Matt Barbour here again, contributing ed for the mag - doing a piece on how to maintain your running habit through the credit crunch and seeing what tips anyone has on this...from getting kit cheaper, to making it last longer, to cutting race entry costs etc etc. As always, happy to plug you and your club for any pearls of wisdom.
Enter competitions, just won a pair of lovely Saucony's. Ta RW
Support your local club's races. Usually a lot cheaper than some of the bigger charity events.
Don't run on toll roads!
Aldi, Tchibo and search the online retailers/ebay for end of range bargains - no need to ever pay full price for kit - buy out of sesson too - get winter gear in spring/summer - stock on summer gear in autumn /winter when it is less in demand
never pay full price for shoes - shop around, buy in sales and buy (carefully) great discounted end of range/sale deals from high street sellers like Sports Direct/Sports Soccer and other Outlet Stores
use an old cheap watch to time or look on ebay for cheaper gadgets and gizmos
use free map measuring software online and free online running logs like Fetch
buy running books from Amazon marketplace and save £££s on high street prices
and never ever become a triponce !
The only serious kit you need for running is a proper pair of running shoes. If you're starting out, go to the local running retailer and take your time to choose the right type and right pair, taking advice from the staff. Buy the pair that's right, even if it's at high street price for the first time you buy. Skimping on this will be a false economy - physios are expensive. Don't be tempted to use shoes beyond a sensible mileage.
But also note the other shoes you liked, make and model and size, and thereafter scour eBay and the web for discounts. DON'T just use the shop, walk out not having purchased and then buy off the web. The local running retailer is a good resource and will often have sale items. Its continued existence will save you money in the long run.
Old cotton tees and footie shorts are okay, but if you do want technical kit sign up to the Lidl and Aldi email alerts.
If you must have gizmos (and why not?) get them one iteration out of date. The Forerunner 405 is out so the 205/305 can be had for a fraction of the original list price. The 201 and even better 101 are almost being given away now. Don't pay for features you don't need. Ditto with heart rate monitors but get them from a proper source like heartratemonitors.co.uk. The £10 specials from places like Tesco are ultracheap for a reason.
Got a bicycle? Cycle to races within a 10-15 mile radius instead of driving.
Use a binliner with armholes cut in it instead of a waterproof jacket or gilet if the sky's looking black when you leave the house.
Charity shops are a good place to look for fleeces, or for anything in fact, you'll be surprised what you might find.
If you're really hard up for kit, only enter the Bare Buns and Naked Ambition races.
Great stuff - do any of you get discounts at local running shops through your clubs? Or discounts with physios etc? Has anyone out there ever got free entry to races by helping out with registration etc?
Any tips on how to make the best DIY recovery/isotonic drinks?
Are there any instances in which you can use your 'old' running shoes for trainign without risking injury? Any tips on making shoes last longer (without cutting your mileage)?
How much do you think your running habit realistically costs you each year?
In my experience most running shops will give you a 10% discount if you're a member of a running club. Just smile, show your membership card and ask nicely.
DIY sports drink - 50/50 water and fruit juice. Chuck in a pinch of salt and it's perfect to keep you going on a long run.
Have two pairs of shoes in use and alternate between them. This allows them more time to recover and/or dry off between runs which should prolong their life. Don't use them for anything except running.
I've made isotonic drinks from flavoured glucose tablets (£1 for a tube of em in Boots etc), a pinch of salt and some water. Takes a few attempts but usually works well!
I had worn out insoles in a pair of otherwise fine Nike trainers, replaced the insoles and gave them a new lease of life - sounds obvious but I'd almost overlooked it!
As for clothing - buy summer tops / bottoms / etc in winter sales and vice versa!
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