A blog by runners. For runners.

Running on a budget, part II

Running on a budget, part 2My very first article for this blog was all about running on a budget. Well, it’s been more than a year – and I have even more tips for you frugally minded walkers and runners. The best thing about our sport is that we can do it pretty much anywhere, any time, and with minimal equipment. Still, the costs add up. Here are some more tips to keep your waistline trim and your wallet happy.

  1. Shop smart. Skip the specialty stores for running gear and extras and head to where the discounts are. I find most of my running tops and bottoms at TJ. Maxx and Marshall’s, Target, and even thrift stores. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t support your local shop, but if money is tight and you need to keep moving, you can pick up the basics on a dime if you take some time to browse around and price-compare.
  2. Off-season thinking. Along these same lines, you can shop for next year’s summer running duds today. Lots of stores are putting their warm weather clothing on clearance, and you can find some deep deals if you just think ahead. The same goes for whatever season you’re in: If you see a bunch of stuff at rock-bottom prices, don’t dismiss it just because you can’t wear it right away. Note: It’s helpful to create a list of needs so you don’t go overboard whenever you’re shopping.
  3. Cross-train at home. You don’t need a gym membership to supplement your running. If you’re into cross-training, do it from your living room with YouTube videos, your dusty exercise DVD collection, and even simple bodyweight exercises. Here’s a great list of some at-home exercises that give you a gym-quality workout for free.
  4. Make your fuel. Week after week, those energy drinks and gels add up — don’t they? Take matters into your own two hands by trying some DIY recipes in your own kitchen. We have some ideas to get you started: Here’s how to make your own energy drinks, no-baked energy bars, as well as some of my new favorite sport recipes.
  5. Budget it. Give yourself a monthly or yearly running budget and keep tally of how much you spend on the sport. Enter anything from race fees, club dues, shoe costs, transportation, and more. This tip might not save you money necessarily, but it will give you a better handle on how much you’re spending if things get out of control.
  6. Use gifts wisely. Do you ever get a little cash or maybe gift cards for birthdays or holidays? If running is particularly important to you, consider specifically allocating some of these funds to your habit. You can keep cash in a jar for race fees or suggest certain stores for gift cards where you find most of your gear. Sometimes people have trouble knowing what to gift anyway – they might appreciate a little direction.
  7. Avoid injury. Another sneaky way running costs us? Doctor bills for appointment or PT sessions. Of course, we cannot always help getting hurt, but if you feel a nagging pain – don’t ignore it. There are some telltale signs that aches and pains might turn into more, so here are six simple ways to stay injury-free.

Written by Ashley Marcin.