When I started running, I was a single mom living on my teacher’s salary during the Great Recession. Let’s just say there were many grocery store trips where I decided my favorite feta cheese was too expensive. My running gear investments included a pair of shoes and a sports bra. One of the greatest things about running is that you don’t need a bunch of super-expensive gear or instructor-led classes to get your run done. When I started, it was a relatively cheap hobby and even now when I’m up to seventy mile weeks it still costs me less than a monthly gym-fee to maintain.
However, at this level running this cheaply is not easy. Eight years into this hobby/lifestyle/addiction the costs can quickly add up. Between run-cations, race entries, high-tech gear, fancy outfits, medical costs, and shoes, shoes and more shoes, running can get really expensive really quickly.
Additionally, like everything in our consumer culture, there is an endless amount of running gear cleverly marketed to convince us that we need that shiny new product to run better. Although I don’t need to worry about splurging on the feta anymore, I am a cheapskate who is turned off by the running catalogs that tell me life just isn’t worth living without a $90 sheer color-block tank. Whether you’re a cheapskate, on a tight budget, or simply looking for a way to spend less on running, here are my tried and true tips for running on the cheap.