Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Running on a Budget

Everyone who doesn't run has always told me that running is the cheapest sport. And while it's not exorbitantly expensive, like figure skating or skiing, I found that running does get expensive. I am not the most frugal person, but I get a serious case of buyer's remorse, so I try to cut back on some of the costs. And here are some of the things that I've thought about.

1. Compression Socks. I WANT!!! However, they do run up quite the coast. At least the ones that I've found have been upwards of $30. If anyone knows of cheaper ones, please share. Additionally, when I read blogs of some serious runners, they have compression shorts for the thighs, compression shirts, compression everything! So being the cheap/poor college student, I've started wearing my tightest jeans whenever I feel that I need to recover.
Clearly this is me. Nevermind that I actually don't own a pair of skinny jeans. But I like to pretend I look like this in my jeans. 
Verdict: To be seen. I really can't give an informed verdict until I get actual compression socks. But after races, when my legs are especially sore, an Advil does do the trick.

2. Good pair of running shoes These babies can cost about $100 dollars give or take twenty dollars, which is still more than I used to spend on running shoes. I used to get the sale sneakers with the cutest color. And for me, it wasn't too bad. However, when I seriously started training, I went to a specialty running store and got fitted for a pair, because that's what everyone else was doing.
Cleaner version of my current running shoes. I totally picked it because Ghost sounded cool. 
Verdict: It wasn't a necessity for me until I got into serious training. And even then, I am not sure, because I didn't attempt to run in non specialty sneakers for 25-30miles weeks. I'd probably continue buying specialty running shoes, because that's what everyone else does. And they've been doing it longer. 

3. Sports Massage I probably will never shell out my money for a painful massage. Maybe a relaxing one next to a pool, but probably not a hardcore sports massage. I just bought a $25 foam roller to work out my sore spots. It's just as painful but much cheaper especially since I don't see it breaking anytime soon. I am not even sure if it can break unless I try to cut it in half with a saw. 
Verdict: I will stick with my foam roller. But again I haven't tried a sports massage. 

4. Races I can't imagine not running races, so I will continue to pay the fees for a bib and a shirt. Although, since it is costly, I would probably keep on running cheaper local races unless there's a special occasion (birthday). 
Look, a bib, a shirt, and free water. And spectators next to me. Totally worth the $20. 
Verdict: I refuse to give it up. 

5. Fueling I've stopped spending money on energy gel things. I found that for a distance up to the half, I don't need any.
Verdict: I don't need them. But maybe I'll run faster if I do take in some fuel during a run?  

6. Garmin A must for me. It's the most expensive item, other than my laptop, that I own in my room. But I am obsessed with the numbers. Maybe too obsessed. But it saves me time from having to map out my route beforehand and time=money. Therefore, I've paid off for my garmin by now with increased time? I'm just going to believe that because it makes me feel better about the cost of a garmin. 
Verdict: Most important thing i have. 

What are some of you guys' methods for saving money? What things are a necessity for you when you're running? 
This makes me feel totally hardcore. And it's so true. 


  1. For fueling, you can use candy and it works just the same. Regular jelly beans are cheap.

    For compression, try writing to smaller companies and ask to review their product for your running blog. :)

  2. In terms of racing, Mike and I try to register as early as possible. I really hate to register for a race after the price has already gone up!

    Mike's mom is a VIP member through some online running shoe stores and that helps her save some money. We actually just bought our new shoes (even though mine are on back order, boo!) and the total cost for two pairs was a little over $100!

  3. I am also a student still so I have a few suggestions! Try runningwarehouse.com or 6pm.com for less expensive running gear. They are usually significantly discounted and I've ordered from both, so I can vouch for how legit they are. I prefer runningwarehouse because they have free shipping and also free return shipping if you don't like something you ordered. Also-for compression socks-check out schwaggle.com :http://schwaggle.active.com/deal/3612/50-percent-off-pair-of-zensah-compression-socks-plus-free-shipping/national?cmp=24-3-10252011-3809 right away for a compression sock deal! Half off! And lastly, if you order from running warehouse, first go to Skinny Runner's blog: skinnyrunner.com for a discount code :) Hope this helps!

  4. Thanks for playing along at JoannaRuns! And yeah, running is not particularly cheap! Although it is cheaper than most sports, I suppose, and is WAY cheaper than a gym membership.

  5. It's so hard to not spend money on running. Before I buy any running related items, I always give myself a week or so to think about the purchase before I commit to it. By then a bill or two has passed in front of my eyes so I end up with some clearer judgment, lol!