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Generally speaking, running is an inexpensive sport. Unlike cycling, you don’t have to buy much equipment. And you can go running directly from your door without having to travel a long distance or become a member of a club.

However, there are all kinds of things that you need to budget for, like running gadgets, gels, clothes and so on.

In this post, we take a look at some of the ways runners are budgeting this year. Take note.

Gadgets

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Runners often spend considerable money on bespoke gadgets to track their performance. These devices show them where they are, where they want to go, and their running pace.

There are currently many options out there. For instance, Garmin now makes watches that double as pedometers, keeping track of how many steps you’ve taken.

Many athletes are downloading premium, apps on their smartphones too and using their existing hardware. These capture all the critical information you need – such as your pace – and many are subscription services.

Just be wary, though, when choosing to use a smartphone. They are less robust. If you drop your phone on the floor while running, the screen will probably crack. And it won’t last long in the rain either.

Subscriptions

If you’re a runner, you often find yourself signing up for subscription services to stay up to date with the latest happenings in the sport. In the old days, runners got magazines through the post. But thanks to the internet, many subs are now online.

As a runner, you usually need membership of a magazine, fitness club or gym to keep on top of the sport. These outlets are a way for you to boost your fitness and get the most out of your running experience.

As always, look for the best deals online.

Coupons

As sites like NetVoucherCodes.co.uk make clear, the opportunities for runners to save nearly endless. There are coupons for clothes, shoes and electronics. You can even get money off travel if you plan on taking part in events next year.

Don’t skip coupons. They’re not a gimmick. In fact, they’re a massive industry. Companies know that some customers will only buy if they offer them a deal. And so you can often find big discounts online – sometimes as high as 50 per cent. Use these to your advantage if your shoes wear out or your jogging bottoms rip.

Races

Runners live for races. It’s a chance for you to pit your fitness against others.

Most events require you to pay a fee beforehand to pay for things like permits, marshalls, and course rentals, so you’ll need to budget for this in advance.

Whether we will see races this year depends heavily on what happens with COVID-19 restrictions, but they may make an appearance towards the middle or end of the year. In which case, what should you do?

One option is to use park runs. They’re usually free and can help improve your fitness as things slowly return to normal.

If you’re on a tight budget, go to local races. Bigger races can also have great value (because more people are running). Just remember to factor in your transport and accommodation if you decide to travel.

Finally, spend a little time picking and choosing the races you’ll use to fill your calendar. There are a lot of them out there. It’s just a matter of picking which you want. If you prefer to run in the countryside, for instance, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to sign up to the Great North Run.

Equipment

Whenever you get into a hobby, you’ll need to budget for equipment. And, as with most other hobbies, the more you spend, the better the quality.

When it comes to running, trainers are undoubtedly at the top of your list of priorities. The more money you spend, the lighter and more adaptable the shoe becomes.

If you’re not sure which trainers to get, there’s an article on coachmag.co.uk that covers the basics. Many products at the top end of the market are highly experimental and a lot of fun to try out.

Training Plans

Many runners are taking advantage of training plans available to download on the internet. These contain a lot of useful knowledge and are often free to download. Usually, all you have to do is enter your email address to get access.

You can often download premium training plans too. Here you’re usually getting proprietary information.

Training plans usually break down by distance. So the type of prep you’ll need to do for a 2 km race will be considerably different from a marathon.

Lastly, you can consider investing in coaching. Coaches provide advice specific to your running. A training plan, for instance, won’t diagnose problems with your gait. But an expert with lots of running experience might.

Running Kits For Race Day

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Don’t underestimate the importance of the quality of your gear on race day.

Generic running gear is often incredibly cheap but the material might not be as light or breathable as the best kit. It might also wear out faster, creating a false economy.

Great gear, on the other hand, will make you more comfortable and may even improve your performance. What’s more, because it lasts longer, you can often use it for multiple seasons – helping to keep your budget in balance in future years.

Nutrition

Gels help keep you fuelled while you’re running. They are convenient and easy to carry with you, almost making them a necessity on the running track.

Gels are especially useful on race day when you’re trying to cut down on your carry weight.

Remember to include them in your budget. Look for gels that offer a combination of fast-acting ingredients. If you’re running a marathon or long-distance, seek out gels that offer added electrolytes and salts to keep your body in balance throughout the event.

So, how are you budgeting for 2021?