While on a run recently, I was trying to think of a more frugal sport than running. But nothing came to mind that tops the simple joy of running around the neighborhood. With the popularity of barefoot running, you can literally run out your front door with no equipment needed.
Practically speaking, you probably want a pair of running shoes, but I’m willing to bet that most people already have a pair, along with a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and socks.
I started running before I became frugal, so my setup is a bit more pricy: actual running shorts (with the netting inside), and a “running shirt”. I still can’t believe I bought a shirt just for running. I bought it because I knew a guy who was a fast runner and he had such a shirt, so I thought to myself “If I’m going to be a fast runner, I need a shirt like that.” This is how the mind of the average consumer works. I don’t recommend buying any of that, but use it if you got it.
I like to hear what’s going on around me, so I don’t own an mp3 player. I do run with my phone to track my mileage, using a free app called runkeeper. I strap it to my arm with a short strap I had laying around. It seemed silly to buy a specialized velcro thingy just to strap my phone to my arm. If it’s raining or looking like it’s going to rain (which is almost always), I put the phone in a sandwich baggy before I strap it to my arm.
Why am I running so much? Back in April, I entered a 10k race coming up in August. If it seems silly to buy an arm band, it must seem very silly to pay money to run around when I can do it for free. My rationale was that it would motivate me to get out and run regularly. So for about half the monthly price of a gym membership, I’ve gotten 4 months worth of running motivation. It’s worked so well, and I’ve been running so frequently, I set a goal of not only finishing the 10k, but finishing in under an hour.
Time to go for a run!