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Hump Day Giveaway: A Running Allowance?

July 28, 2010

If Suze were a runner, wonder at what gear she'd wag her finger and deny.*

*If you don’t get the joke, you’re clearly not parked on the couch at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night watching bad t.v. What’s wrong with you?

A few weeks ago, I was inspired to sign up for a triathlon. (It’s a sprint, in about 2 weeks, and I’m pretty much winging it.) Having not raced for six months, I conveniently forgot how expensive the entry fees are, especially when I remember that I’m paying for less than 2 hours of racing. Most races were in the $80-100 range, and while I realize putting on a race, especially a three-sport one, requires a bunch of equipment and man-power, I still had a hard time pushing “submit” after I typed in my credit card number.

Triathlons are more gear-intensive than running, but I’ve found running isn’t quite the minimalistic sport it’s made out to be. “You just need a pair of shoes, and you’re good.,” says the earnest 17-year-old Paulie Bleeker at a 5k. Um, not so much.

Running requires more than a pair of (supportive, fit-for-your-feet) shoes, which set you back at least $75, and probably more like $100 or more. A capable sports bra? At least $30 if you have a chest like me that benefits from some umph and padding. And if you’re well-endowed, count on closer to $50 or more. (I just finished a sports bra review for Runner’s World and was alarmed to see $70 price tags hanging off some of the cantaloupe carriers. That feels ridiculous to me.) Then there’s clothing, which has become more affordable thanks to cute techy lines like C9 at the Bullseye Boutique, but you’re still gonna drop another $40 at least on a new outfit. And the requisite accessories? Hat, sunscreen, gels, drinks, insoles, socks. Then add in entry fees; training plans or books (ahem, RLAM is a bargain at $14.99); the occasional massage if you’re lucky or a foam roller if you’re not; a Garmin or heart rate monitor or watch; some kind of music player, if you’re so inclined, and the all-important $.99 song updates at iTunes that, like a cart at the dollar store, seem to add up much too quickly.

I’m not about to do the math, but one article put the cost of a marathon at $675, minimum, which might be the case for injury-free runners who already have a pile of gear, can wear their shoes until they log 500 miles and pick a race close to home. But it feels low to me.

I’m also not about to tell you, even in these crazy economic times, to stop running. It is, as we’ve all heard more than once, cheaper than therapy and an investment that pays off in emotional, physical, spiritual spades. But what I do want to know is this: how do you budget fo r your running expenses? Do you save monthly? Do you bargain hunt or  just swipe the card and deal with it later?  Do you figure out what a whole destination marathon–travel, hotel, meals, entry fee, requisite gear to prove you were there–will cost before you

The Gel-Cumulus 12: cute, and a pretty good deal at $100.

decide to do it? Do you cut back on other things to make room for the expenses of running? Do you scour the web for money-saving ideas like these?

In order to ease the burden, a random winner will take home a $100 Asics gift certificate, good enough to get you through a few months of marathon training (or more, if you’re not in intense mileage mode).

So how do you reconcile your monthly bank statement and your monthly mileage?


P.S. On the topic of shoes, the random winner of last week’s giveaway, a pair of Spenco sandals and a Zooma race tee, about your toughest running moment is Robin, whose toughest moment, I think, we can all relate to one way or another (being dehydrated, having random, unwarranted time goals, getting frustrated with a spouse, crying on a run, communicating with a spouse, rehydrating.)

She writes:
Here is a bit of honesty from the marriage and running trenches. It was over year ago, so not so recent, but it was the very first thing that popped into my mind when I think of tough running moments. My husband and I were out for a 17ish mile training run. We had a goal (arbitrarily determined by him) to run sub 4:30. I was running fairly slowly that day…who knows why…heat? stress? Don’t know. Anyway, whether he was trying to “motivate” me or start an argument I got really upset about this pace thing. I started crying and hyperventilating. It turned out I was so dehydrated that when I started weeping, no tears came out. It was the most bizarre experience ever. Needless to say, what got me through was rehydrating and then having a rational discussion about our goals. Fluids and communication — VERY important. AND — come race day — I did manage a 4:26 at the marathon — I was SOO proud.

We are proud of your 4:26 too, Robin: congrats on the shoes and shirt!

169 Comments leave one →
  1. Iliana permalink
    July 28, 2010 5:17 am

    I buy a lot of the gear on Ebay. I buy winter gear in the summer. Just got an awesome deal on CW-X insulated compression tights a month ago, and have bought great summer running stuff in January.

    It is indeed expensive and it does add up but it is certainly worth it!

  2. July 28, 2010 5:26 am

    I used to always get my shoes at b/c they carried older models, discontinued colors etc. Harder to do that now b/c of sizing inconsistencies but I do like some of the Champion stuff at Target and always hit Altheta’s big end of season sale.

  3. Annabet permalink
    July 28, 2010 5:33 am

    I don’t skimp on the shoes, but watch the sale racks for everything else.

  4. July 28, 2010 5:41 am

    I determine what I need. Then decide that I’ll get it in the next 4 weeks. Usually it’s off the cuff, I hit a sale kind of thing. Shoes? Well, I buy new ones about every 4 months when training for a marathon. So when they go, they get purchased.

  5. Natasha O'Donnell permalink
    July 28, 2010 5:44 am

    My husband and I both run so we’ve got double the expenses to worry about, plus three little boys. So we try to find the best deals that we can, whether it is an end of season sale, ebay, someone with a pro deal even. We should try to budget for our gear because it always seems like one of us needs something. I know gear, good gear, should always last for awhile but sometimes when the kids need something else, it’s hard to drop $120 on a pair of shoes for me. I know i’m worth it but Mom guilt, never fails.

  6. alison permalink
    July 28, 2010 5:54 am

    i only do one race a year and it’s always in the summer when we go back home to my parents house. that way i don’t have to pay for a hotel, food, etc. i get a new pair of shoes every year on my birthday. i think it helps take the guilt of buying for me away.

  7. Shana permalink
    July 28, 2010 5:58 am

    i watch for sales – then i buy whether i need it in that moment or not (2 pair of shoes waiting in the closet). i only enter contests when i need a specific thing (like a marino wool t-shirt – THANK YOU!!). i collect coupons and then race to the store when something is on sale to double up the savings ($8 tempo shorts).
    sure, maybe i don’t need 6 pair of running shoes or 12 pair of tempo shorts, but i do need to be comfy and injury free & eventually something will have to be rotated in.

  8. Carolyn permalink
    July 28, 2010 6:03 am

    I generally don’t spend a lot of money on myself. Don’t own a lot of fancy jewelry or clothes or furniture. So when it comes to running, I’m a fairly low spender. My jog bras are old (as the smell would suggest), my socks are plain cotton, and I wear a beat up, old Red Sox baseball cap to shade my face. The only big expense I have for running is my shoes, and that’s where I don’t hesitate to throw down the credit card. I just purchased a new pair of $110 running shoes, and I do this about every 6 months. And I do use the excuse that it’s really the only expense I have for my physical, mental and emotional health (minus the shorts and tops I throw in my cart when I am in Target, the monthly $25 race fee, and the iTunes I download for my running playlist). But I don’t load up on all the latest gear. Could I benefit from some of the latest gear? For sure…and I have no doubt my running buddies would appreciate me buying some new jog bras, too!

    • July 28, 2010 7:15 am

      Carolyn…do the “girls” a favor–go get at least one new running bra. Any quick Google search will tell you the horrors resulting from not being well supported in that area. The good ones are only made to last about 50 washings, and only 6-12 months with the best care. Next to shoes, a properly fitted bra is the next most important piece of gear a woman should own! …and don’t even get me started on those cotton socks! 😀

  9. July 28, 2010 6:06 am

    Except for the rare occasion when an item is so utterly attractive and whispering my name in the most persuasive come-hither way, I wait and buy on sale.
    I like to think I have an internal barometer that keeps me from going overboard.
    However this barometer I speak of tends to malfunction at race expos.

  10. July 28, 2010 6:11 am

    luckily (or not) my running expense isn’t much. I’ve been doing more walking than running lately. I am due for a new pair of shoes…other than that, I’m pretty happy running in ugly, baggy clothes. My ‘cantaloupe carrier’ is more like a small ‘plum pack’…so my bras aren’t too much and I only get a few new ones a year.

  11. July 28, 2010 6:13 am

    I hate to admit this, but I will. I married a man who 1) makes decent money, 2) isn’t a worrier when it comes to money-he pays all the bills on time but he doesn’t have a detailed, down to the penny budget like I did before I met him, 3) (he) used to be a runner and loves the sport, and 4) he loves me with all his heart and wants to take care of me. So, since I started running in January, I haven’t really worried about how to pay for things. Now, I don’t just go completely crazy. I buy all my clothes from Le Targete (I have a very limited number of duds), and race fees in Huntsville, AL are probably the cheapest around (most are under $25–our sprint tri late registration was $20!). I won’t even begin to sit down and calculate what I’ve spent, but because I don’t go crazy, and running is pretty much the only thing I do for myself, my darling husband indulges me.

    If I were handling the money, I probably wouldn’t run because I would always find other things that “needed” to be paid first. It shouldn’t be that way, and I really do hate to admit it, but that’s the truth. 😀

  12. KarenM permalink
    July 28, 2010 6:13 am

    I reconcile my bank statement with my mileage by um…rationalizing! I don’t spend a lot of money on myself – I’m not a shopper, don’t spend a lot on entertainment, etc – so I don’t feel any guilt about what I spend on running. I’m fairly frugal, though, so I don’t get top of the line gear, I buy on sale, wear my shirts until they’re really worn out, and try to avoid races that require a hotel stay.

  13. July 28, 2010 6:26 am

    I figure that running, even with all of the frills, is still cheaper than most hobbies. My running shoes are cheaper than my husband’s hockey skates and my race fees are cheaper than his rink fees. But if either of us quit our sport, we’d kill each other. Like we always say, it’s cheaper than therapy. And divorce.

    I have found that some things balance out in the end. I will splurge a bit on a new pair of socks with arch support to make my long run more comfortable, but then I’ll pass on ordering dinner out on Saturday because I know I can make something healthier for less money, and won’t undo my long run with rich restaurant food. I drink a lot more water to hydrate for running, and thus buy a lot less pop and tea.

    I tried only signing up for 1 run per month this summer but somehow still ended up with back-to-back-to-back racing weekends this September. Oops. At least I know one of those races is sponsored by a local running shoe store and the swag bag will have a coupon for savings on new shoes I badly need!

