So at work on Tuesday, I found a book called “Fitness Running” by Richard Brown, PhD and being the runner that I am, I flipped through it. The first thing that caught my eye was their recommendation of what to buy (because yes, I have a shopping problem…) and holy moly – it was ridiculous so I decided to share my thoughts for a Think out Loud Thursdays hosted by lovely Running with Spoons!
First let me just say, I didn’t read the entire thing as I was at work but my mind was blown when it stated that in their recommended (I think it was recommended) running gear section he says “the low-end cost for the items I listed would be just a little over $700. You don’t have to buy all the products, but it doesn’t sound like a lot when you think of it as a ‘health insurance policy’ investment.”
The total of everything he shared was $716 ($736 including a bra) to $2105 ($2180 including a bra) and the list included things like “sunglasses: $50 to $300,” “running shirts: $20 to $80,” “gloves: $12 to $45,” “sweatsuit top: $40 to $150,” “sweatsuit pants or tights: $40 to $120,” and “rain suit pants: $50 to $70.”
Ummmm is it just me or if I was just starting out with running and saw the range of that cost I’d much rather no follow through? When did running get to be such an expensive activity? Yes I have a GPS watch and half the people I know own that super pricey Nike flash jacket but honestly, when starting out you do not need sunglasses that cost $50 to $300! Who wears $300 sunglasses running? Okay so many prescription sunglasses do cost a pretty penny.
When I first started running, I threw on a volunteer cotton t-shirt I got from a race, a pair of shorts I got from Old Navy (for like $15 give or take), and a pair of New Balances that I bought for gym class in highschool. I googled a route, saw the distance, then started a timer. I did that for months before I upgraded my shoes at a buy one get one 50% sale at Sportchek and split the deal with a friend of mine. I still wore a plain old cotton tee, my $15 shorts, and went to no gadgets.
Over time, I started accumulating a large collection of running clothes because I bargain shopped (sales and outlets!) and only because I wanted them. I don’t need 20+ running tops! Just like you don’t need to spend $700+ on quality gear.
Let me break this down for you if you don’t believe me. Here’s a little breakdown of what I’ve bought on sale that can last you throughout the seasons.
- Old Navy Tee (in pink of course…) $19 – 40% off sale that they have pretty regularly $11.4
- Old Navy Tunic Jacket $$36 – 40% off $21 —> and if this isn’t warm enough, throw an old sweatshirt on top. Yes it’s nice to have fancy drifit jackets but if you’re on a budget, you’ll be okay.
- Old Navy Sports Bra $19 – 40% off $11.4
- Shorts from a Volleyball store that were $12 but I snagged for $5 in their discount bin. $5!!!
- Sugoi Leggings (okay I pay a lot for these because they’re warm as hell and made in Canada) $90 but there was a sale at Running Room so it was maybe $60-$70
- MEC merino wool long sleeve $15 – $20
So far, this adds up to $133, not including socks, sports bras, and shoes. But I already have a shirt and a pair of shorts which it pretty much all I wear all summer (shirt is optional in the summer too…). I also have warm leggings, merino wool long sleeve, and a jacket for the cooler temperature. And I’m pretty sure with the inclusion of shoes and bras, it’s not going to bump my total up to $700+
This may be seriously oversimplifying running here because there are also things like hats, headlamps, accessories like a foam roller, etc that has to be considered but one’s upfront cost of picking up running should not cost $700+!!!
That’s just my two cents. I was honestly in shock when I read it because if I knew nothing about running and wanted to start but saw that price tag, I would not have started running and not met all the amazing people that running has introduced me to!
So what do you think? Is $700 a good minimum when picking up running? What did you run in/with when you started?