» Tips for Saving Money on Running

Tips for Saving Money on Running

June 17, 2012 | Steven McElwee

I started running with the idea that it must be the least expensive way to get in shape. After all, all you need is a place to run. It should be free. Right?

It was not long before I found out that I needed better sneakers to support my feet. Then I found that I needed moisture wicking clothes to prevent chafing. Next, it was moisture wicking socks to prevent blisters. Finally, as it became colder outside, I found that I needed winter gear. It all adds up very quickly. Before I realized it, I had spent hundreds of dollars on my “free” fitness.

Over the past year, I learned several tips for saving money and have put them into practice.

1. Buy only what is needed

There are a lot of things that you can buy for running. To save money, stick with the essentials to get started. Most important is a good pair of running sneakers that were selected based on a gait analysis at a running shop. To keep your feet from blistering, you need moisture wicking socks – available at any sporting goods store and several discount retailers. You don’t need anything more until you get up to long distances, when you will want to consider moisture-wicking clothes. A watch is optional too. You don’t have to time yourself all of the time. If you feel you must, buy an inexpensive watch with a split timer. Anything else is a luxury that you can avoid to save money.

2. Avoid top name brand clothing

Top brand name clothing like Under Armor and Nike are expensive. They are also very high in quality. If you are just getting started, you may not need the quality of these name brands. Instead, try Adidas or Champion. They are much less expensive and still look and feel great.

3. Take care of your sneakers

You probably found that good running sneakers are expensive. Don’t skimp on quality, but protect your investment. The more you run, walk, or use your sneakers, the less support they will provide for your feet. Only wear your running sneakers for running. You will get much longer life from them. Buy a less expensive pair of sneakers for everyday footwear.

4. Hand wash clothing between runs

If you run several days each week, you will quickly run out of clothing. You can save money by only buying one or two sets of running clothes. After each run, hand wash your clothing in a sink or bucket, using mild soap, and hang to dry. Moisture wicking clothing dries fairly quickly, so it will be ready for you by your next run.

5. Save on races

If you save money using the tips above, you may still find yourself spending too much money on races. To save money on races, look for opportunities to save in early bird registration. You can also limit the number of races and focus instead on your training. Some races cost less than others. Look for the occasional free race and enter it.

Hope these tips were helpful for you. They have been working well for me for the past year. What other tips do you have for runners to save money.

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