  14. July 28, 2010 6:27 am

    The money spent is “sanity money” it is cheaper than a therapist. That said, it can still get spendy, so I buy what I can on sale. In North Dakota summer gear goes on sale in mid-July so I can stock up on tanks and shorts then. (Since you literally can’t run outside come winter I do a lot of treadmill work, so shorts and a tank are perfect.) As far as shoes I try and set aside even just $5 a week prior to the time approaching for new shoes by the time I need the shoes I usually have most if not all of the $$ in hand.

  15. July 28, 2010 6:32 am

    Our local running store has a loyalty program that rewards $25 credits for every $250 spent–so about twice a year (but 3 this year since I’m training for a tri too) I take my credit and check out the sale rack and pay just a few dollars for great gear. I don’t mind buying off season, so last year’s jacket, on sale, with $25 off amounts to a nice saving. The seasons roll around so quickly it seems, it’s never too long before I’ll need to wear whatever I purchased. I also scour the internet for sales.

    Finally, I have what I call my “Momma needs a new pair of running shoes” pot. Extra change, side money, gift money, etc., goes in there so that when I do spend, I can do so without affecting the family bottom line too much.

  16. Lisa Zieger permalink
    July 28, 2010 6:39 am

    I have asked for and received running related gear for every recent holiday that traditionally comes with a present: Christmas, birthday, Mother’s day. Otherwise, I shop sales 🙂

  17. July 28, 2010 6:39 am

    Luckily my husband “green lights” all race fees because he knows how much I love and NEED the run. I bargain shop like crazy for the clothes. I list out what I want, ask for them at bday and christmas time, and I always hit up the local Ross or Marshalls. I’ve been finding nike running skirts there for $13 lately! I stock up!

    I am also in a running club and take FULL advantage of all discounts that come from that. It also helps to sign up for big races early so that you get the cheapest price.

  18. Susan in Denver permalink
    July 28, 2010 6:43 am

    I have a little jar that I keep waaaay in the back of my closet…so I’m not tempted to see it. Every month I put a little bit of money in there for running expenses. I keep the bills rolled up with a rubberband, and sometimes for fun I like to unroll them and count them. It makes me feel secure just knowing they are there. This money is used for planned running expenses (shoes, entry fees,etc.) and unplanned running expenses (to replace my ipod that died on mile 3 of the Bolder Boulder). It can be an expensive hobby, but you sure get a return on your investment!!

  19. Shelley MM permalink
    July 28, 2010 6:59 am

    I watch for deals on my favorite shoes, and try to have a pair ready when my current ones give out. I don’t spend a lot of money on clothing, but I am seriously considering buying one good “racing” outfit. Perhaps if I can get my pace to 9:30, that will be my reward! The only thing that I have recently dropped a substantial amount of money on is a Garmin, but I am hoping it is as helpful as everyone says it is (especially with getting my pace to 9:30).

  20. Callie Berger permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:00 am

    I’ve acquired quite a bit of garb throughout the years simply by asking for money or Academy gift cards whenever asked what I want for my birthday or Christmas. However, the best way I’ve found to “save up” for the big purchases, (shoes, the new Garmin I’m working on now, higher entry fees, etc) is by paying myself to workout. $2 for an everyday run, $5 for a 5k race, $10 for a 10k and $1 for walking, weights or yoga/pilates. I keep a jar in the kitchen that I mostly transfer loose pocket change into after a run and it adds up quickly. The way I figure, I’m about three weeks and 2 5ks away from the same pink Garmin that Lolo Jones sports and I can’t wait!!

    • July 28, 2010 7:22 am

      What a GREAT idea–paying myself to workout. Although, the Power Yoga class I attend would have to earn me a good 5-spot! Love that so much I’m going to get my payment jar ready right now! 😀

  21. Bethany permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:09 am

    About 4 years ago, I started teaching prenatal fitness classes and working with a young mother support group through the hospital where I work. The money I earn from those two things got put into a separate account, since the taxes come out at the end of the year. Now, I only teach one prenatal yoga class per week and work with the support group, but the money I earn from that, I typically put toward my running gear and fees. I haven’t quite gotten into the racing aspect just yet, although eyeing a few half marathon’s in the next 7-8 months… Until then, the money I earn from teaching is enough to get me through.

  22. JnetRuns permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:15 am

    I don’t spend a lot, especially nowadays, as like most everybody we’re on a budget. So most of my running clothes are old now, especially my poor faded Atalanta running skirts (which I love), but I do get most of my shirts from Target, and some of their tops are really cute. As I live in Florida I don’t need winter gear so that helps a lot. So running shoes are my most major expense, and I need new shoes now, but my main criteria for those is not price but comfort; I don’t skimp on shoes, can’t afford to get injured and I always buy Injini socks. As for races I always race close to home so I don’t have to spend on hotel rooms. I sure would love a Garmin though! And a Road ID, and Primal Wear arm warmers for those cooler days, and… and…

  23. Joanmarie permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:23 am

    I try to be reasonable about purchases, buying exercise clothing on sale when possible. I run local races almost exclusively; the only exception so far was for my first half marathon which I wanted to be extra special so we incorporated a family vacation into the destination. I admit the one place I will not skimp is my shoes. I feel as though I need to treat them well since they do so much for me!

  24. July 28, 2010 7:27 am

    So far we’ve paid our half- marathon $35 entry fee (x2 for me and hubby). I found $15 almost-brand-new Nike running shoes at Plato’s Closet that fit like a dream. A friend gave me 2 pairs of running socks (which I conveniently lost one in the laundry, leaving me with 3 socks). My sports bra put me back about $10, $15 for my capris, and $12-15 for my tank top w/ built in bra. I won Ryder sunglasses via my blog (thank goodness) and got 2 Bondi Bands & Scape sunscreen for soliciting reviews on my blog (what a blessing all of that has been).

    Honestly, though, we just can’t afford to spend more. My husband’s shoes probably aren’t even running shoes and are worn. Yet he wants to run the half-marathon in them and just a t-shirt & shorts (which stink to high heavens).

    It’s really kind of awesome (not necessarily in a good way) how much races cost. That’s partially why we haven’t ran any besides virtual ones. There are things that would be nice: a great sports bra, a wicking shirt, more than 1 pair of running socks, a Garmin, a hydration belt…but we can’t shell the money.

  25. July 28, 2010 7:29 am

    I never think twice about spending money on running gear, even though my husband and I are not wealthy. It is all about rationalizing! Running is my therapy! Therapy can run you about 100.00 a week for a 50 minute session. I can get many “sessions” out of one pair of 100.00 shoes. I also do not spend on other things like pedicures, fancy clothes or shoes. Running shoes, clothes, races and gear are my “fancy” wear. I never wince when registering or when the the grand total is as high as our grocery tab. Mama has to be “in therapy” or no one is going to be happy!

  26. Megan permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:31 am

    I make a point of swinging by sales racks at sporting good stores and the wonderful Target. If it’s shorts or tights then I don’t spend more than $15 end of story. If it’s a top I don’t spend more than $5 and it’s usually under $3. I just pick up what I like when I see it on sale and it spreads out the pain a bit. I’m a single mom going to school right now so the budget is tight but running is important. To get my run in I usually have to drop my kiddo off at the kid’s center at the gym which means my $40 a month gym fee is a non negotiable. Then there are shoes. At 35-40+ miles a week I go through shoes every two months. Yeah, 6 a year really adds up. I pick my shoes up when they need replacing at the local running store. I’m all for supporting a local business but $600 a year is a lot of money and I think I need to find a better way. Has anyone out there looked into buying shoes “in bulk”? I would be happy to buy a years worth of sneakers at one time if the discount was right. I forgo the music, the garmin, the races, the watch because I just cannot pinch my grant money that much right now. Maybe someday, but for now I’m already well over $1000 a year on this “cheap” hobby and that is more than I can easily justify.

  27. July 28, 2010 7:32 am

    When I started running I had NOTHING! So, I had to gradually start buying things. First were a good pair of shoes. Then right before the race I bought a good running outfit…shirt and shorts. I already did have an Ipod, but didn’t receive my Garmin until about 8 months into running (my husband got it for me for our anniversary) As for more clothes, I asked for things for my birthday and Christmas.
    I am now needing a new pair of shoes, and have been saving to purchase them. With training for my first marathon, my shoes are getting worn and my feet are starting to hurt. This giveaway would be awesome to win!!! Would definetly help out the pocketbook!
    I think the best advice for someone just starting out and trying to budget things is to start out slow, make sure it is something you are going to stick with, and then after a really good training period, or a really good race, treat yourself to a new outfit or running gear.
    (Another thing I have heard runners do, is they track how many miles they running while training for XYZ race (their first half/their first marathon etc) and for every mile they run they get a $1 for it. At the end of training, you would end up with a pretty good chunck of change to splurge on something for yourself. Sounds like great motivation to get out there and run!!!)

  28. Alison permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:42 am

    I don’t buy a lot of gear (I agree with buying out of season and looking for sales) and have been fortunate enough to be injury free. The destination marathons certainly are pricy, so for the time being I am sticking to one or two races close to home.

  29. Julie Berland permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:46 am

    I tend to enter only about 5 races a year. However, one race, the Bolder Boulder, adds up because my whole family enters it too. That race is way too expensive but it’s such a fun race and it’s become a family tradition so it’s easy to justify the cost. My husband will make comments every year about why we pay to walk the crowded streets of Boulder but then he always seems to have a good time. I want my boys to see that running and running races is a family event and can be done by everybody.
    I’m not a gear junkie nor do I wear an Ipod and so far seem to be able to push shoes to change out every 8-10 months or so before I feel the wear. When I do buy new gear it’s because I need it and therefore have no guilt paying for it.

  30. July 28, 2010 7:47 am

    Running is the one thing I don’t restrict myself on when it comes to spending money. Like you said, it’s cheaper than therapy. If I didn’t run, who knows how much all the Doctor visits and marital therapy sessions would cost. Not to mention the amortized value of the counseling sessions my daughter would have to endure if Mommy didn’t run and get her energy and frustrations out on the road. Thank the Lord for running, best deal going!

  31. Michaela permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:48 am

    Shoes are the only thing I spend big bucks on… with narrow feet, it’s hard enough to find a pair I like that also fits. And hey, if my feet aren’t comfy, I won’t keep running, right? I go cheap on sports bras (which for me are totally unnecessary, except to add a little oomph in front) and have found some clothes at Target that fit well and are a great price. I also buy things on clearance off-season at the running stores- I can find great long-sleeve shirts in May that I’ll wear in the fall, or a tank in October to save for the next spring. And for race fees, I only do 1 major race a year and fill in the calendar with local races that are much more affordable, close to home, and have free kids races to get the whole family involved.

