7 Simple Ways to Save Money on Running
It’s the New Year and you’ve set a goal to lose that holiday weight. You throw on an old cotton t-shirt and your trusty (RE: old) pair of sneakers that have taken you through years of running and head out for a run. Weeks go by and your new healthy habit has been formed. You realize the time has come to shop for a new pair of sneakers and some workout clothes- maybe even sign up for that local 5k that caught your eye.
Running, although an extremely basic and instinctual sport, can quickly become expensive if you let yourself get out of control. My husband is fond of saying that while I’m out running, someone could steal me and sell my gear on the black market. Between my GPS watch and my expensive Nike reflective tights, a thief could make a killing on my wardrobe!
So how do I, someone who runs 60+ miles a week & strength trains 3 times a week, manage to live on a budget and save money on all things related to running and working out?
Don’t Buy Big Brand names for your Workout Clothes.
I could really break the bank on workout clothes. I have to restrain myself when I walk in Dick’s Sporting Goods. Have you SEEN their selection?? It is superb, but pricey. It would be incredibly easy to max out a credit card there. The new colors and styles sing to my running fashionista soul! I’m more of a “sales rack” kind of gal. I would love to buy all the fancy new prints on Nike’s new winter tights line, but until I hit it big, that just isn’t happening.
So, to update my wardrobe I frequent Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and even Target for a lot of my workout gear. On Sunday, I bought two sports bras from Target. One was clearance, and the other, deeply discounted: total…$14. #winning
Budget Bonus Tip: Can’t resist a certain item? Wait for it to go on clearance. I buy most of my big brand name shorts at the end of the fall, that way I get at least 50% off. Same goes for my winter gear (like those fancy reflective Nike tights I wear). You may not need it right now, but my motto is that I’ll ALWAYS be a runner, so why not save now and use later?
Surf the Web for the best deal.
If you have a favorite pair of sneakers (mine are the Brooks Ghost), Google it before buying them from your favorite store. I like to shop small and local for my sneaks, but sometimes, it’s just not in the cards. I’ve found my beloved $110 Brooks Ghost on sale before at $45.00. If I can find a great deal, sometimes I’ll buy TWO pairs. Companies only make ONE model for so long. I like to stock up so I have extras.
Budget Bonus Tip: After I find the best deal, I do another separate search for coupon codes from that store.
I do weighted exercises 3 times a week. I have a variety of weights ranging from 5 lbs. to 20 lbs. that I bought from Walmart. I have a huge collection of workout programs ranging from BBG, P90x, Beach Body, George St Pierre, Insanity, The Firm. You name it, I probably have it. I love doing new and different exercises! Workout videos are my favorite because I like having someone boss me around!
Budget Bonus Tip: Buy used DVDs from Amazon or eBay.
Utilize the free apps on your phone.
Running watches are a wonderful accessory, but I haven’t always had one. For years, I would only use the Runkeeper app on my phone. It tracks your pace, distance & lets you know how many calories you’ve burned during your activity. There are lots of other free apps to take advantage of: I track my calories with My Fitness Pal and I plan new routes with Map My Run. But, there are so many more out there that I haven’t even heard of before: I just did a search on my phone under “running & fitness apps” –There are thousands. Rock My Run, Charity Miles, Strava. THERE ARE SO MANY! And by using your phone, you can literally take your workout anywhere. Hey it’s called a ‘smart phone’ for a reason, isn’t it??? Its built-in tracking system makes it your best running accessory!
Avoid the trends.
I have fallen victim to fitness trends. There have been (don’t laugh TOO hard) Jazzercise classes, Body Bootcamp, Bikram Yoga. I have tried them all. Don’t get me wrong-They WORK…It’s just that they can get costly. And quickly.
Budget Bonus Tip: If you simply can’t resist trying out the latest and greatest: search for Groupon deals. Often, you can register with a friend and save some serious dough!
Sign up for races early.
Although there IS a cost for a local race, you can avoid larger fees by signing up in advance. By registering ahead of time, you’ll get the absolute best deal. Plus, by registering ahead, you will psych yourself up for what’s to come. And there is NOTHING like the power of motivation to get and KEEP you going!
Make a pact with a friend to workout.
A workout buddy is fun and free! I have tons of running friends and I truly treasure my running dates! Setting up a workout with a partner holds you accountable (you don’t want to cancel on them, do you?) gets you excited, and it’s just plain old fun to hang out with a friend and get your sweat on-killing two birds with one stone!
You could also join a local running club. Becoming a member of a team is an effective way to make new friends who are interested in your sport!
Budget Bonus Tip: For a listing of running clubs near you, visit this website.
I hope you all enjoy my tips…have any workout money saving ideas of your own? I’d love to hear them!
Run Free, Run Strong!
Nicole is a blogger over at The Girl Who Ran Everywhere. Visit her blog for more running stories!