Running on a Shoestring – Part 2

Running is a cheap sport, all you need are shoes, shorts and a t-shirt.

That’s the impression I was under when I started my adventure over three years ago, and I disagree. While it’s true that there’s no equipment to buy – like a bike – it can get a little costly depending on the distance, race location (and size), and how often you run.

While I would love to jet all over the country running marathons, at this point in my life it’s just not possible. I have four children at home, a part-time job, and a husband who is out of town frequently for work. So I follow the big marathons, and put those on my future list.

Meanwhile, I will continue to cut costs where I can, and enjoy this season of my life. Also, in order to get my marathons in without expensive travel, I have chosen to run the big one near me: Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth, Oklahoma City. No airfare.

In my last post, I shared a few ideas on how to save money running, and as promised here are a few more.

  • Fuel: I have tried all kinds of fueling options for my long training runs. Unless it’s race day, I try whatever I can find on sale. Our local Academy often has Gu, Clif products, and other brands on sale. I can  get Nuun there as well, and every couple of months it will go on sale. I have found that Nuun is more cost-effective to have around the house. It doesn’t have added sugar, and my kids don’t care for it (probably because it’s missing the sugar). It doesn’t disappear like sports drinks do. I have also found Power Bar products on sale at the grocery stores in town. Again, I will try anything I can get a good deal on. Once I discover that I can tolerate something well on a run, I will stock up next time it’s on sale. Then I hide them away in my closet. I have a teenage boy who craves sweets, so gels or chews are not safe. I have also tried fueling with food like raisins and granola bars, but the portability of the other products are a win for me right now.
  • Expos: I may have written about this before, but I like to stash away some cash for upcoming marathon expos. You can get some great deals on all kinds of gear. I’ve bought sunglasses (with a year warranty), compression gear, hats, and more. You can also get some great free stuff.
  • Rewards: My local (45 minute away) running store started a rewards program earlier this year, and I know other shops that do too. For every _x_ amount you spend, you get _x_ in rewards to spend. I also mentioned to them once when I was picking up a race packet, how I wished I could get my shoes there. I have a long, skinny foot and they don’t stock much in the way of narrow widths. They offered to order my shoe and ship it to me for free!

What am I missing?

What other ways have you found to save money running?

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