  32. Stephanie permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:54 am

    My nearest running store is a good hour away and with two kids I only have time for that kind of shopping commute twice a year when I need new shoes. That keeps me out of trouble most of the time!

  33. Christina permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:56 am

    My husband and I just budget for running or health-related things for us or for the kids. When I say “budget” I mean “rationalize”. We’re good at that.

  34. Jay permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:00 am

    I used to always say that running was cheaper than therapy and so much more beneficial. However, now that I got into triathlons, I know it’s definitely not cheaper. But still so much more beneficial. The internet has been a lifesaver with cheap running gear. And running is basically my only hobby. I told someone once at the gym that if I weren’t training I’d just be spending time/money on scrapbooking or something else silly (never mind the person happened to be a scrapbook supply representative.) I don’t do all the local 5k’s and plan for only one major race a year and that usually is my only getaway time for the year as well. I have a great husband that never questions and is always supportive. It is what it is, and I just choose to spend my money on the running rather than on other things.

  35. July 28, 2010 8:02 am

    I don’t really budget for my gear because I’m not really buying stuff every month. But, when I need something, I get almost all of my gear either on sale or online where the prices tend to be lower than in retail stores. Although, there are times when I’ll see something I “have” to have and I’ll just get it. The way I look at it, wearing something that makes me happy will help motivate me to actually get out there and get the workout done! 🙂

  36. July 28, 2010 8:10 am

    I usually only buy something if it’s on sale. My husband and I both run and we have 3 young boys. I think as long as what I’m wearing fits and is comfortable then I don’t need anything else. The only exception to that would be shoes which should be replaced every 500 miles and if you’ve got the cash. As far as registering/paying for races, we are fortunate that the company my husband works for is one of the sponsors for a local marathon (and other local races) and they get a hand full of extra entries for employees/spouses that would like to run at no cost to the employee.

  37. Heather permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:14 am

    I just signed up to run my second half marathon this year and this is going to require a new pair of shoes! With 4 girls 10 and under and me being a stay at home mom, the budget is tight. I would love to win this give away. My husband gives me the time to run and train while he watches our girls and that is an amazing gift. People ask me all the time and I just tell them I run when I can. 🙂

  38. amanda permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:16 am

    i tend to buy on a “need” basis- “need” being a very flexible term! unfortunately, with triathlons, those “needs” are trippled and it seems like once a week i’m headed to the bike shop or running store. my everyday wardrobe is the part of my budget that sees the sacrifice. i wear scrubs to work, come home and change into workout clothes, shower, then put on my pj’s. when it comes time to get dressed for special occasions, my closet seems barren. when i try to go shopping for normal clothes, i end up back in the workout section with a cart full of tanks and running shorts. functionality always wins over.

  39. July 28, 2010 8:20 am

    My hubby and I budget $200/month each for “personal expenses.” Personal expenses encompass everything from haircuts and clothes to camera equipment and mp3 downloads. Whatever’s leftover (I don’t think this has happened to me in um … a long while) can be carried over and if you have to occasionally debit out of the next month, that’s allowed too. Race fees absolutely KILL this … my Disneyland half was OVER half of my monthly budget. It was an off month for my $30 haircut, luckily. I do look for deals, especially on race fees. I got my Denver R’n’R half entry for $70 (cuz I signed up at the Bolder Boulder expo) where my Nashville one was over $100. I think I may in the future roll the destination race fees into our vacation budget … or is that cheating. 😉

    I do love the minimalistic sentiment about running though. My “running gear,” water belt, anti chafe and ipod included, takes up a teeny tiny percentage of the space my ski gear takes up … and I’m not even talking skis themselves, just the OUTFIT.

  40. Csaf permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:26 am

    I forgo spedning on new clothes for work (suits, pumps, nice silk blouses…) for workout gear!

    You can see where my priorities are — in the sanity-reducing aisle, not the insanity-producing (aka, work) one!

  41. July 28, 2010 8:27 am

    I use birthday and Christmas money to buy the expensive stuff like shoes or new clothes.

    I don’t have a Garmin or HRM because I figure with that money I could enter that many more races or buy more cute clothes.

    My iPod was a gift (cool, I know!).

    To enter races – I typically don’t run more than 1 a month – I remind my husband that we blew a wad of dough on banjo lessons for him for over a year so surely we can spend a little on me.

  42. Carri Schmidt permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:28 am

    How to budget? I have no clue yet! I am newish to this running in races and buying proper equipment! This year has been a big one for me, I found out in January that I had TWO stress fractures on my left ankle – which was determined through multiple XRays and an MRI (cha ching$) Then I had several podiatry visits, a “boot” and three months of physical therapy! On top of just getting myself able to run again, I did the Shamrock Run in March and my first 1/2 marathon in June! Now, I stand prepared to run the Hood to Coast in August and another 1/2 marathon in October =) I am thinking that my new favorite hobby will not cost this much in years to come – but this year I have been that awful consumer that Suzi would shake her finger at, as I’ve just swiped the card and dealt with it all later…..awful of me! I intend to be more prepared next year, just as I train for my races – to train for the spending! Fortunately some of the costs of running are just a one time thing, practice makes perfect =)

  43. CathyP permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:37 am

    I try and ask for running gear as gifts. My Asics Keyanos are expensive, so they are my Mother’s Day gift every year. I also like exploring race expos for good deals, plus most race entries include a new tech shirt. I’m also not very worried about fashion (ie: shirts with a particular print) so I usually buy my gear in neutral colours like black, navy and red. That way they never go out of style and last for a long time.

  44. July 28, 2010 8:38 am

    I shop sales, buy my shoes on Amazon, and haven’t done any races yet, so that’s not an expense. I also do some trades with clients sometimes…I am a photographer, so I traded a photoshoot for an indoor bike trainer….great for those snowy Colorado mornings.

  45. Julie Fredericks permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:45 am

    My mom gives me running clothes/gear for gifts and was particularly generous this birthday and gave me a bike because I just started doing triathalons too. Sales come in handy- I got my favorite pair of shorts for running and a running skirt for $6 each at a clearance sale at Fred Meyer. I am in desperate need of new sports bras so I am going to have to bite the bullet on that one. I try not to think about race fees and just only do 4-5 per year, all local – just enough to keep me motivated.

    My husband occasionally balks at the cost of running – particularly the race fees, but it doesn’t last long. He seems to know it is important for me and that I am a better mom when I run. So I am lucky there!

  46. July 28, 2010 8:48 am

    Lately I have been lucky to review some great gear for my blog, which has allowed me access to great running gear without swiping a card (just spending the time to have hubby take photos, use the gear all the while analyzing how it works and then spending at least an hour writing and formatting my review post). I also just go with less. I have a few decent outfits, and I use them all the time. I definitely run in fewer races than I would like because of the entry fees. (I look for the cheaper ones. While I know they usually offer fewer perks, it is still a race)

  47. permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:53 am

    I don’t budget. I buy my running clothes at Target. I wear sports bra’s that I have had for ten years. I DESPERATELY need new shoes…and my hubby doesn’t really have the stomach for it! My IPod is full of crappy non-running music and I don’t have time to do anything about it. I haven’t gotten a Garmin although I would like one. (I have taken to running on the treadmill even when I don’t have to just so I know my pace) I have a destination race in October, and have not budgeted the plane tickets. And actually have yet to pay the registration fee. I guess I wing it. lol.

  48. Steff permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:58 am

    I’ve got a tight budget, but somehow find a way to make it all work out: I often get running clothes at Target, fuel with cheap foods like oatmeal and a whole lot of peanut butter, volunteer with my running club to get free entry into training programs, and I look for off-the-beaten-track races, which are usually cheaper than the big-name races. I never scrimp when it comes to running shoes, though: I religiously replace those! Gotta treat the feet right.

  49. Rachel permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:58 am

    I do a lot of online searching for deals, big fan of C9 at Target and take advantage of my running groups discount days at a local running shop. This allows me to afford the $100 shoes at 30% twice a year and then I don’t feel so bad when I have to pay full price for other items… I also try to buy things over time and hope that my husband does not notice! Good thing he does not run with me, he rarely ever sees my running clothes- wait he does the laundry- guess I can’t hide my purchases.

  50. CaRoline Eakle permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:06 am

    Budget….yes for clothes and shoes…I watch for good deals
    For races not really I am still in the 5-10 km division!! Thinking of first 1/2 in January so for now cost is not too bad I have done one race each month since march and I have some lined up for next 4 mos!

  51. Vanessa permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:07 am

    I consider purchasing gear a reward for training and being diligent about sticking to a running schedule (even though we all know that getting to escape our busy lives for a run is our true reward). I always look for bargains and sales and google coupon codes for my favorite online stores. Like Rachel, I buy C9 clothes at Target, which are a true bargain! I’m desperate for a new pair of shoes, but haven’t been able to justify that expenditure just yet….

  52. sarah permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:15 am

    i think about my purchases but use the excuse that new clothes make me feel better and run better. they are inspiration. i do try to run the smaller races because they are cheaper and LESS crowded. i just BQ’d and I think the trip is going to be expensive BUT worth it! Thanks RLAM ladies, I love your posts!

  53. July 28, 2010 9:24 am

    Oddly I am a frugal person in my whole life…except running! I don’t do a lot of races, so I am not to worried about race fees…I really only pick races that can be done as a vacation or right from home, so then the cost to me is about a vacation and not my running. I think this is all just my way of rationalizing so that in the end I can still say running is cheap!

  54. July 28, 2010 9:26 am

    I really try to buy all my running clothes and shoes on sale. Plus I use which allows me to enter in my shoe and how much it costs. Then it keeps track of how much it costs me per mile for the shoe. Pretty neat.

  55. July 28, 2010 9:41 am

    This used to be how I dealt with running/race expenses: swipe the Debit card and hope nobody tells me “NO…I’m sorry miss, but you don’t have any money”. I first got into racing a year ago and ended up with 13 races on my calendar (3 marathons, 2 of them destination). I started out with a nice, but cheaper pair of New Balance shoes and some old workout gear. It wasn’t until I ran one of my first races that I saw the *beautiful* race gear everyone else wore! I was so jealous and thought for sure I needed it. Here and there I’ve bought many things, but after hearing my husband say “you don’t hear NO at the cash register because I work really hard so it doesn’t happen,” I learned to tone down things a bit. I buy shoes when I need them (and I’ve learned my feet don’t need the most expensive ones) and I buy gear when it’s on a great sale and only things I’ve really been wanting for some time. I covet race gear. I can’t go to a store and not look at race gear and dream of how it’d make me a better runner. BUT…for my family to continue to support my running habit, I’ve learned I need to keep reality in check. I can’t run every race. I need to be picky, choose a race with meaning and make do with the gear I have (which really is good…I’m just greedy).

