Link: Money Saving Tips from No Meat Athlete
No Meat Athlete published a list of tips on cutting the cost of Running/Triathlons. (Image above is theirs, not mine). Its pretty great, you should check it out. The tips are very comprehensive, and pretty helpful. I know I’ve broken at least half of them and felt guilty about it later, so they must be right. The writing is pretty great too, I need to start following them more closely. They’re on twitter, but they’re sneaky about it, so look them up at @NoMeatAthlete. ”Explore your ‘hood” and “Buy from the deluded” brightened my morning for sure.
My advice on money saving?
Make friends: The grad school community here is pretty tight, and with a large number of us training for Chicago, we have been trading gear and tips. My husband didn’t like the hydration belt he bought, so he sold it to another runner for almost full price. The girls and I trade tips about clothes we’ve tried before, so I have an extra opinion before I go shopping. Ladies: This is particularly useful when you’re shopping for sports bras (the worst) – if you are shopping for new ones, find a girl your size and ask her what works for her instead of doing the trial and error yourself. Granted, everything works different for different people, but usually your friends can at least tell you what products to avoid completely. I use this most for choosing snacks during a run. I know I have a sensitive stomach, so if my friends are just so-so on a particular flavor, I know to avoid it.
If you’re new to running or just trying it out, see if you have any friends that would like to give you some hand-me-downs so you can have some clothes/shoes to get you started. I have a friend who took up jogging to help get back to her pre-pregnancy weight, and was on a serious budget. She went around asking if anyone was the same shoe size as her, and I was! So now she has shoes to get her started and those Saucony Grid 5′s I bought but hated don’t have to sit in the back of my closet. Plus now we are shoe size buddies! For Chicago, there are 10 of us running, plus some spouses tagging along. 7 of us are sharing a townhome that I found on trip advisor. We are paying the equivalent of $66/night each. Our spot is a block away from the 18 mile marker. Great cheering spot. J. is kind of a purist when it comes to running gear, he rarely runs with an iPod and doesn’t own a tracking device. He usually wears a simple watch and maps out his longer routes ahead of time using Gmap Pedometer (I find that my Nike+ GPS distances match this site almost exactly.) Though, what really got him through the super long runs was having a training partner who DOES have a tracking device and then bugging him for updates the whole time. And of course, having a running buddy is extremely motivating and makes your training easier all-around. Before you know it, you’ll have people to carpool with, share hotel rooms with at away races, someone who owes you a night of babysitting, and much more!
Know how to find good discount running shoes: Running shoes can be a serious hit to your wallet. And depending on your needs/preferences, it not may be a hit you want to take. The trick is to find the stores that still have quality running shoes and avoid the ones that sell knockoffs that could cause injuries. If you are new to running, I recommend first going to a specialty running store and having your gait evaluated to make sure you don’t have any special shoe needs. I find that at my local specialty stores, there is a lot less pressure to buy extras and the advice is better. You can also ask the owners if they have any of last year’s models around that are discounted. Then if you don’t find anything in your price range, take their recommendations and do some discount shopping. Most major shoe brands (asics, nike) have slimmed down models of their major running shoes that are only sold in department stores, but can still be good choices for the light runner/jogger who doesn’t have any special shoe needs. Kohls, DSW, and Rack Room are particularly good for this. Personally, I would avoid Target/Walmart. Running Warehouse also has a “liquidation footwear” section that can sometimes be real money saver if you can catch your size. (aaaannnnndd as I was linking that page, I found GT-2160s in my favorite color for $63 instead of $110 Win.)
In summary: Mooch off your friends, let people mooch off of you, and trade everything (including knowledge)!