The financial costs of running (besides sweat, pain, and tears)….

running man 1The other day someone asked me what activity they could do that wouldn’t involve investing a lot of money. Running! I proceeded to tell them how they only need a decent pair of running shoes and some workout clothes. After I sold them on running as the cheap workout, I realized that I myself have invested money into running over the years. A lot money now that I look back.

1. MP3 Players: Most runners I know run with their iPod, iPhone, or some MP3 player. Music entertains us as we run. I have issues with my iPods getting water damage from my sweat (eweee, gross). I have been through several in the past 6 months and was forced to do my long runs sans music for a few weeks. And you know what – I dug it. You are left alone with your thoughts and you take in your surroundings. And I felt I could control my pace better. I did a few 15-18 milers this way. But when my replacement iPod arrived at my door, I was quickly back to running with Rihanna and Beyonce.

2. GPS watches: As a beginner, I didn’t feel a need to track my mileage. As my training got more intense, I needed to know how much I was running down to the tenth of the mile. I invested in the Nike + sensor that attached to your shoe and iPod. I then bought a Motoactv. And just recently, I purchased my first Garmin. I can’t wait to test it out.

3. Sneakers: Running long distance means replacing your sneakers often. I myself have my long run/race day sneakers and another pair I use for shorter run and indoor runs. Probably not necessary but my racing sneakers are expensive so I like to save those for the special occasions.

4. Cool Running Clothes & Accessories: It’s hard to resist seeing a cool running t-shirt with some cool “I’m a fierce runner” slogan on it. I’m suckered in to buying those too. But I look good when I show them off at the gym. Let’s not forget the fueling belts, running gloves, compression socks, and GU gels.

5. Race Entry Fees: This is probably one of the steepest investments runners makes. Especially if you’re like me and have registered for races that you then can’t run. 5k’s and 10k’s tend to be cheaper; but get to nationally recognized marathons and you’re looking at $200 and up.

6. Gym membership or Treadmill: If you are cross training or running indoors, you have probably invested in gym membership. And if you’re really lucky, you have your own treadmill at home. Gym memberships are always worth it. Treadmills, however, can be an expensive investment but sometimes a necessary one.

But no matter what it costs, it wouldn’t matter to me. It is all worth it. Runners can always walk out side and just start running with no iPod, Garmin, cool new running gloves and run; just their heart is needed.

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