  56. realrellim permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:50 am

    We don’t have a running budget, per se. My shoes, which I try to buy on sale and/or buy older models of online, come out of the clothing budget. I often ask for running apparel as birthday/Mother’s Day/Christmas gifts, and other stuff comes out of my allowance. I definitely scour the internet for deals. I managed to score the Skirt Sports Happy Hour Skirt for $45 (including shipping–it sells for $70 at REI) last week that way.

    Both of my jogging strollers (one single, one double) were gently used, so I was able to buy them for about half of what they would have cost otherwise. Also, I almost always have the kids with me when I run, which eliminates babysitter costs.

    I run most of my races close to home. We’ve stayed at a motel for a couple of races in the mountains, and then we take it out of the travel budget and make a family trip out of it (like last year when we stayed at the Idaho Springs hot springs resort overnight, which meant I got to soak in the hot springs after finishing my half-marathon. Bliss!). Also, I have avoided races that are really pricey. Next year I would love to run the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, but it’s going to mean saving up some of my allowance.

  57. July 28, 2010 9:52 am

    Finding the funds for running and racing when budgets are tight can be a challenge. Since I have been running for over 20 years I have had my share of heavy racing years and light racing years. I tend to prefer smaller races which usually have smaller entry fees. I also pick races that are closer to home as much as posible which save on travel related expences. I remind family that the best gift for me is a gift certificate to a store when I buy my running gear! Also to save on gear I often buy two pair of shoes at a time to take advantage of sale prices and typically only buy new gear when it’s on sale. So maybe I don’t get the color of tank that I would have chosen first but I remind myself that saving those few dollars helps me be able to continue to run and race more often.

  58. Emeliee permalink
    July 28, 2010 10:08 am

    I also do tri’s – and you’re right – just the entry fees alone keep me from racing as many as I’d like! As a general rule, I always plan my tri race season at the beginning of the calendar year. Knowing what races I’m planning to do allows me to not only budget for the entry fees, but make sure I register before the “early-bird” discount date comes, which can save up to $30 per race. Always input your email when registering for races and you’ll get on the race distro list. Most races are great about sending out registration date notices, as well as general race information.

    You already gave some of the best advice for gear (clothes) in your last post…how to keep all that cute stuff lasting longer. I also shop at the outlet malls (Nike, Reebok and Lululemon) for clothes instead of at the boutique style running stores. Join REI as a member, and use your annual rebate points towards a special running treat.

    And when you have to spend extra money to travel to a great destination race, just remind yourself that you’ve worked hard for it, that you’re on vacation and are participating in your favorite sport that allows you to be a better, happier person. Then stop worrying about the cost and have a margarita at the finish line!

  59. Suprchica permalink
    July 28, 2010 10:24 am

    Yeah, like most other women here, I’m a bargain hunter. Whenever I need to shop for “regular” clothes I end up in the fitness area of the store. I do not skimp on running shoes or bras. They are the most important tools I need and I’m not about to compromise my feet or the girls. I try to take very good care of my stuff (almost obsessively) and I make it last a long time. I still have my ipod 1st. generation (purchased the week the ipod came out, some 7-8yrs. ago) and I’m diligent when it comes to washing and de-odorizing my tops and shoes. I like the idea of paying myself for running/working out, thanks ladies for the tip 🙂 (pun intended.)

  60. Karen Falat permalink
    July 28, 2010 10:25 am

    Dude are you in my MIND? I mean last night I just bought ‘Jogger pepper spray’ and a hydration belt. Okay and some socks. Im a mess. I try to sell stuff on ebay- fancy smancy stuff I bought BEFORE 3 boys and stay at home momdom. I look for bargains and coupon codes littered around the web. But mostly I pace myself. Every month I have a few things on my wishlist and I brace my hubby in advance. I try to stick with it, but sometimes I start swooning at the sight of moisture wicking material and lose all good sense. Like my new purple fuelbelt. The thing is we all have something that makes us tick. Atleast the stuff we buy is for our sport/therapy/release. Some people drop that same 100 bills on sandles for one outfit. We wear our shoes everyday. (<;

  61. July 28, 2010 10:25 am

    I keep my costs low by spending money only where it really counts for me: shoes and bras. I shop at my local running store for the shoes, in part to support the local economy but also because I would hate to see such a great resource disappear. It’s worth the mark-up to me. And I’ve had good luck finding good bras at stores like TJ Maxx, so I always do a quick scan of the rack when I’m there, whether I’m needing one or not. Aside from those two things, I’m content to run in my sloppy looking shirts and shorts. I’m comfortable and that’s all that matters there. Every once in a while I splurge on something, usually on winter gear since the functionality matters in the colder months. But by and large I stick with what I have. And as far as races go, I only do a few a year. If I’m feeling like I need a motivator, I sign up for something, but I make sure to choose carefully. (Oh how I long for the way it was in the early 90s in NYC, where I could pay $12 a race and run one every weekend!)

  62. Cynthia permalink
    July 28, 2010 10:25 am

    I just started getting into races this year. For our first half marathon (about 3 hours away from us) a bunch of us racing it rented a house for the half marathon weekend. We went out and shared the expenses on groceries. All together this was a lot cheaper than staying at a hotel and eating out and it was also like a mini vacation! Clothing wise i like to REWARD myself with buying something once a month (training for a marathon is hard work when you work full time and are a mommy and wife, So i consider it a reward for myself :)). If its something i can get a great deal on I might get a couple of things that month, if its something expensive I will just get the one item that month. I look for deals on Amazon alot. Sometimes I will head to the sports store, try something on and then search for it online and I can always find it cheaper. There is also a Nike Outlet not to far from me, I try to go there and can usually find great deals as well. Some events locally give you a discount and or wave online registration fees if you register at the a sponsored sports store. One of the half marathons I’m running this year will give you a 10% off registration if you spend $50 in the store. Also if you register for newsletters for your particular race they sometimes send codes for discounts. For example I am running the Portland Marathon and found $20 off registration codes in Runners World and NW Runner magazines as well as the Portland Marathon Newsletter. I share this info with my friends that are racing. And if all else fails for birthdays or holidays just ask for running gear or gift certificates. For a friends birthday this year, a couple of us pitched in and paid for her registration (as a suprise to her) for her first half marathon because we knew she was worried about having the money for it. She was so thankful and we all had a great time during the race supporting each other.

  63. July 28, 2010 10:26 am

    I gave away all my old running gear to a friend as my clothes got too big for me – so she is so happy!! Normally hit the sales and free shipping deals on line but its hard when I have already completed 2 1/2 marathons so far this year, just signed up for another half in October, Marathon in November, Just completed my first Triathlon!! IT KEEPS ME SANE and I love coupons!! I do sacrifice my daily coffee and now have sacrificed my manicures for the remainder of the year so save up for my next big race!~

  64. Andrea permalink
    July 28, 2010 10:27 am

    I’m just now transitioning from “just a pair of sneakers” to getting some gear. My races are all local, so no destination fees only entry fees. I love the ones that give me a tech shirt for a little bit extra. My shorts aren’t even “running” shorts. They are an old, baggy (thanks to Weight Watchers and running) pair from Old Navy. My “cantaloupe carriers” are more like “lime lifters” and are pretty inexpensive at Target.
    I have the mom guilt thing down pat – hard to buy stuff for myself, but my husband has some expensive hobbies so I feel a bit entitled, plus he doesn’t mind as long as I don’t go overboard.
    I’m asking for gear for my birthday, a watch would be great, and love the idea of paying myself to run. I am gonna start that today!
    In my area there are so many running groups and even free coaching from a local running store, and with free on-line training plans (like RLAM), my expenses are really still pretty small.

  65. Andrea permalink
    July 28, 2010 10:33 am

    I forgot to mention that we get ipod music from CD’s borrowed from the library – as far as I know that’s still ok! And we have a killer collection of all kinds of music to choose from!

  66. Susan K permalink
    July 28, 2010 10:41 am

    My husband and I each get a monthly allowance to spend however we want. This works so well and forces us to budget on our own. Right now I’m training for a fall marathon, so most of my allowance goes towards gear, shoes, clothes, etc. Plus, I usually plan my destination runs in cities where my family members live, so I can race and spend time with my family too!

  67. Julie permalink
    July 28, 2010 10:54 am

    I don’t buy too many running shirts/shorts (I tend to only wear my favorites anyway), but I do splurge on my shoes and make sure to track my miles and replace accordingly…sometimes it just means fewer cute work shoes, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make!

  68. July 28, 2010 10:54 am

    No I do not budget monthly for running expenses and it I met Suzy Orman she would be horrified at our budget since it is not pretty. But on that note we are trying to sell our house which will remove the mortgage and reduce our monthly payments.

  69. July 28, 2010 10:59 am

    It DOES add up. My hubby and I give ourselves fun money each month, cash, and we don’t use debit cards for non-essentials. I save up my fun money for race entries and some gear. Also, I started trail racing. MUCH cheaper. $44 this year got me the most scenic 50K with aid stations full of m&ms, fruit and sandwiches, volunteers filing my Nathan bladder with snow to chill my water, a kick-ass medal, tech socks, cutest tech shirt and a 22 oz local IPA. I also shop at goodwill and have gotten many great Nike ans Sporthill tech clothes.

  70. July 28, 2010 11:04 am

    Well, as a wife and mother of 5, “splurging” – read that ANY money spent – on myself gets put off way too long. I learned the hard way about the necessity to buy shoes more than once a year (knees…). I haven’t ran a marathon but am currently trying to train for the 2011 Seattle Rock N Roll Half (Thank you Beginner Marathon Training Plan!)……

    -with my 2 Teen daughters, ages 14 & 16. And when one of them pipes up and says “I need new running shoes” and the other looks at hers with a “me too” look – it leads me to sigh and say “Me too.” Cha-CHING.

    Since I have had to be VERY frugal, shoes alone for 3 of us is easily $300. A family that has suffered an “economic cut back” of our main income 18 months ago, how do you work that in? Running is definitely a bonding experience for me with my girls. And even though I have to force myself at times to get out, I always feel so invigorated. It’s a good “investment” all around.

    So we shop – and shop – and shop. Target, WalMart, sales, garage sales sometimes, Goodwill. It’s amazing what GOOD quality items people will donate that are barely used. (wait! Not for shoes, take a breath!). For sports bras, running skirts, tops, tanks, etc.

