoes per season.
You’ll also need new running shorts, shirts, and maybe some cold weather running gear.
And if you really want to take your training to the next level, you’ll also need some high-tech gadgets, such as a heart rate monitor or a sports watch.
And don’t get me started on races, as entry fees can empty your wallet faster than a four-minute mile.
Would you like to learn about a few tricks to help you keep your running costs (no pun intended) low?
Then keep on reading.
In this article, I’m going to share with you my best tips on how to get the best running gear, shoes, accessories, and races without having it make a dent in your bank balance.
Let’s get started.
Get The Best Deal
With a pair of running shoes costing 90-120$, expenses can add up really fast when it comes to running gear.
As a general rule, you’ll need a new pair of shoes every 400 to 500 miles. So if you ran 30 miles per week, you’d be burning through at least three pairs a year. That’s more than $300 dollars on shoes alone per year.
Proper running clothing costs money, too.
How much gear you need likely depends on how often you train. If you exercise all year round, you’ll need a mix of summer and winter running clothing.
The following steps should help keep your running gear costs at bay:
Buy During Sales
To save money on shoes, buy them during major sales (you have to wait for them or go to a warehouse store) or online (by searching for the best deals). Also, some reputable sports brands may slash the price of previous season shoes at the onset of a new year, making it the perfect time to hunt for new shoes.
Check other colors
When choosing a certain shoe model, check in on other colors/styles, as some colors might be drastically cheaper than others.
Shop at Non-Specialty Stores
For the best deals on workout clothing, steer clear of high-end athletic wear stores. Instead, shop at other stores such as TJ Maxx, Baleaf, Target, and H&M. all of these stores offer great quality workout gear at an affordable
Take Care Of Your Running Shoes
The average running shoe lifespan is roughly 400 to 500 miles, depending on various factors such as your body weight, running style, intensity, and shoe model itself.
In other words, you’ll need to get a new pair every few months, and this can definitely take a toll on your bank account.
Fortunately, there are a few measures you can take right now to make sure that your sneakers last you as long as possible.
Let’s discuss a few.
Keep them To the Running:
Do not use your running shoes for any other activity other than running. Gym, grocery trips, and all the walking around add to the mileage. Even if you’re just walking around in them, you’re still wearing out the support and cushioning.
As the first line of contact, your shoes can take quite a beating. Cleaning your sneakers is something you should be doing at least once a week or after any rainy, muddy run
You should also avoid throwing them in a washing machine, drying machine, or near a radiator. Instead, wash your running shoes manually, then let them air dry.
Take them Off Properly
Instead of using your foot to kick the shoes off, make sure to untie and loosen the laces before removing your shoes.
Forcing your feet out may put a lot of pressure on the laces and heel collar, which force them to stretch out and lose their shape.
Keeping your shoes in the trunk of your car or exposed to direct sunlight is another way to break them down sooner.
Instead, keep your shoes in a dry, cool place away from a heater or the trunk of your car.
If your shoes are wet, you can speed up the drying process by stuffing them with balls of newspaper to absorb the moisture.
Save Money On Running Nutrition
Gel packets, protein powders, energy bars, and supplements work well for sustaining your training caloric needs but can also be expensive.
Fortunately, there are some ways to help you save money on different running nutrition essentials.
Make your own:
You don’t have to buy every single protein bar. In fact, you can make your own and, in the process, save a lot of money.
Check out this YouTube Tutorial.
Buy in bulk:
By far, your diet should be the main source of calories and nutrients, so keeping certain foods on hand is the way to go.
The best way to save money on food is to buy in bulk.
The main items include:
- Chicken breasts
- Canned tuna
- Frozen vegetables
- Beans and lentils
- Nuts & seeds
- Dried fruits
Stay Injury Free
Medical bills stack up quickly when dealing with an injury.
And nobody’s immune
In fact, run long enough, and you’ll sooner or later get hurt. Depending on your injury and insurance converge, the cost of the recovery can be extremely high.
To avoid falling into the trap of injury, do the following:
Listen to your body:
Your body is your best coach. It’ll tell you when to keep going and when to stop. You just have to be willing to listen.
Make it a rule to never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent from one week to the next.
Stretch & foam roll:
Doing mobility work regularly helps protect your body against common injury by improving your range of motion and making your muscles more supple.
Especially strength and non weight bearing training, as research has shown that keeping regular resistance training helps runners avoid injury.
For more, check these posts:
- Post 1
- Post 2
- Post 3
Save Money On Races
Although you might have no intention to start racing anytime soon, chances are you might see in the future.
The following measures should help keep your racing costs at a minimum.
Sign Up Early
The best way to save money on racing fees is to sign up as early as possible. Most events offer early bird pricing.
Be A Member
If racing is important for you, join an affiliated running club. By doing so, you might take advantage of the occasional discounted or free race entry. It might not be a lot, but again, your money-saving efforts do add up in the long haul.
While travel can be fun, the cost of transportation, hotels, meals can be more expensive than the race itself.
Instead of wasting money on hosting, save both money and time by running races closer to home. By sticking to local, often smaller, races, you’ll find the registration fees to be relatively cheaper.
Still keen on going to the race three hours flight away? Then I’d recommend that you combine your races with vacation—destination races.
Two birds. One stone.
There you have it! If you’re looking to save money while running, today’s measures and tips should help you get started on the right foot. The rest is just details.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
Keep training strong