Running on a budget

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I came across this post from risgoosman’s tumblr a few weeks ago, and it got me thinking about our use of social media to discuss health and fitness. I am about to become a full time student again, and have been tightening the reins on my spending dramatically over the past few months. Whilst I love to read other bloggers’ posts and reviews, it does frustrate me somewhat how a lots of clothing seems completely out of reach for anyone on a budget.

As a runner, I try to enter fairly priced races, and there are a number of these to chose from in London. Volunteering at races is also a brilliant way to get free or heavily discounted race entry, if this is something you’re interested in. I am going to be volunteering at and then running the course at Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest in November, as part of their race for a fiver scheme. This is a brilliant way to enable people to participate who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to do so, and many races including Tough Mudder and Rough Runner offer similar schemes. If you want to run a 5k but would rather not pay at all, then parkrun is always a good option, though I would recommend volunteering when you can to make sure that you’re giving something back to the parkrun community as well.

The vast majority of items that I tend to review are competitively priced. I don’t actively seek out lower priced items to buy and review, they just genuinely happen to be the ones I use in my day to day life and I’m a firm believer in not spending more than you need to!There are of course, some exceptions to this; I’ve mentioned before that I am the proud owner of a nutribullet . I am extremely fortunate in that this was a gift from my parents (who bought it heavily discounted), but there’s no reason why any smoothie recipes I mention couldn’t be replicated in a cheaper blender. Additionally whilst I balk at the cost of some fitness clothing*, even I accept that I may have to spend serious cash on sports bras and trainers. Both items need to be fitted and suited to you in order to prevent you getting injured whilst working out, so it’s not worth pinching the pennies too much here (at first). Once you’ve found a size and style that suits you, you can of course continue to buy that same bra/shoe when it’s inevitably reduced so that you have another set for when they need replacing. Due to both my awkwardly sized breasts and feet, I don’t have too much leeway with what I can actually purchase anyway. The last time I went to Sweatshop to buy trainers, I tried on every single shoe in my size in the store and the ones I ended up buying were the only ones that fitted my strangely shaped feet…good thing I liked them I guess!

During my journey as a runner I’ve discovered many places to buy cheap but good quality clothing, and I’m going to list a few of them below, along with mentioning some of my PBBs (personal best buys)!

  • Sweatshop (You can visit in person, or shop online. The sales are especially good)– My PBB was a pair of full length HIND running tights, which I bought for £5.99 👌
  • M&M direct (Online)– I’ve bought an embarrassing amount from M&M direct. PBB would be the vast majority of heavily discounted London 2012 t shirts I bought in 2013
  • Aldi (in shop)- as mentioned here, I love Aldi. The only problem is that their stock is seasonal and runs out extremely quickly due to its popularity. Be sure to keep an eye out for their specialbuy offers.PBB is the full length leggings i bought recently, for £7.99. Cheap, practical and oh so comfy.
  • Decathlon (in shop or online)- Decathlon is amazing, and I’ve been shopping there for years! Recently bought my wonderful trail shoes for £12.99, but I also bought bikini bottoms to wear for obstacle racing (you don’t want to wear cotton underwear!). Whilst they’re not running clothing, strictly speaking, I am awarding them my PBB award for being only 69p

I’m sure there are many other brilliant places that I’ve left off my list, and I would be interested to hear any of your recommendations! Until next time!

x

*I saw leggings in Niketown, about a month ago for £70!!! £70!!!!!! I get that it’s the brand you’re paying for, but seriously? 

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