Funny how a lot of people say that running is a cheap hobby, but then you end up spending hundreds on new shoes, new clothing, new gadgets. Is it possible to take up running on a budget? Absolutely.
Continue reading to find out more about how running on a budget can be a possibility for you.
Have you heard of the phrase ‘naked running’? It is funny to admit that the first mention of the term brought to mind images of body parts jingling and jangling all over the place. Actually, naked running simply means to pound the pavements without any devices. While it can be useful to know how long you’ve been out for, how far you’ve run or how quickly your heart is beating, naked running takes you back to basics and means that you can focus on just doing. No distractions. Yes – no music either.
When it comes to running on a budget, Parkrun is perhaps one of the best things you will come across. It is a weekly timed 5k event that is completely free. A team of dedicated volunteers runs the show, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that beats it in terms of good value. Essentially, you only have to pay for travel – and if you live nearby, you’re laughing – and the price of printing and laminating your barcodes. Venture there alone and you’ll soon find sometime to talk to, if you wish, or head to an event with a friend or two.
The fitness devices market is a significant one. Naturally, when people take up a hobby, such as running, they aim to improve. The sales pitch often shows that runners can find themselves become quicker and stronger with the use of a fitness watch, for example. And, they are right to an extent. If you use the gadget to help set your pace, to use the stats to build on and get better times, you can make a difference to your technique and ability, but you need to show the right qualities, too. If you remain keen to invest in gadgets, check out the second-hand market first and do your research. Facebook running groups are a great place to ask for advice on which watch is the best. Some of the groups even allow selling, so check that out as well. Flash sales are another popular way of getting a bargain, especially with the accompanying warranty that you don’t get with second-hand purchases.
When someone first starts out running, they may feel that they do not need a lot of clothing. And they might be right. However, as you start running more regularly, you may wish to alternate outfits, rather than wearing the same thing every single time. Activewear is far more popular these days and can be sourced in supermarkets and lower priced clothing stores. However, if you are keen to wear branded gear, there are ways of making cheaper purchases. Head online and look for discount codes. These can significantly reduce the cost of items. You may also like to speak to friends you know who also run or work out because it’s likely they have items that they have worn once and not found them to fit properly.
Many runners will tell you not to scrimp on good footwear, and while we agree that you should also have your gait analysed, you can certainly get some good buys on decent running shoes as well. Head to a local sports shop where they offer a gait analysis. Explain to them beforehand what your budget is. Some stores offer a discount off shoes if you pay for the assessment with them. Others automatically remove the cost from the pair. Despite this, you may still find it cheaper to pay to have your gait analysed, try on shoes, and then buy them online. Keep an eye out online for shoes that you personally have tried and tested being reduced in price. When new lines are released, you can often get them for a fraction of the original cost. While it might feel frugal to keep the same pair of trainers for a year or two, if you are building up the miles in them, it will not do your body any good to continue running in them. Replace shoes after around 400 to 500 miles.
Running on a budget is certainly an achievable feat. You can start small and work your way up. Asking for running related gifts or vouchers for birthdays and Christmas is another good option to save money, too. Good luck on your running journey!