    Shoes, I really despise running shoe shopping. Which probably contributes to my lack of timely purchases. I have a difficult foot to fit and it has to be perfect, or I usually develop some sort of pain. A lot of shoes seem to have a narrow base where the ball of the foot is and I have very wide feet. Recently a fellow runner pointed me to the Brooks outlet. It took me 90 minutes of shoe trying but I found one that worked well. Now, it’s time to shop again. Both my girls have very long feet, which usually makes it difficult to find a heel that fits well. One has a wide foot, one has a very skinny foot. This is not flip flop shopping.

    I’ve been surprised at the cost of entry fees, which has hampered our participation. I usually have to choose one girl to take. I think that’s a frustration, if you’re economically challenged, some experiences are for the non economically challenged 🙂 We definitely haven’t done any traveling for races yet but I know my 14 year old & I would be stoked to run in Portland or So. Oregon, our hometowns.

    Thanks for RLAM! You’ve got us “on the road again”.

  71. jord permalink
    July 28, 2010 11:05 am

    I pick and choose and only buy on sale. As much as it pains my inner shopping Goddess to say this, I have all the gear I need, at least for the moment. There are loads of things I want, though. When I have an impulse buy, I try to justify it with the fact that I quit smoking 6 years ago. There is no way that I’ve even come close to spending as much on running as I would have on cigarettes since then. Some days that works better than others (usually depending on how much I spent).

    I have my first out of town race this September and I’m hoping to couch-surf with friends or family.

  72. July 28, 2010 11:13 am

    PS: I am endowed 🙂 And I always hear Oprah in my mind, from years ago. “If you ladies have to wear 3 bras, get them on!” – support your girls! So, I’m a 3 bra wearer. CHA-CHING!

    I wear a regular bra with racer back (separation), a sports bra that zips up the front (reinforces separation and hold) and then a regular cotton sports bra on top. It holds very well!

    When I lost 90 lbs, my size still was a C cup and I still wore 3 – I just got used to the comfort of not being too free while running. Plus as you age… well all that bouncing seems to tear the firmness away. The girls need all the retention they can retain.

  73. Kathy permalink
    July 28, 2010 11:16 am

    My running has been very low-mileage lately so I’m working through all the stuff I bought when I was marathon training 🙂 That said, I just signed up for a 1/2 marathon in January and will sign up for a training group. It’s what gets me motivated and running keeps me healthy. Cheaper than visits to the doctor or prescription meds!

  74. July 28, 2010 11:17 am

    The shoes are an “automatic” in the budget, like groceries or cleaning supplies. Other gear is an extra and we (my partner and I both run) often purchase it as gifts for each other.

  75. maysette permalink
    July 28, 2010 11:29 am

    I’ve become coupon crazy at the grocery store and Target…my weekly grocery bill has gone from about $75 to less than $50. In my mind, the money saved is “play” money…either activities with the kids or race fees!

  76. Steph permalink
    July 28, 2010 11:47 am

    I don’t have too much in the way of running gear….good shoes, good bra, a couple of tech shirts, a few pair of shirts, and iPod and Nike Plus. (My dad bought me the iPod and I’m 35 years old, guess he was feeling generous!) Anyway, I say to myself, if I finish (not PR or anything, just finishing is good for me) I can buy a new piece of running gear. I’m doing a half in September, so maybe I’ll try one of the running skirts you’re all raving about!

    • Steph permalink
      July 28, 2010 11:48 am

      I meant a few pair of SHORTS.

    • July 28, 2010 12:45 pm

      Good idea about the skirts or other gear – linking it to incentive to finish the race. And yesterday when I was running I was thinking about my inability to be faster (always an issue for me – is it called running if your teens are WALKING by you? ;P) – and I thought “my only goal is to finish. That’s my accomplishment”. Thanks for the validation!

  77. Kate permalink
    July 28, 2010 11:52 am

    I can reconcile my race fees by knowing that I only do charitable runs and at least a portion of that money is tax deductible and goes toward a good cause. Luckily, my husband is a sponsored cyclist and I am able to reap the benefits he receives on items like sports drinks, bottles, socks, etc., Other than that, I run fairly cheaply. I have two sports bras that I interchange, one running skirt, one pair of shorts and two tops. Really all I need at this point.

  78. July 28, 2010 12:26 pm

    I’ve tried to keep expenses modest, but as a new runner it hasn’t been easy. I did have some decent sports bras and workout clothes from prior adventures in exercising, but I needed running shoes and found lots of other “needs” along the way. Fortunately, my family and friends have been excited and supportive of this new venture, so I’ve been the lucky recipient of some great gifts, including a Garmin.

    Also, God bless facebook. One of my FB friends recently posted that she ordered new running shoes on clearance from It turns out they are the same shoes I wear, so I’m going to go ahead and order a pair for when I need to replace the current ones. Half price for shoes is a good feeling!

  79. Jill permalink
    July 28, 2010 12:27 pm

    What about B.O.B.? Chose BOB over a crib (kids slept in my crib) and glider (screw a $250 CHAIR, I had an extra tush to get rid of) as a gift from G-ma.. Christmas and B-day gifts are my shoes, only have to buy one pair a year usually…

    TJMaxx and sales racks are my ‘I need new clothes to get out the door’ go to spots.. One new outfit a year! AND thanks to running I am wearing the same sizes and many of the same clothes that I purchased when I started running 7 years ago.. My shat don’t stink liks SBS’… Or that could be why I usually run alone!! Ha!

    Running is priceless in my world, whatever $$ I spend comes back to our family! A happy mom equals a happy home!!

  80. July 28, 2010 12:37 pm

    Shop sales! If I find something I like I’ll buy multiples (like the champion sport running capri’s and tees which I bought 3 sets of this month, ahem!). Also for cover ups/jackets I check out thrift stores, esp for races as most the time I wear them and discard them, not a prob for a sports top that cost $2-3 at a thrift store!

    Also best tip, if you KNOW you want to run a particular race sign up EARLY! Most the fees increase in 2 month increments, and so high on race day, you can save 50% this way!

    Another good thing is Amazon credit card. You get points when you use it good at Great for shoes, clothing, water bottles, energy drinks, shot bloks, etc etc etc cos lets face it Amazon sell pretty much EVERYTHING!!!

    I’ll skimp on shorts/tees etc but I WILL NOT skimp on shoes! You’re a runner, your feet are your tool, protect them! That’s one thing I will pay good money for!

  81. Terzah permalink
    July 28, 2010 12:45 pm

    My kids have actually helped in this arena–I save money because we do things on their schedule and don’t get out much. Before I had them, I’d race often, sometimes every weekend. Those days are over (for now!).

    I also only race close to home, or if I do choose a faraway race, I choose one that I’m going to be close to anyway (e.g. near the in-laws’ house over the holidays). And when I say close to home, I mean I don’t even travel to Denver from Boulder–my races are pretty much all in Boulder County–I’m lucky to live in a place where there are a lot of hometown races, from sub-1-milers to marathons.

    I also stretch my clothing as much as possible. I will buy new bras and shoes regularly, but I’ll make a pair of shorts last forever. My clothing is so non-stylish, something I really notice when I line up to race and see other women in their cute running dresses and sleeveless tees, but hey! at least I’m there. And I never was going to be a fashion model anyway. :^)

  82. Amanda D permalink
    July 28, 2010 12:47 pm

    Running budget…. tri budget….. its amazing how much these races cost!
    My husband and I both run (he has stayed sane and not joined the tri team), but the costs can be astronomical. I tend to buy shoes at the end of season and I buy two pairs– and rotate my current pair with the two new pairs- seems to help keep them still “alive.” I buy all clothes on clearance– so in a couple weeks, I will be buying all new summer running/tri clothes for the following year. As far as racing, hubby isn’t into it, but when I race, I keep local or in a place that we have family/friends around.

    And I agree, running is much cheaper than therapy! And lord knows I need my “freedom” with three kids under 4 and a husband who works some ungodly hours lately.
    Happy Running!

  83. July 28, 2010 1:21 pm

    Shoes are a must so I don’t worry about spending with those. Race entries are expensive and I try to balance them out over the course of a year. We don’t go out to movies and we don’t have cable so I justify the spending as “entertainment”.

    The rest of my gear comes from saving loose change. I fill up my piggy bank and empty it every few months. It’s absolutely amazing how quickly coin can add up (especially with Canadian loonies and toonies).
    And, when clearing out my boys’ old things, I give them half of the money (motivates them to part with old toys) and the other half goes to feed my running habit. It’s a win-win for everybody.

  84. Anitra permalink
    July 28, 2010 2:01 pm

    I always try to shop sales and only buy what I need not just want!! Needless to say all my Christmas, Birthday, V-day,and anniversary gifts are usually something I need or want for running!!!

    Running shoes: $100
    Shorts,socks,top, bra $60&^
    Entry fees $25&^

    Running, Looking, Feeling Good PRICELESS!!!!

  85. July 28, 2010 2:04 pm

    ughh, i too am trying to get into the biking and triathloning (is that a word LOL). but it is sooo expensive!!!! i spend way too much money on just running as it is. i dont have a specific budget, but i try to limit myself to 1 running related item ever 2 weeks. there for a while i was buying a skirt or shirt or socks or gel…anything i could get my hands on several times a week. im a self proclaimed gear whore, its a serious addiction that im working on LOL.

  86. July 28, 2010 2:36 pm

    trying to slowly get things and build up my supply of sports bras & clothes, and i’ve cut back on races, and try to choose local. we really can’t afford to have me traveling and doing marathons! but, as my husband recently told me while budgeting, it is a good thing to spend money on!

  87. July 28, 2010 2:43 pm

    Thankfully I work for a sporting-goods store (if you’re Canadian, just think of the biggest chain) so my discount comes in very handily. My only problem is that they don’t carry my size for my shoes (10.5) so I’m still stuck buying them at full price.

    I have to admit that my husband and I (both runners) are very bad at impulse control. While I’d like to say that we budget for stuff we’ve succumbed to getting things just because (see discount above). I got a pair of shorts recently – Lululemon’s, but at least on sale – as evensies for him going whale/bear-watching on vacation. And he still owes me compression socks to fully make it up. 🙂

    The only money saving we really do is that we don’t sign up for a lot of races. In Vancouver a 10km race can cost $40 so if you do the math (x2 + HST + travel time/parking fees + etc) it adds up to a lot for about an hour of running! Even signing up for our marathon in October cost us a couple hundred bucks just to register. Now we just have to figure out how to pay for ferry, at least 1 night hotel (because I’m NOT staying with relatives the night before…), food and on and on.

