Running … It’s supposed to be “free,” right? You’d think it would at least be cheap or inexpensive, but in reality it’s not.
If you just get out and run, just run, then, yes, it’s free. You don’t worry about anything … you just get out there or jump on a treadmill and go. But once there’s an inkling that you want to get serious, this is where things can get a little pricey. Let’s see …
Good shoes, not just any old pair of shoes that you can pick up at the local department or sporting goods store. You have to remember that your feet take the bulk of the pounding and stress when you are run running. They deserve protection. They deserve to have some good money spent on them. Spend the time to get your gait analyzed so you know which shoe is best for you. Try them all on and make sure they’re comfortable. And when you find that perfect pair, getting a second pair is suggested when you’re really putting the mileage in.
Inserts are necessary for some runners like me who have issue with their feet such as plantar fascitis. Sometimes, the inexpensive inserts will work well, but with the mileage that I put in and the degree of my injury, the inexpensive inserts were not the best choice for me. Inserts can range in price, and must be researched well in order to find the perfect fit just as shoes.
Running attire – sure, running really doesn’t call for special attire if you’re just going out for a jog, but if you’re a serious runner, you know then that cotton is rotten, and some articles of clothing don’t make the best running attire. Take into consideration the weather, sweat factor. Dri fit is not cheap. When it’s raining, you need a jacket. Hats for sun and protection. Special socks that don’t cause blisters. Sports bras that hold boobs into place and provide support. Shorts for the summer. Capris or long tights for the cooler weather. Compression socks for recovery. Compression gear for maximum performance.
Body Glide to help prevent chafing. Sunblock for obvious reasons. Lip balm. Tape for muscles, like my favorite RockTape.
Special GPS watches – if you’re serious about tracking your runs. Maybe a heart rate monitor.
Gym memberships for those that don’t have access to a treadmill, and for workouts that need to be done aside from just running.
iPods to provide you with music for your run. Don’t forget headphones – may they be wireless or corded, finding the right ones can prove to be a challenge.
Nutrition – not just what you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But actual nutrition for your run – Gu, Power Gels, Gatorade, Powerade, protein shakes, and whatever else you may want to eat while you’re out there for hours at a time. Remember that as an athlete, you must fuel your body with good nutrition for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. Supplements may be required to assist in meeting our nutritional goals.
Doctors and Chiropractors that keep us healthy and able to run. They can be costly, but so worth it. Massage Therapists or a masseuss to knead the kinks out and keep our muscles supple. Foam rollers, ice packs, muscle rubs, ace wraps … don’t forget to add those in. Unfortunately, for some, physical therapy is needed to aid in recovery from serious injuries.
Books and magazines to learn about your sport. Library is cheap and free, and so are articles on the internet.
Race fees – once you get serious, it’s good to have a goal and signing up for a race is a good way to keep on track by training for your goal. Remember to factor in the cost of travel and sometimes lodging to run these races.
Coaching and training plans for those of us who need to be directed and guided, and kept accountable.
Ah … so many things to consider. It’s such a great sport and it’s all worth it. When it comes right down to it, it’s all worth the monetary cost that I put into it. But the payment is more than just monetary … the payment comes in the form of the time that is paid when putting in training, the blood, sweat, and tears! I know that there is more to it than just lacing up a pair of shoes and going out running … All this, to me, is worth it. I am thankful and blessed to be able to afford what I can. I believe that what I get out of the sport far exceeds any monetary cost that I must pay. There is so much that a monetary value cannot be placed. The friendships that I have made. The feeling of accomplishment that I get from completing a race. All of it is priceless …