Running is often seen as a free and relatively accessible sport for all. All you really need to be able to run is a decent pair of trainers and the will to go out and do it. But with an ever increasing opportunity to buy kit, a growing range of technology options for runners, and the not insignificant cost of entering races, running might not be the low cost sport you signed up for.
Here are our tips and hacks to save money on the sport you love.
There are some great online running groups including Facebook forums specifically for swapping and selling kit. You can easily swap kit with others and find pre-loved or barely worn shoes, clothing and GPS watches. Make sure you use trusted sellers and pay with PayPal where possible to add insurance to your purchase. There are hundreds of great items listed if you spend some time searching.
We’re always raving about how great it can be to be a member of a running club and one of the unsung benefits is that in the long term, being part of a running club can save you money. If you race a lot, being part of a UKA affiliated running club will pay off, as many races offer club runner discounts (usually around £3 per entry or a percentage off). Make sure you have your affiliation number handy when you complete your entry to make the saving.
If you’re not desperate to keep up with the very latest versions of clothing or trainers, brand outlets can be a great place to find a bargain. Outlets including Nike, Adidas and New Balance have stacks of great offers on clothing and shoes that you might not be able to find online. Look for one-off extra discount days by signing up to outlet newsletters that bring discounts on top of already cheaper items.
Many people are reluctant to buy used running gear for fear of stains and odours but there are plenty of second hand goods online that have never even been worn. Look for running gear on auction sites like Shpock that clearly show unused clothes and shoes with tags on. Bargains are there to be found from sellers who changed their mind, lost a receipt or ran out of time to return something to a store.
There are plenty of great deals to be found in your local supermarket, especially when it comes to nutrition products. Many larger supermarkets like Tesco and Asda have a sports nutrition section hidden away with great deals on gels, powders and drinks. Think outside of the box for this one and look for running gear in the least likely of places!
Finally, if you’re buying new, it can pay to spend time searching. In particular, use Google shopping links, running kit comparison sites and even auction websites. These are great places to look for kit being sold cheap as surplus stock or unworn by runners who don’t need it for whatever reason. You might find some kit up for grabs that has never been worn.