How much does running REALLY cost? And how to save money running!

Last weekend was a crazy weekend so I didn’t really get to do what I wanted so I would have Sunday Grubday ready, so I’m just throwing my recipes at you guys throughout the week. This week’s meals include homemade chicken noodle soup, crockpot bourbon chicken, and spaghetti squash with shrimp. I have never tried spaghetti squash before so this will be an exciting experience. I’ll post that recipe tomorrow when I make it! 

I’ve been hanging onto this article for quite awhile and never got the chance to post it, but it’s an incredibly interesting article and opened my eyes to the costs of running – HERE. Most people start running because it’s cheap – when you start all you need is a pair of tennis shoes, shorts, and an old t-shirt. But for those of us who fall in love with running and consider it a serious hobby, the expenses start to add up.

As a relatively poor graduate student I’m always trying to keep my costs low, so far I probably come in even below these estimations because my running shoes, clothes, and gear are birthday or Christmas gifts from my parents, family, and friends. Running is something I love and my parents know that and support it. I don’t drink sports drinks – I drink Nuun after particularly hot or intense runs so that and a majority of tap water keeps my fluid costs low. I also don’t use running gels unless I’m training for a specific race and running longer than 7 or so miles. I’ve even limited the number of races I’ve entered because right now I’m just too poor. However, I try to save money by looking for the cheapest race with the lowest travel cost or I register super duper early when the race is cheapest. I would LOVE to use music and races as ways of seeing the world, so when the opportunities arise later in life I will definitely spend that money. Right now, I have to concentrate on paying my bills and feeding myself so I scoot in as an “under budget” runner, but I know I will join the ranks later on in life. 

I mean who doesn’t want to run in places like this:

How else do I save money running? I’ve learned the most expensive running gear isn’t always the best. While I absolutely love my Lululemon tops, I’ve never been able to get into their bottoms. I am addicted to Champion running skirts – from Target! Champion sports bras, running capris, and running skirts are some of my favorite articles of running clothing and they are inexpensive and high quality. I personally have found I only need 1 or 2 REALLY good pairs of socks. For anything less than 10 miles, as long as the length at the heel is appropriate, any sport sock will do. I buy them for dirt cheap in bulk packs. I joined the e-mail list and bought my ProCompression socks at 40% off and free shipping! A serious deal. Website lists, like this one on PopSugar Fitness, can also help you find great deals. I bought my gym bag on clearance at Target (go in mid February when all the “new year, new you” merchandise goes on clearance)! 

If you want to go all out and get fancyschmancy that totally awesome if you can afford it. But this cheap frugal grad student is all about saving money even when it comes to fitness – yes I splurge on CrossFit, but even then I signed the cheapest contract possible. I play a ridiculously expensive instrument and attend an expensive university – thank goodness the cost of living is pretty low here, even so I’ve started trying to master clean eating on a bare minimum budget. (Possible future blog post?!) Someday I will get to use the world as my treadmill and I cannot wait – but not yet, for now I have the local park. 

Mileage – Yoga, foam roller 

QOD – The world is your treadmill. 


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