  88. July 28, 2010 2:53 pm

    Honestly? I haven’t quite figured out how to budget for my running yet. I’ve only recently become serious about getting out there and just two weeks ago ran my first 5K since high school! I’m reading all these comments, though, and making plans. 🙂

  89. July 28, 2010 2:57 pm

    I shop sales as much as possible, although that isn’t helpful for shoes. I will settle for a color that isn’t really “me” if it is cheaper than another. I count on birthday money, and christmas money to cover shoes (thankfully birthday is in may, so it is spread out). I work a very part time job that helps cover race fees and shoes, and plan races around being able to stay with friends as much as possible.
    Would it be nice to have newer, nicer gear more often? Oh yes, but as others have mentioned, mommy guilt is a tricky thing. I can spend the money even when the budget doesn’t allow on shoes for the kids that are a must, but I’ll run in dead running shoes for 2 months waiting for Christmas to roll around.

  90. Jen B permalink
    July 28, 2010 2:58 pm

    I am so bad. I justify all my running-related expenses by constantly reminding myself how good this sport is for me, both mind and body. This included a trip to Paris this spring to run the Paris Marathon where we had to stay an extra week due to the volcano in Iceland (with kiddies (age 1 and 3) at home with Mother-in-Law!). Suze Orman would be disgusted with my “spend now, figure it out later” mentality. But it always seems to work out, and the cost of NOT running would be terrible!! And you cannot place a dollar value on great running experiences–there I go again justifying!!

  91. July 28, 2010 3:31 pm

    The hubby and I both have our own “woo hoo” account. We deposit $100 each paycheck into our account and use it on selfish things… Pedicures, new outfits, beer of the month club memberships, etc. I’ve been using that account to pay for my running needs. If I’ve depleted my funds in that account (which occurred when I trained for back-to-back races), I will wait until next payday to buy my gear. By then, I usually decide I don’t need it or determine that I NEED the item.

  92. July 28, 2010 3:45 pm

    I am fairly new to running. I had no idea how much running would cost! I got a little excited at my first half marathon running expo and bought, well, lets just say, a lot of stuff! I try to give myself a budget every month and needless to say, I have maxed the budget this month! I really wanted a Garmin 405 but had already used my budget so I had a garage sale. I earned the money in two days and I am so happy I did. I love my Garmin! I can see another garage sale in my near future:)

  93. Lee permalink
    July 28, 2010 4:00 pm

    I signed up for my first Triathalon this year and boy are the expenses adding up. Aside from the race entry, I’ve paid for shoes, training, a wet suit, other race entries to prepare for the tri, etc….I’m cheap when it comes to clothes though. Some of my things I’ve gotten at the Salvation Army. You can get great technical tees to run in if you don’t mind wearing a shirt for a race you didn’t do! I also like to look at clearance racks, Target and Walmart.

  94. July 28, 2010 4:20 pm

    I don’t really have a running allowance but I do get a spending allowance each week and if I want to buy something or buy an entry into a race, I need to save/budget for it. I have made some running clothes also because I managed to pick up some technical fabric at a bargain price as well as some patterns second hand (I have made a couple of running dresses, shirts, and soon some pants). I can’t make running shoes and unfortunately need to save up for them, which in Australia are pretty expensive (around $180 – $200 mark)
    With runs I have had to limit them to once a month but have decided to take August off competitive running as my husband is busy every weekend (and I haven’t been training as much and need to catch up a bit). Apart from these runs, I either run on my own or with friends on a local trail, or on club runs (which are free).

    Thanks for this site also, it is excellent!

  95. July 28, 2010 5:20 pm

    I haven’t been budgeting, but my husband is super supportive and really supports any purchase I make that helps me live a healthy lifestyle.

    I get clothes at the thrift store if I can, but shoes have to be brand new.

  96. Heather permalink
    July 28, 2010 5:20 pm

    I do a little extra consulting for a colleague. That money goes straight into my “fitness fund.” Got a check today, which is good. I need a new pair of shoes…SOON. (As a total newbie, this is my first replacement pair…feels like a milestone!)

  97. July 28, 2010 5:25 pm

    I cruise the local thrift stores for clothes. I’ve found UnderArmor Cold Gear (enough to outfit me for winter running and my daughter for soccer), tri tops, all kinds of warm weather clothes including some with the tags still on. I also found a pair of bike shoes in my size! I also cruise for online sales on shoes and clothing.

  98. AnneMarie permalink
    July 28, 2010 5:26 pm

    I buy stuff off the clearance rack. My hubby is a huge runner and I am just getting started, so he has a pretty established collection of running duds that I have snagged off the clearance racks, so I know how to look for stuff…off season – nothing beat the high of getting a 90$ Nike running jacket for 15$ as a little suprise for him! We have a routine of hitting the racks whether we are looking or not, because you never know what you might find. On the bigger ticket items we look at the budget for the month and see when we can spare the extra $$ to get it. We stick to local races for the most part, but on the rare occasion that a bigger ticket race comes along, we can usually swing it without much worry.

  99. Melanie Headley permalink
    July 28, 2010 5:29 pm

    I started serious training for the PEI (half) Marathon a year ago May and bought only what I needed for that event. Actually, I found a great sports bra and shorts at Wal Mart which really surprised me. I try to meet the “early bird” registration because it’s usually $10 – $20 cheaper. Sneakers are next on my list!

  100. July 28, 2010 5:35 pm

    I’m a SAHM lately so this is a hot topic in my household! I buy clothes on sale and only if I really need them. I run on a local running store’s team and get a hefty discount on shoes. When I was pregnant I borrowed maternity running clothes.

  101. July 28, 2010 5:38 pm

    I’m totally embarassed to admit this. I don’t. I know I should but I sign up for races on the spur of the moment. I don’t think, which is why I am going to run 3 fulls and 6 halves this year! Yikes! I am happy to say that I buy all my shoes and clothes on sale. Now that I have a lot of races under my belt, I don’t need to buy shirts very often…

  102. Rhonda permalink
    July 28, 2010 5:39 pm

    I like to ask for running gear for my birthday, other holidays from my family. I unabashedly cut photos out of magazines or show them the items in stores. They like it because they know I’ll like and use their gift….I like it because I get a running gift!

  103. Scheri permalink
    July 28, 2010 5:46 pm

    I am a very frugal runner. It can really add up to be expensive, and with two kids, I can’t spend money like that.

    I buy the majority of my shoes from They have great coupons every other week and if it is free shipping over orders of $75, then I throw in a sports bra or two to get the free shipping. I normally pay $50 – 60 for a pair of Saucony, New Balance and/or Asics. I also shop Ross and TJ Max for running clothes. It is amazing the deals you can find. I go in there sometimes to find nothing at all, but other times I am very lucky and load up on running bras, shorts or capris for under $10 each. I even found those super thick Nike thermal running tops for $15. Great deals!

    As for race entry fees, that’s something I just have to pay… I haven’t found a trick for that one. Probably why I don’t do too many races.

  104. Cori permalink
    July 28, 2010 6:01 pm

    Right now we are down to one income while I am on extended parental leave with my gorgeous identical twin girlies. So – budgeting is essential. Mandatory, even. I have done my best to try to keep my running gear expenses in check by shopping for new items on ebay. I have bought 2 pairs of brand new running shoes on ebay for a SMALL FRACTION of the price in stores. Same goes for fuel belts. That alone has saved us alot of money. I also went through my old “hobbies” that fell by the wayside and sold off the gear from those to fund my running gear purchases (like my Garmin). And I use weight loss milestones before I will buy new clothing. I decided that if I am going to register for races – the tech shirts I get are the shirts I get to run in. Sure, I will occasionaly treat myself to a new tank and I don’t restrict on things like socks or bras but for the most part, I have to keep it a budget friendly activity.

  105. Megan permalink
    July 28, 2010 6:06 pm

    This is a great topic. The only way I have been able to “try out” a triathalon was to borrow the gear from friends who are already into the sport. I initally thought I could tough it out on my hybrid bike but was sorely mistaken. With a borrowed bike, bike shoes, tri suit, and wet suit, I was able to take the plunge and do a triathalon. Now I am hooked so I have to figure out how to afford a sweet race bike. I’ve been told you can find some nice used ones on Craig’s list.

  106. July 28, 2010 6:13 pm

    I spend on shoes. I think even Suze would agree that shoes are a good investment in my health (physical & mental). I run local races, skip the garmin in favor of a 5 year old timex ironman and buy clothes on sale at Kohl’s. It works out to a modest investment with great returns.

  107. April permalink
    July 28, 2010 6:23 pm

    You ask how do I budget…My answer is “I don’t”. I only buy what is necessary and vital for survival to the finish line or target mileage. In order of importance – running shoes, calf sleeves, asics socks,recovery drinks, good sports bra, and a few tanks and shorts for the hot weather where I live. Let me elaborate on my “I don’t” answer. I am a thrifty shopper so when it is time to bust out my debit card, I do a little reseasrch to save a few pennies or get a big discount. My motto is to never pay full price. Here’s one good example: On race registrations, I still do the good ol’ mailing the forms since that doesn’t incur fees like online registrations charge. That could save you anywhere from a couple of bucks to even a nice $20 savings. Did I forget mentioning to register early too to take advantage of early bird registration discounts? Those can go to a whopping 40% off the price. Point is…I won’t spend if it is not NECESSARY for motivation, training, injury prevention or treatment.

  108. July 28, 2010 6:53 pm

    I haven’t spent too much so far (just getting started!) so I pretty much swipe the card and go.

  109. Tiffany permalink
    July 28, 2010 6:54 pm

    I only buy when we have extra money. It isn’t very often, so I have to make sure I get a good deal!

  110. Christine permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:10 pm

    Well being I still don’t own any “official” running gear other than my shoes!! lol I would say I save! I saved up to get my shoes. Next I am saving for a good bra, and eventually some clothes. Hopefully I won’t need new shoes by the time that happens!!! 🙂

  111. July 28, 2010 7:18 pm

    I purchase inexpensive workout clothes at some place like Target when I see them on sale. I buy new shoes about once a year. The shoes are by far the largest expense (at least $100.) I have yet to budget for any of my running items, but I see a treadmill in my future, so that will probably change!

  112. Claire permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:22 pm

    My husband and I both run so it can get pretty pricey. We buy shoes on sale buy 1 get 1 half off is usually when we go. We buy an itunes card when I work extra so when we need new tunes it’s already paid for. We trade off on clothing items if he needs a new shirt or shorts I wait and vice versa. Usually it has to wait until there’s some extra so I actually look forward to working more! Saving all our change in a jar and rolling it goes to pay for race entry fees. We stick close to home and do way less racing then we’d like! A run is a run and that’s what counts so we figure it out as we go:)

  113. July 28, 2010 7:22 pm

    running post-preg. have a nursing 2 mo old. tons of weight to loose. trying to fit training into my life – difficult with husband back in school/day & working fulltime/night. wearing 2 yr old asics purchaed on clearnace from khol’s. sporting 2 sports bras that are X yrs old. trying to save money to sign my daughter and me up for our first marathon. the prices are crazy but were attempting to budget. i have to cut corners and/or go without as much as possible. i’m sure it can be done!?!?!?!?

