A “cheap” sport?

Running is often described as a cheap sport and to more or less a degree I somewhat agree with that. In the simplest of terms running cost very little. The price of a pair of non specific trainers, a pair of every day shorts, and a bog standard ” normally wear when mooching around the house” T shirt. All of which I bet every one of us already posseses –  laying around the house in this or that cupboard or draw. Total cost to run is Nil.

For many many people that is what we use when we first start to run – what we already have. For many many people it doesn’t stay like that though. As the initial jogging around the block for 5/10/15 mins gives way to the ability and desire to venture farther from the front door, we begin to realise that we need some sport specific kit because we actually enjoy this “runnng lark” and want to get better at it. So we end up toddling off to the nearest sports outlet and purchase ourselves a nice pair of cheap road running shoes (£25 – £50), a decent pair of running shorts (£5 – £20), and a proper running top (£10 – £25). Total cost to run now is £40 – £95.

So we are happy with our new shiny running stuff and we use it regularly. But once again we find that there is other stuff that we need. We tell ourselves “I am enjoying the running that I do but I could be better if I got myself……………..”. So we end up buying some running socks (£5 – £10), a  water bottle (£3 – £10), an armband for our mobile phones (£5 – £10), a running cap or beanie (£5- £15). Total cost to run is now £18 – £45 plus the previous £40 – £95 = £58 – £140.

And now we are hooked…………we run several times a week. As well as having to rotate our running clothing, the season has changed to winter, . So of course we need to buy another pair of shorts or leggings (£5 – £20), a long sleeved running top (£10 – £25), a rain jacket (£10 – £50), running gloves (£5 – £20), Total cost to run now is £30 – £115 plus the previous £58 – £140 = £88 – £255.

So now  we decide that we want to enter a race (£20 – £40).  It will give us a goal to strive for, a purpose to our running, It will help us get out the front door and run when it’s cold and wet. So we decide to buy some compression gear in another attempt to be a better runner – compression undershorts (£10 – £20), compression top (£10 – £20), compression socks (£5 – £20). We also need to ensure that we are running at the best pace we can so we need to buy a sports watch such as a Garmin (£70 – £300). We also now decide to mix up our training with a bit of off road running. Hence we need to buy trail running shoes as well (£25 – £60). Our road shoes need replacing as they are now worn out. New road shoes (£25 – £50) (Total cost to run now is £165 – £510 plus the previous £88 – £255 = £253 – £765.

And we have caught the bug,  in fact it has well and truley taken a huge chunk from our new slimline, less wobbly than before asses. We join a local running club, we enter more and more races, and we blog about the journey we have taken from the sofa to being a runner. And this goes on month after month, season after season, year after year. We keep on finding stuff  that we have to buy so we can enjoy our “cheap” sport. But we often forget how much we spent to get this far.

An example for a bit of balance is a pic of the second hand running shoes I bought on Facebook for £15.  “Tight Jock” I can hear to you mutter. Perhaps yes 🙂

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