From cereal to paper towels, potato chips to cat food; we’re getting less of it for our money these days. And please don’t get us started on gas prices. Lucky for us, running isn’t the most expensive of hobbies. But those shoes, gear, and event entries can add up. And no matter the economic state, there are plenty of ways to keep running fun – and frugal.
Register for your event as early as possible. This one’s a twofer. You’ll get in at the lowest entry price possible. Event directors will have a better headcount for ordering tee shirts and medals, That means less waste, thanks to fewer overruns.
Pass on the après-run latte and muffin. But don’t skip out on the post-run fellowship. The friendships forged over the miles in our run groups are the real deal. Brewery runs your thing? Keep it to one cold beer after the run. But still leave a proper tip.
Save on running shoes. Check into last year’s model running shoes before jumping into the latest thing. This is particularly easy if you’ve been running in the same shoe for some time. If you’re getting fitted for the first time, or getting re-fitted, ask your running specialty store if there are last year’s models that might still be in stock.
Use your running shoes JUST for running. We know, we know. When they’re so comfy and fit just right, it’s tempting to keep them on after our run. Next thing you know, you’ve logged another 10,000 steps at the home improvement store, the grocery, and every other errand. But using your running shoes solely for running will extend their utility for their intended purpose.
Stay local for races. Along with keeping the comforts of home, you’ll avoid the expenses that come with longer trips, like travel, fuel, eating out, hotel rooms, etc. Save the big trip for that bucket list event. It’ll mean that much more.
If you must go, don’t go solo. We totally get it. Sometimes you just want to get out of town. A goal race with all the trappings is quite the motivator. When you do go, double up on the hotel room, share the drive, bring car snacks instead of eating out along the way. You’ll quickly cut into the overall cost of the trip.
Be a pace team volunteer. Here’s another win-win. Not only will serving as a pace team volunteer get you into the event for free, but you’ll also be helping other runners reach their goals. New to pacing? Get some experience at smaller events before approaching those bucket list races.
Run to work. Or class, the store, a meeting, etc. OK, so this tip really doesn’t save you money on running, but could perhaps eliminate a car trip which creates a cascade of savings elsewhere. Start small, like running a package to the post office or to the store for a forgotten grocery item.
Consider homemade snacks v prepackaged (expensive) bars, gels, and goos. Yes, they’re convenient; no argument here. The interwebs are chock-full of recipes for homemade energy bars and such. If you really like a specific brand of gels, blocks, or bars and want to stick with them, buy them in bulk to save some cash.
Be your own sports drink bartender. Buy containers of powdered sports drink mixes instead of bottled. It’s much cheaper and better for the environment since you don’t have all that plastic. Plus, you can experiment with different flavor combos and mixes.
What did we miss? If you’re a runner with a penchant for saving money, let us know how you keep running on the cheap! Send us your tips to email@example.com If we publish your tip, we’ll send you some Run Charlotte swag. Another win-win!