Being a runner isn’t cheap.
Shoes, clothing, GPS watch, race entry fees, massages, gym membership and the fee of maintaining an injury free body – they all add up quickly.
It takes lots of money to play.
Sure, all you need is a pair of shoes (or not for some people who like to run barefoot…ouch!) and you can step out your front door and run. That’s a minimal cost!
But for most of us (me included) part of the fun of running is all the little extras. I love my GPS watch but I really have no idea how to use all of its features. Cute outfits that not only wick sweat, keep us warm or cool depending on the season, make us a better runner. Or at least we feel better wearing cute stuff.
How can you cut down on costs yet still be able to run ALL the miles with ALL the things?
You are in luck! Here’s 6 money saving hacks for runners. It may not be millions of dollars but it may give you some extra cash for new kicks!
Lacrosse Balls for Massage
No one wants to be injured. Running causes muscular soreness. Along with the soreness comes immobility and tightness. There’s nothing better than a deep tissue massage to work out all the kinks and knots. Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford to have a massage therapist on call to help rub out the soreness, stress, and tension that we experience on a daily basis. A close second is foam rolling. However, sometimes a foam roller is just too big for those harder-to-reach places. Or it’s just too bulky for travel.
Lacrosse balls are the answer. This simple, lightweight ball can be stashed in your purse, desk drawer at work or suitcase for on the go massage anytime, anywhere. It’s a SMR (self-myofascial release) tool.
Rolling a lacrosse ball across aching areas of the body like the feet, calves and hips can apply just enough gentle pressure to activate trigger points in muscles and alleviate any soreness or discomfort you may be feeling. Roll across the lacrosse ball for up to 60 seconds to feel the intense relief!
I like to keep a Lacrosse Ball in my desk drawer so I can roll out my feet whenever I get the chance.
Make Your Own Energy Drinks or Gels
When you are deep in training, you blow through a ton of energy drinks and gels in prep for race day. Remember: Always practice your fueling strategy during training runs! Save some money by making your own fuel. It’s not as hard as you’d think. Here’s a really easy and yummy recipe that I’ve mixed up before from the No Meat Athlete.
Mix up your own homemade gel and then store in in the EndruaPouch reusable fuel flask.
You could also use real food like raisins, dates, bananas, etc. Amanda has a great list of whole food alternatives to commercial gels.
Basketball or Soccer Ball for a Medicine Ball
A med ball is a great way to work your core and trunk mobility. Don’t want to shell out the money for one? Make your own at home with an old basketball or soccer ball. Simply cut a crescent shaped slit in it and fill with sand. Glue it closed with rubber cement. Be sure to know how much sand you are putting into the ball. Otherwise you’ll have a super heavy ball that you won’t be able to lift!
PVC Pipe or Rolling Pin for a Foam Roller
Foam rollers are great for improved range of motion, flexibility, easing muscle soreness and preventing injuries. You don’t necessarily need to purchase a foam roller to get the same benefits. A rolling pin or a PVC pipe is a great at home substitute. It’s great for rolling out the calves, hamstrings and quads to break up the sticky fascia.
DIY Winter Running Traction
I haven’t done this (yet) but I have plenty of friends who swear by placing screws in your running shoes for added traction on ice. It’s super easy to do, costs way less than shelling out money for YakTrax or Stabiliciers and works just as well.
Chalk for an Agility Ladder
Want to work on speed and gain quickness on your feet? You should be doing drills on an Agility Ladder. But you don’t need to buy one! Simply draw the Agility Ladder outline with chalk on a sidewalk, driveway or basketball court. Then hop, skip and jump to faster running paces! I used the Agility Ladder a lot during my PT last spring and fall. My brain gets really confused but once I get that in check, my body cruises right along.
Do you have any money saving hacks for runners?