  114. July 28, 2010 7:32 pm

    I was just saying today how I love that running is free. Well, after my $90 Vibrams. 🙂 I’m still too new to pay for any races yet. But I kinda think how much I’m saving on not having to pay a therapist.


  115. July 28, 2010 7:54 pm

    I budget by being very picky about my races. Since I am a race junkie, I’ve been known to stage “fun runs” with friends on courses I don’t normally run. Places like state parks, extreme hills, etc. I provide very cool finishers prizes too: 6 packs of good microbrew or a bottle of wine!

  116. Beth in WI permalink
    July 28, 2010 7:59 pm

    I’m very new to running, so I havent bought any “accessories”! Now that my running is becoming a bit of an obsession…I’ve found myself surfing online for some decent shoes and bras. (Currently wearing myold lawn mowing shoes and the 2 for $10 Hanes sports bras – I know, for shame, right?!) I’m stumped on finding a solid, entry level shoe, so I welcome your suggestions. Health and wellness is priceless, ladies. So spending a little $ on ourselves for our health is justified!

  117. Martha permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:02 pm

    Well it might be old-school but I pay myself! Yep every week I pay myself a determined amount for all of the laundry, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, scheduling, did I mention cleaning that I do. And needless to say most of my “salary” goes to my running addiction. I keep it simple but still go thru a pair of shoes almost every 300mi and what girl doesn’t like a new pair of shoes! My races also come from that but what a great investment….in my sanity!!!

  118. Kristy Z. permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:15 pm

    To get gear for less, I shop smart. I find that the Tek Gear brand at Kohl’s is just as good as any other shirt or pants I’ve purchased at a higher cost (and I’ve never had stench issues with their clothes either). So, I spend on my shoes and socks because happy feet are running feet and buy discounted for the rest. I even found a pair of really nice athletic glasses at Ross for $4 that are my favorite and way more comfortable than the $40 pair I considered buying to start with.

    Wearing designer/costly gear won’t make me run any faster, that comes from hard work and determination–which is free!!

  119. Connilee permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:16 pm

    I believe in supporting local businesses, especially when they know how to fit my big old foot in the right shoe. I always purchase shoes from a great shop downtown. When I’m running a lot of miles I can go through a pair of shoes a month and I budget accordingly, scraping money together from all sorts of out-of-the-way places. The only other item I nearly always buy ‘new’ is socks – a good pair of running socks is a dream. I bargain shop for my shirts, shorts, and sports bras. I’ve found great deals at a variety of online stores and even my favorite thrift store.

  120. Robyn permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:22 pm

    Running is pretty much the only thing that I spend money on….I only race a few times a yeat (during the Summer/Fall) so a new pair of shoes and a couple of articles of clothes are cheap compared to the gym membership… we wing it….

  121. July 28, 2010 8:29 pm

    I try to sign up for races before the deadlines for the more expensive price bracket. Also, as far as the long term, I know that signing up for a race will make me accountable for training and working out – otherwise I have a harder time rolling out of bed at 6 am to go for a run!
    As far as gear, Marshalls, TJMaxx and Target are where I get most of my running clothes. For sneakers, I usually get a pair around black Friday where I can get a really good deal on them!!

  122. July 28, 2010 8:35 pm

    Other than my running shoes, I’ve been able to find some pretty decent deals on stuff. I’m close to a Reebok outlet so I’ve found lots of shirts and shorts there at great deals. Luckily I’m small chested so I found some really nice Champion sports bras at Costco of all places. I’ve only run a few races and I live in a metropolitan area so there are a lot of races to choose from right here. I would like a Garmin so I will have to save my pennies for that, and an extra pair of shoes would be nice too ;0)

  123. Carla permalink
    July 28, 2010 8:41 pm

    My husband is a (very good) runner and a CPA (!)yet still offers unlimited resources to buy shoes for my overpronating feet and registration fees for all the 5ks/10ks/Half marathons I can enter. So, I try to be careful with gear — I never pay full price, watch for sales and special offers in the mail, always ask for stuff for Christmas and birthdays and I try to place in my age group as often as possible. The awards around here are often from local running stores and I run right out and buy myself something new with my winnings!!!!

  124. JRC permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:02 pm

    I don’t.

    I simply tell myself that it’s for a good cause: my body and their issue. It’s all good. 🙂

  125. Amanda Fulfer permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:20 pm

    I have scaled back race entry fees. At this point they are nonexistant. I get my miles in around home and use the race entry money for new shoes and other gear. My second way I afford gear is that I use it for more than running. If I use it at work (the gym teaching classes) then it becomes a work expense and a tax write off!

  126. Kathryn Welch permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:21 pm

    I try to get as much as possible for my birthday and Christmas. Last year, I got a great pair of Asics (which now that I know how much they cost, will try to get 500 miles out of them). I got a cute running skirt and sports bra for my birthday. But I’m running my first marathon in Dec. in Vegas and I have dropped $550 so far for the race, air and hotel. That is a big gulp for me. I hope my shoes last (or that I win because I LOVE Asics!!)

  127. christine permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:40 pm

    I have a very limited income job and 2 kids that need childcare from those measly bucks. Then I also have my car payment. So anything left over can go to racing funds. I do what I can, mostly, but sometimes, especially if I am overly motivated, I’ll raise more money to cover the expenses and take the burden off the rest of the family. I know my wonderful husband doesn’t care, but I have a lot of pride around doing things like this for myself. So…

    In 2007 I ran the Chicago Marathon. This was the year it was 95 or something crazy degrees. I was living in Portland and spent all my hard earned dollars on the trip, hotel, food, and post race beer. But leaving the race with no BQ left me empty. So I got home, found another marathon to run 4 weeks later. Then I went through all my shoes and found the ones I don’t wear more than every 4 months or so (or longer… which was mostly the case). I sold 4 pairs of shoes on eBay and funded my entire trip to San Jose. Airfare, entry, hotel, food, and even post race food and beer. I tell ya, that in itself was motivation enough to get that BQ. And a PR.

    Currently I’m contemplating a fall marathon in Portland, but need to find the goods in my closet to fund it. Maybe all those maternity and new born clothes!

    • Jen B permalink
      July 28, 2010 9:49 pm

      What is BQ?

      • July 30, 2010 12:49 pm

        Boston Qualifier: means you race a time that qualifies you to race in the Boston Marathon. It’s a big goal for many runners and SUPER FAST AND HARD AND SCARY to think about for average runners like me! 🙂

  128. Sara permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:45 pm

    Couldn’t resist responding to this! While the running lifestyle can add up, it’s nothing compared to an avid cycling lifestyle! My husband rides a bike. He commutes to work, tours occasionally and rides for fitness. It’s saved us dollars because we own one car instead of two, but cycling gear seems to be way more expensive than running gear. Bike (s), cycling clothes, shoes, extra tires, tools to fix flat tires, etc etc. I am continually amazed at how much more expensive cycling is compared to running.

  129. Julie permalink
    July 28, 2010 9:48 pm

    I have recently lost about 25 pounds, many of which I chalk up to the addition of running to my workout program. I still don’t love running. I struggle with it, but I faithfully get out and do it because it has been good to me. Because of our busy schedule, I sometimes spend more hours than I should in my running clothes. (Yes, even post run… I know, gross.) All of this to say, I have made running expenses a priority. I will spend a little more on a tech shirt I really like if it looks good and makes me want to get out and run. And if I have spent all that money on the good stuff, I can’t help but get out and use it! It is another form of motivation!

  130. July 28, 2010 9:50 pm

    Our race fees are factored into our “entertainment” budget. Running shoes/clothing is factored in our allowance for clothes when needed.

  131. Lori permalink
    July 28, 2010 10:49 pm

    I started coaching to pay for my running gear….
    and my husband knows how hard life would be, for us both, if I didn’t have “running therapy.” 😉

  132. July 28, 2010 11:54 pm

    I set aside $5 each week for my running shoe budget so that when I need a new pair, I can just go get them. Clothes and everything else have to come out of the general budget, so, those purchases are far and few between. I ask for those things for my birthday and Christmas as well. I haven’t done a marathon yet, much less one far from home, so I’m not sure how that would work out in our budget, but it’s something I think about from time to time!

  133. Mary permalink
    July 29, 2010 12:04 am

    Both my husband and I are runners. He runs ultra-marathons which are way cheaper than conventional ones–thank goodness. And, I’m just now getting into longer distances so we haven’t had many expensive direct race registration costs. But, shoes. Wow. Expensive. Husband’s trick is to find a pair he likes than wait for a good sale on the internet and stock up. He’s getting $100 shoes for closer to $50 that way. For clothes, well, we don’t dress cute when we’re running. I wish I could, but I just can’t rationalize a cute new outfit when I have plenty of clothes that work just fine. Ugh. And he gets a tech tshirt at just about every race and just wears those. As far as travel goes, well, so far we’ve camped for all of the out of town races. Again, ugh. I’m always blown away at how fast the nutrition adds up: gu’s $1/piece, electrolyte stuff $15, and what ever else we need, and before you know it the bill is up over $50. Ouch. For music, we share an ipod shuffle. For watches, neither of us use one frequently and when we do we’re talking a $30 timex.

    I guess our trick is to keep it simple.

  134. Julie S. permalink
    July 29, 2010 1:01 am

    Wow… what great advice!
    I’m just getting into running and about choked at the cost of a decent pair of shoes! I was shopping with a running friend and had her help (along with a really helpful salesperson) and decided it was worth it, but was wondering about all the rest of that running “stuff” and if I need it. Glad to hear I can do without!

  135. Sherisa permalink
    July 29, 2010 1:03 am

    My best budget trick is to earn my purchases. Sometimes like today, when I wasn’t enjoying (to put it mildly) my 3rd pair (at least) of ear buds while running, I resolved to go wireless. I’m doing the 16 week plan and told myself – “at the end of week 4 – you can buy the ear buds.” That reduces the impulse and allows me to feel like I have earned them so when purchase day does come, I can feel good about taking a step to improve my running experience.

  136. July 29, 2010 3:55 am

    Honestly,I race very little due to the costs. Unfortunately I pour most of my money into my feet (shoes/more shoes/custom orthotics,etc). Anything that will keep me running semi-pain free.

  137. Joy P permalink
    July 29, 2010 5:45 am

    I do not run races. I am happy to have gotten 2.5 miles in under 30 minutes….. T.J. Maxx and other discount store for clothing. Shoes seem to be what is important so there is where the money is spent.

