The Money of Running: Advice For Those Starting Out

by Lacy Geary
As I was doing laundry yesterday, it occured to me that I have a ton of running gear. When I first got into running I thought it was a pretty cheap sport to start out in. Not much hoopla and stuff was necessary to get out and run. Maybe a good pair of shoes and some music.

Well, since starting I’ve found that it is actually a bit more expensive than I originally thought. I wanted to give an overview to any new runners of the “cost” to get started. Now, keep in mind I am a product junkie and I really get deep into any activity that I set my mind to. You really don’t have to spend a ton of money to run but there are a few key items that I think you really need.
 
For starters:

A GOOD pair of running shoes is key. This is your base and what will support you through the short and long distances. A good pair of shoes can run you anywhere from $100-$180. There are so many to choose from but it is best to be fitted at a professional running store. Save yourself the agony of injury and pain by getting shoes that are right for you. Not just the run of the mill shoe that is on sale. I have the Brooks Ravenna 4′s and paid around $110-$115. These are really the best shoes I have ever had and would recommend them to anyone.

I really like a good pair of socks too but I love compression socks too so I have that option as well. The socks I have been running in are the Balega’s but there are tons of good options out there. These ran me around $11.00.

I use to run in cotton tops and shorts and found that they are really awful to workout in. “The Fabric of our Lives” isn’t made for running. It is hot and doesn’t wick sweat away from your body. A good pair of running shorts and a good moisture wicking top will go a long way on the hot humid days of summer and keep you dry in winter when it gets cold. My Brooks shorts ran me about $36.00 and the tank I wear most of the time, Nike Dri-Fit, ran me about $35.00. You can typically find this stuff at Dick’s Sporting Goods or REI and get discounts or coupons to help with that cost.

Now ladies, there is one essential that most all of us need and that is a good sports bra. I have scoured the stores for one that is supportive enough for me. When I first started running I had to layer two sports bras to give me the support I needed and ususally in a smaller size. I finally went and got fitted and found my “golden goose”. The Moving Comfort Rebound Racer. I will never go back to double decking my sports bras again. This one gave me the support I needed and they also have great colors. It ran me around $40 if I can remember correctly. Trust me it was worth the money.
I do think if you are going to be serious you really need a GPS watch or some sort of App to gauge your time and distance. I use to carry my phone for a multitude of reasons, but for health reasons I don’t carry it for timing purposes anymore. I make sure to have it, just not tucked close to my body. I do like to have it with me for emergencies though. I live and breathe by my Garmin Forerunner 305. It is sort of old school but I love it! I don’t remember the cost since I got it so many years ago but I believe it was in the $300.00 range. There are a million out there to choose from but Garmin is by far my favorite. I love numbers and crunching my times and essentially challenging myself by having it with me. I’d be lost without one of these things.

Really this is all you need to get out in the streets or trails and run. However, I couldn’t just stop there. I had to add in all sorts of other things and to top it off I have dealt with my share of injuries and have stuff for that as well. Instead of listing the slew of items that I have purchased I will just include a picture for you to see and if you have any questions feel free to ask. I do really like my accessories too – they just have to be low key and comfortable. Love the new wrap bracelet I got from Mile-Posts the other day. I also am waiting on my Endorphin Warrior bracelet that I ordered. It is very fitting!

So if you were to have just one of each of the essentials listed above you could probably look at spending on average to start out somewhere around, $500.00. Now if you want to take out the watch you are closer to around $200.00. Of course unless you are going to do laundry daily or even every other day then you will probably need more than one pair of shorts, shirts, bras, socks, etc. Also keep in mind when the weather gets colder you are adding on more layers and things to keep you warm.

I couldn’t even begin to say what I have spent thus far but as you can see I have quite a lot of stuff and over time the cost does add up. I’d say I have spent well over $1,000.00 in apparel, gear, music, races etc. this year. I try to get something essential only when I need it but it did take me a while to find products that fit me well and were comfortable to run in. Needless to say I went through a few brands before finding some of what I run in today.

You have to also remember any races you want to do will cost you money as well. If you are doing smaller races that are not very far, like a 5k, then you could probably expect $25.00 starting. For longer races such as marathons those can be anywhere from $80 – $150 depending on the size and popularity.

All opinions are my own. I was in no way compensated by the brands I have talked about.

What piece of gear can you not live without?

How much did you spend when you started running?

Are you a product junkie too?

photo courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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With my sister before a race

About the author (Lacy Geary):

I’m an incredibly blessed mother of two kids and I LOVE running! I dream to one day qualify for the Olympic Trials, maybe in 2016 if I work hard enough. I’m a little goofy, a perfectionist and very driven. My blog is about my life and journey with running after having my two beautiful children, health & fitness and anything else that is running related.

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter (@RunningLimitles), Instagram, and Pinterest
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