Running and Racing on a Budget
One thing I did not anticipate when I first picked up a pair of running shoes is the cost.
It is possible to manoeuvre the sport without much break to the bank if you aren’t planning on eating well, replacing your shoes very often and only going out for the occasional jaunt around the block.
However, if you are planning on spending most mornings waking up with the birds and running the sun up with ragged breathing and colourful running shoes, you best get your bank book ready.
Thankfully, there are clever ways to find a wallet friendly way to be a running addict. Trust me, I should know.
- When I was just starting out and stocking my athletic wardrobe, I scoured outlet stores for shoes and thrift stores for clothing. I found some running skirts with tags still attached at some thrift stores and new lululemon at another. I found running shoes for a quarter of the price at the Saucony outlet and also would buy pairs in the States when I was there.
- When treating yourself to a full priced piece, stick with classic fits and shapes to ensure longevity and classic style.
- I have remade t-shirts that are too large for me into cute tank tops by cutting off the sleeves. It is a great way to get extra milage out of a cute race shirt that doesn’t fit the bill otherwise.
- Buy off-season. Get your winter/fall running gear in the summer and the summer gear in the winter.
- Accessories are a great and cheap way to spice up your running attire. Cute headbands and shoelaces are a great way to add pop to your running gear.
- Music can get pricy for a runner, especially when the length of your long run overwhelms the length of most people’s long playlists. I found cheap solutions by borrowing CD’s from friends and subscribing to podcasts. If you are running on the treadmill, check out the latest episode of your favourite tv show. Other great sites for music are rockmyrun.com and runningmusic.com.
- I try and plan my races around my vacation to maximize my time off of work and to sneak in destination races while I am at it! When I do a race, I try and make it a memorable and unique race to get the most experience for the race fee.
- Purchase your race entry early! The early bird gets the cheapest rate in race-land. Snap up your entry as soon as possible and save hundreds of dollars depending on the race.
- Join websites such as Active Advantage that give you discounts on race fees, travel and gear.
- Think through your destination race well in advance so you can organize your meals, hotel and activities. Last minute is ALWAYS more expensive.
Join a Charity Team
- I am racing for the Sustainability Network for the upcoming Scotiabank marathon which provides discounts, perks and a great network while you train for a race!
Be a race ambassador
- Sometimes this takes a few applications, but if you are selected, you promote the race and can run it for free!
- Some races allow you to volunteer in exchange for a free race entry for next year!
What ways do you maximize your budget while training and racing?