Running on the Cheap

$10.00 at Target for the pullover!

$10.00 at target for the pullover!

I was recently reading through my blog-roll here on wordpress, and read a blog-posting someone had written about how expensive running was.  Unfortunately, I can’t find the posting to link to it from here (if you know of such a blog-posting, please let me know!!)  The reason that I bring it up is that I hate to spend money unnecessarily.  (Well, unnecessarily on clothing and such.  It interferes with spending money on doing cool things with my family.) But I disagree with that, and wanted to share my views on running on the cheap.


$8.49 at Old Navy!

Having moved to a higher-traffic area than Binghamton, NY – I have wanted some  clothing that was a bit easier to be seen in.  I’m strangely adverse to becoming a road pancake.  Up in NY, I could run only on sidewalks, or on roads that had very little traffic.  I don’t have that in Crofton.   On the posting on the 8th, I included a picture of my son and I, where I am wearing a bright-orange 10 dollar pull-over from target.  $10.00 is my upper limit of what I LIKE to spend.On sunday, my family decided to go look at our local shopping options so we headed up to Arundel Mills Mall.  (I’ll be honest, we didn’t want to



sit around at home.)  We found some GREAT deals!  While not all of them were running-related for me, 3 of them were!  I got a great pull over sweatshirt for $8.49, another pull over for 3.99 (and a matching one for my son) from Old Navy.  As we wandered a bit more, there was an Eddie Bauer outlet store, where I picked up a shell that was 70% off!  I paid a grand total of $15.00 for it!

Mind you, these examples are only for brand new merchandise. I haven’t even gone far into thrift stores, Craigslist, Facebook “yard sale” pages (This is where I got my treadmill)

So, lets look at what it costs, to “run on the cheap” with the help of bargain shopping/thrift stores/Craigslist.

Clearance Pullover – $3.99
Clearance Shell – $15.00 (I have also picked up a couple of these for $5-$8 at thrift stores)
Clearance Shorts – $4.00 (these were at Old Navy also, but i didn’t need any so I didn’t pick them up)
Running Compression Shirt/Pants/Shorts – $10 each at Walmart (Just saw these for 12 at Target)
Running Shoes – $36.00 Altra Zero Drop at Leftlane Sports (regularly $100)

So one entire outfit for running outside in the cold of winter, including shoes – $83.99.  This assumes you own no light jackets, sweat pants, shoes, shorts, etc.

My New-to-Me Treadmill!  A Pro-Form 540s Treadmill!  $50!

My New-to-Me Treadmill! A Pro-Form 540s Treadmill! $50!

Lets look at accessories now.  A lot of runners use GPS watches for more accurate tracking.  These can run up to several hundred dollars each ($$$!!!!)  Now me? I happen to have an android smart phone.  I use a program called the Runtastic.  I also use my phone to listen to music as I run (I ❤ Radio).  This saves the cost of a GPS watch AND an Ipod.  I was fortunate enough to have headphones come with my phone, but they can be picked up at Five Below for $5, which is the same place (And cost) That I got my arm-band for my phone.  So now I added another $5 to my cost, bringing the total to $88.99.

Now, I suspect you own shorts/sweatpants.  I also suspect that you own a sweatshirt or polar fleece.  There are even pretty good odds that you already have some sort of shell and that you own sneakers.  This will bring the amount spent back down!

Now another alternative for the cold-weather running, is a treadmill.  Now before you pop in and say you can’t afford one, check Ebay, Craigslist, Freecycle, Thriftstores and Yard Sales (Both physical and virtual.)   My first treadmill was FREE.  All I had to do was go get it, with the help of a friend with a pickup.  Now if you don’t have a pickup/van/etc – keep in mind that your back seats probably fold down.  That was how I got my second one home ($50 on a yard sale page on facebook.)  If you still can’t fit it in – Lowes will let you get a truck from them for $19.99/hour, and u-haul isn’t bad for a quick delivery either.

Now running CAN be expensive.  If you want the top-of-the-line gear, you will pay for it.  But it certainly doesn’t have to be.

Do you have any running on the cheap recommendations or great finds?


I run, because I am a runner. Having realized that I have always "been a runner" - even when I went years with out running, I am learning how it has integrated itself in all aspects of my life. When I started running in highschool, my perspective on life changed. Funny that I didn't realize how much it had affected it until just recently.

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3 comments on “Running on the Cheap
  1. AndrewGills says:

    I run on the cheap too. I just wear whatever I own, nothing fancy or special.

  2. Jim Brennan says:

    I find the gear is no problem, but what I’ve seen over the past few decades is the ridiculous escalation in race registration prices. I do mostly trail runs these days, and last year did a half-marathon trail run in August for $33 and the Rock n Roll half-marathon in September for $105. Ridiculous!

  3. This is the right website for anybody who really wants to understand this
    topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that
    I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand
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    Excellent stuff, just excellent!

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The Once and Future Runner
Once and Future Runner

2013 Was an amazing year, for me, So I am really looking forward to 2014!

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