  138. Jennifer permalink
    July 29, 2010 6:26 am

    I am brand new to running. I don’t think I even have a great idea of what gear I really need. I know that as I continue with this, I will definitely need a new pair of shoes. As a teacher, I do need to budget for things. I am currently looking at shoes, trying shoes on, and trying to figure out which ones will be the best for me. Hopefully in the next couple of months I will have a new pair of running shoes.

  139. July 29, 2010 8:11 am

    I am new to running (just started this year and am still working through a basic learn to run training program to get my body used to it.) We have a recreation budget that covers fitness related expenses. Last year I played slow pitch this year the money on fees for that went to a good pair of running shoes. For things that clearly prevent injury and reduce medical costs related to that (again those shoes would fit here) I am willing to cut back in other areas so I can pay for. some of the accessories (a music player) are coming as rewards for meeting certain goals the first of which I just met this week. The second small goal I hope will come in about a month at a community event.

  140. July 29, 2010 8:34 am

    Funny thing. My husband’s one of those “Rich Dad” guys. It’s never “we can’t afford it” but rather “how CAN we afford it?” So I thought- one toddler, one baby, one husband who seems to be going through teenage hormones again (he attributes it to my changing running body) = charge him every time we get to waxing the giraffe. That’s right, don’t worry. I don’t overcharge.

    Talk about a hump day giveaway. You’re welcome.

  141. jessica carter permalink
    July 29, 2010 8:40 am

    I am a teacher and a couple years ago I went through the (intense) process of National Certification. In my state we get a $5,000 bonus per year for this cert. Each year I get my check my husband gives me 10% to just blow on whatever I want. Unlike many people who might buy clothes or jewelry, all my money goes to race fees. I got to run 6 half marathons this year with my “fun money.”

  142. Heather D permalink
    July 29, 2010 9:04 am

    I’m just starting out on this running thing so honestly – I haven’t spent much at all yet. I really do need to get some shoes though. Thanks for this chance to win 🙂

  143. sandra m. permalink
    July 29, 2010 9:29 am

    So happy to have found your blog! (sent from Cathy Z.) I try to bargin hunt for deals, but definately know the older I get the more expensive things are to prevent injuries. LOVE Asics! Thanks for the give away chance.

  144. Jody permalink
    July 29, 2010 9:33 am

    I haven’t done any races (yet.) Good shoes are my biggest priority! That being said, I never pay full price…I always shop the sales and use coupons when I can. I’m happy to get my clothing at TJ Maxx.

  145. Mellena permalink
    July 29, 2010 9:43 am

    I slowly start eliminating the kids snack food until I have enough money to pay for what I want. They don’t need all those snacks so I can justify it. Right?


  146. July 29, 2010 9:53 am

    For me running is as simple as keeping my eyes open for running shoes on sale. I run because it is simple and fun…and I would die without it. I run in my old race t-shirts and cut off sweats. The biggest expense is race fees, especially since it’s usually a family deal. But if the money isn’t there, we don’t do it. Running can be as simple as you want it to be, and although races are loads of fun, it’s hard to beat an early morning runner’s high just you and the road.

  147. July 29, 2010 10:56 am

    My hubby and I were just laughing recently about how my “free” activity isn’t so free! However, when faced with carting 5 kids to Jazzercise or waking up early for a run, the run does turn out to be free. No childcare to pay for!

    I try to prioritize my spending when I need something new. Mama needs a new pair of shoes, so I’ve been trying to get creative on where to cut out so that’s possible this month. Just realized I’m at mile 440!

  148. July 29, 2010 11:33 am

    As a runner with arthritis in both feet, I have just resigned myself to the fact that good quality, often-replaced running shoes are a must for me–almost like a medical expense. That means I shell out about $100 about every 5 months, just for shoes. I hate it, and I don’t really “budget” for it per se, I just know it’s coming. I guess I swipe my card and deal with it later. 😉

  149. July 29, 2010 11:38 am

    I bargain hunt when I can, but some things you just need. Then I swipe and forget about it. And let my husband deal with the bill.

  150. Adriane Lioudis permalink
    July 29, 2010 1:49 pm

    I am the queen of Kohl’s sales for running gear, and have hit some mega sales at Dick’s, too. For shoes, I scour the internet for my trusty Asics and go with the older model/color. I rarely pass $65 for a pair. And I’m sadly cutting back on the 5K’s, unless it has a twist (party afterwards, great swag, activities for my kids). I figure that since I don’t have a gym membership, it’s a minimal splurge, really.

  151. Alison H permalink
    July 29, 2010 2:36 pm

    I am lucky enough to live near a great outlet mall that has Nike, Reebok, and UnderArmor stores with great discounts for my running gear. To pay for my races, I recently started doing a little freelance writing online. It doesn’t pay well ($15 per article), but it’s easy enough to pop out a few articles per week and save the money for my entry fees and travel expenses.

  152. Marianne permalink
    July 29, 2010 3:04 pm

    I am very fortunate to work for a company that values fitness and a healthy lifestyle. As motivation to stay physically fit and lead a healthy lifestyle, my employee benefits package includes a Health & Fitness Program which offers a subsidy of up to $500 each fiscal year. While it certainly doesn’t begin to cover all my running expenses, it certainly helps!

  153. July 29, 2010 3:35 pm

    I clean our friends house every week, and put it in our “run fund”. It funds races and shoes. If I need some extra, I just sell some stuff I don’t need on ebay.

  154. Wendy permalink
    July 29, 2010 7:26 pm

    Ross is my fave place for inexpensive clothing!!! I have found Nike, Addidas and all sorts of “name brand” running clothes there!!! I can get most under $10 a piece! I even found Moving Comfort Bras there! 🙂 We also live near outlets which makes it nice. My mom once found me Nike Vomeros for $20 at Nike outlet!!!!

    We collect Coke Rewards to cash in for Nike gift certifiactes to keep my feet in the Nike Vomeros I love!

    My husband runs too and he was able to find his shoes slightly used on e-bay!

    Also, the swag has to be worth it for us to enter a race! We are planning the Daytona Half which gives us tickets to the Daytona Experience so that can be a mini vacation one weekend…

    We stick with local races and inexpensive ones too…with both of us running it all adds up fast!

  155. Julie permalink
    July 29, 2010 7:39 pm

    Well, I’m pretty new at this running thing, having seriously started in November ’09, and having just recently completed 2 10k races. But finances are tight all around, so I have to be careful in my spending.

    I also race local, and I am part of a (free) running group. As we chit-chat during the runs, I don’t have any need for an mp3 player, and I once borrowed my hubby’s heart rate monitor, but it seemed to make my running too ‘technical’ and take away some enjoyment for me. So I am pretty low-tech.

    I have one pair of awesomely cute black running shorts that I got for Christmas, and I just wash them gently after each run. They should last me the year.

    I do have good shoes and socks and I find that I get what I pay for. As an avid hiker, I’ve learned that happy feet are everything!

  156. Jennifer permalink
    July 29, 2010 9:22 pm

    I love the Nike Outlet! It’s 3 hours from where I live, but I always try and make a stop when we’re heading in that direction. I also try and buy my favorite New Balance running shoes in bulk. A couple of years ago I found them for $33/pair on Amazon (I think it was a mistake because the next time I looked they were a lot more). I bought 4 pairs. Unfortunately, I switch shoes every 2-3 months, depending on training, so they didn’t last very long!

  157. July 30, 2010 6:49 am

    I acquire my running gear in dribs and drabs throughout the year, with the bigger purchases coming as birthday and Christmas gifts (received my Garmin for my birthday this year!). I don’t think about entry fees too much, because as someone who used to eat that much (and more, really) in fast food, this is a much healthier thing to be spending my money on.

  158. July 30, 2010 9:42 am

    I married a guy that comes with a sporting goods discount…lol. Seriously though, after several races in my short 6 month running career I realized that I’m better at longer distances so no more 5ks. And I also learned the heat is not my friend so no more late race starts in hot weather. I guess just making my running goals and only signing up for things that help me meet my goals is helping me reign in the spending. That and the discount on the gear doesn’t hurt. 😉

  159. July 30, 2010 1:39 pm

    Our family budget has alway had a little line in it for my sports, since I used to go to the gym before having kids – but for the last few years I haven’t done anything with it. Last school year there was only one day in the week when someone was not at a sport (never me). So, this year I am using the modest amount to equip myself a little for this sport. It isn’t enough anymore to be the cheerful cheering squad for everyone else. The best thing I can do for my kids, I think now, is to show the example (even if it means missing some of the hockey practice (hubby and son), tumbling course (daughter) or karate session (both kids)) and getting out. There isn’t any way hubby would miss his hockey, and he doesn’t expect me to miss out either. If ever I need more than what is budgeted, I guess I’ll have to cut back elsewhere.

  160. Tasha permalink
    July 31, 2010 9:30 am

    I shop clearance racks for my running clothes, I hate to pay to much for something I will sweat buckets in. I found a running skirt I love from the Adidas outlet ($14.95!!) and am now on the hunt for another one. As much as I love it, I still won’t pay full price for it. For my shoes, I’ve been fitted twice, so I pretty much know what I can and can’t run in. I try on different types of shoes and look for sales. I put aside some money each month, just so I have a stash in case I find a good deal. For races, I figure out what my schedule will allow and then budget for the enterance fees.

  161. August 2, 2010 7:56 am

    We only go out eating about once a month, I do not buy expensive shoes, jewelry or clothes. I cut my hair off after I started running since I was spending over $150 a month and with all the sweating it wasn’t lasting as long. I bargain shop as much as I can, Marshall’s Target, TJMaxx, Oulet stores and Ross (when on vacation). Plan races around my family vacation and register for them as soon as they open since it is always much cheaper, if I am going to do it there is no point waiting for the price to go up. Because I am in better shape now I do not need any expensive medicine or have any health issue so I was able to change my health insurance to a cheaper one where I manage the payment (CHP). I am currently trying to convince my company to pay for my Hammer nutrition supplement (will not give this up really make a big differnce in my endurance and recovery)since they pay for gym membership but no clothes or shoes allowed.

  162. Abby permalink
    August 3, 2010 9:03 am

    I pick and choose my races carefully, I won’t pay $50 for a 5k (assuming I sign myslef and hubby up) since I can get out there and run that on my own but I will pay $100 for a half marathon. Also my running clothes are old and worn out but I won’t go too long on old shoes. Compromise!

  163. August 4, 2010 5:07 am

    i do my shirt/short/skirt shopping at yard sales, and thrift stores. obviously for the more intimate apparel and shoes i get new…but i am not a huge runner just yet, so this seems to be just right for now…melissa.

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