Pageviews last month

Monday, April 8, 2013

Free Running

Today hubby was at the drug store and found the Runner's World Magazine's Compilation Running Book, that has all kinds of information on running.   It has some great info on training and starting out, getting better, eating right injury prevention, etc.  We can totally get into this as big geeks who like to obsess over our favorite shared hobby.  There are also personal interest funny anecdotal stuff.  One of them was entitled the 49 best things about running.  I can't remember the number, but it was like 5 or 6 said running is free.  Now this is not the first time I have heard this.  In fact our local paper last summer did a whole piece on how running grows during economic hard times because it is free. 

Now I know in theory, everyone has a pair of tennis shoes in their closet and they can throw on some old gm shorts and t-shirt and out the door to run they go, probably soon to be joined by some of their closest friends (plantar fasciitis, runner's knee, shin splints, blisters, chafing, IBT injury).  Yes running is free, but running safely and having the right equipment is not exactly a $0.00 entry into the sport.  Certainly some things are not necessary.  No one running for fitness and fun needs a GPS watch.  You can probably plan a run sufficiently around public water fountains that negate the need for a fuel belt.  You don't have to have reflective gear, or sport sunglasses.  Peanut Butter on bread is probably just as good for fueling as gels.  I would say when we say running is free we might give the impression that their is no financial component to running.  My bank, wallet, running store, and family know that is not true. 

If you are a woman and you are going to run you need a good sports bra, maybe not a drawer full of them where you can match the color to your outfit (that is a topic for another day), but a good one that supports the girls and prevents you from having back pain.  You absolutely need running shoes.  No, Converse basketball shoes aren't an adequate substitution.  If you are going to put your body through what it goes through running you also need to give it what it needs to succeed and carry you through with minimal risk of injury.  Of course everyone is going to think different things are essential.  I for one think once the temp is above 70 degrees, Body Glide is not a $7.00 expense I can afford to forgo.  Whatever is and isn't essential, have you ever had a talk about running, visited a site about running, or read a blog that did not mention some kind of gear?  Maybe there are occasionally aspirational articles about the zen of running, but they usually achieve that in their new running shoes, listening to their Ipod, through their bluetooth headset, and they note they were on pace at 8:55/mile according to their Garmin, which they checked with their headlamp, since it was too dark to see, but that was okay because they had their reflecting vest, so everything was cool.  Running may not be as expensive as say football equipment...but is it really free?


  1. I totally get this, as I'm a new runner. Running did appeal to me because you don't have to pay for a gym membership to run outside. You just go! But I quickly realized that I needed better shoes, which due to my obsession, I already need new ones. And then winter came and I didn't have anything to wear, so expensive winter running gear had to be purchased. Now I want a Garmin, compression socks, and a billion other things! Running is like a gateway drug for buying more crap! It's definitely not free, but I love it so much that it's worth it anyway.

  2. I always laugh at the "running is free" too, but considering that I was paying $250 a month for CrossFit membership, running is definitely more economical, if not zero cost.

  3. YES! I always shake my head when I read or hear someone say running is free - just hit the pavement. At a minimum running sneakers will need to be purchased early on. I admit when I started Couch to 5K I knew nothing about running and hit the treadmill with my old tennis sneakers. That lasted about two weeks before I was in the store buying a pair of running sneakers. And a couple months later I was in a specialty running store getting fitted for a pair of running sneakers.

    The sneakers may be the only cost early on, but as you get more into the sport it just gets more expensive: race entry fees, body glide, foam roller, GPS watch, new sneakers every few months, did I mention race entry fees? haha.