It is a common idea that running is an extremely cheap way to keep fit as you essentially already own all the equipment you need. There are more costs like that and although they might be mostly small costs they do add up so just how much will you spend on your hobby over the course of your life.
The first variable that we must calculate is how long will you run for. This is a difficult question to answer since we can’t predict the number of healthy, active years you will enjoy and even if we could it doesn’t mean you will be actively running throughout this entire time. Instead it would make more sense to calculate the cost of running per year. Assuming that you run 30 miles a week, this translates into 1560 miles a year.
What we do know is that for each mile you run you will burn approximately 100 calories. Over one year this would be 156 thousand calories, the equivalent of over 45 pounds of fat.
Lets assume that you would need to replace your running shoes every 500miles due to the natural wear and tear and you also purchased two running outfits each year this could work out to your spending between £190 to £500 depending on the cost of your shoes and gear.
The next big expenditure is on races. Some people might never feel the need to compete but for those who have a competitive spirit or want to have the feeling of accomplishment when completing a race or achieving a new personal best these costs could soon add up. Races have wide ranging entry costs, starting from free up to several hundred dollars depending on the event.
Over the course of your running life you might want to invest in some extra gear such as gps watches, high visibility vests, hydration packs etc These are certainly optional and you could do without but the average runner will purchase one of these every few years.
Since we calculated how many extra calories we would need to consumer earlier, those calories have to come from somewhere and that will come from a bigger grocery bill. For arguments sake lets assume that we fill in our energy needs from the cheapest calories for your money item in the supermarket, pure sugar. 5 pounds of white sugar is going to cost you approximately £2 and provides a hefty 8500 calories. To fill in the 156,000 calorie deficit we would need to spend a bit under £40 per year extra. Doesn’t sound too much but no one is going to meet their caloric needs via sugar alone. If you fill in these extra calories with a healthy diet you would be looking at a grocery bill several times higher. This isn’t even including supplements such as energy drinks and protein bars.
Now that it is becoming apparent that running is not that cheap and in fact could cost up to £1000 per year what can we do to make sure the cost doesn’t get out of control? Certain things such as buying shoes, entry fees and eating more are simply unavoidable but we can control costs when it comes to what types of shoes we are buying. You can still get high quality running shoes at a good price particularly when you are buying things on sale.
I like to purchase things online as they are often cheaper than on the high street. When buying things online you can utilize referral and discount codes in order to get a better deal. In terms of supplements, sometimes you have to pay a bit more in order to get high quality ingredients, cheaper brands may use cheap fillers in order to reduce the cost. I like to use Myprotein for my supplements as they are well priced, high quality and make supplements especially for runners.
In terms of a cheaper grocery bill, I like to shop at local farmers’ markets as you can pick up some extremely cheap produce. They are of course fresh and it’s good to support your local economy rather than just feeding the supermarket giants. I have recently discovered Musclefood and they have saved me a lot of money when purchasing meat.
Although running might now seem to cost you more money that you had originally thought; I think we can still all agree it is money well spent. You can’t put a price on your health.