There is a small percentage of the population that is missing a few “rational-thinking” genes.
This group of people are typically referred to as marathon runners. There is no real logical reason to run a marathon. It is more exercise than is necessary. It consumes more time than is reasonable. And it’s a lot of work. Nevertheless, each year a new group of people decide they want to enter the marathon club.
So if you’ve decided you want to join the club, then – congratulations. It will be an awesome experience. However, there is a financial danger involved – you will think you need to buy every product, item, and resource known to man. That’s why I want to help you achieve your running goal without breaking the bank.
The Cheapest Way To Train For A Marathon
I’ve broken the categories into free, cheap, and worth the cost.
Free Marathon Training Resources
Find a free training plan regardless of your experience – novice, intermediate, or expert. Visit Hal Higdon’s website.
You can also download this Free Exercise Training Worksheet.
Find marathon locations, dates, and expenses. By choosing a marathon close to home you will save a lot on hotels, meals, and travel cost.
Keep up with current happenings at Runners World.
Map My Run – this AMAZING program is the absolute best way to chart out your running. It will give you the mile markers along the way.
Don’t get a gym membership. Running outside is the best place to train. First of all, you help get your body acclimated to all kinds of conditions. Even if you plan on running a summer marathon, your body will be stronger by training in the cold. As the temperature changes your body will gradually adjust to new temperatures. If you don’t map your run, then you should consider a set route that you’ve checked the distance in your car, or even visit a local park.
Minimize The Cost Of Marathon Training Purchases
Discount Running Shoes
Running shoes are the bread and butter of running. However, it is not necessary to go to a professional running store and spend $150 plus on a pair of shoes. Instead, watch for sales, visit outlets, or stores like Ross or TJ Max. Look for shoes that are light weight, have good breathability, and have extra cushioning. Someone could measure your feet and your stride style, but when you put on the right pair of shoes, you know it. I’ve been most impressed with my Saucony running shoes.
When you buy running shoes, write the date on your exercise calendar. This way you can track your miles to know when it is time for a new pair of shoes. Typically, you can run between 400-500 miles with one pair of shoes.
Gatorade Powder Mix
Most marathoners say Gatorade is a must. I’ve always trained with water, but rehydrated at the end with Gatorade. You can save money by mixing your own Gatorade. Most Wal-Marts, Target, or Sam’s will have powder Gatorade you can mix. I always mix my drink before I run so when I get home everything is all set.
Early Marathon Registration
By registering early, most marathons will give you a substantial discount and even some extra goodies. The St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, for example, gives free Nike Dri-Fit hats to a set number of early registrants.
Cheap Fitness Apparel
Notice that this is called fitness, not fashion, apparel. Most people want to look like runners instead of be runners. If you shop second hand, online, or on clearance racks at your local sports store you can get some decent dry fit clothing. Remember, you might only need 2-3 shorts and shirts as long as you’re willing to do laundry a couple of times a week.
Marathon Training Products That Are Worth the Cost
Timex Ironman Triathlon Watch
You cannot train without a decent watch. I am a huge fan of Timex watches. Currently, I have an Ironman Triathlon watch. Get something with the following features – chrono, timer, intermittent timer, 100 lap storage. When you’re running you don’t want to record your miles every day – you need a watch to store your information. I am now trying out the Garmin WatchesGarmin watch that automatically syncs your workout.
I’m a fan of Timex products because they last and have an outstanding guarantee. I recently had a band break and couldn’t find a replacement. I paid $5 to send the watch to Timex repairs and got a brand new watch back. No receipt, no proof of purchase required.
MP3 Player or iPod
When I run I listen to a lot of financial programs. It get in shape and educated at the same time. Most people, however, prefer the inspiring music. I trained for my first marathon and two half marathons without an MP3 player, but if I had to go back, I would definitely get one. You might start out with an entry level MP3 player, or you might just want to get an iPod or even a weather resistant sport MP3 player.
When you start running over 1 – 2 hours,it will be worth getting some energy gel. The stuff tastes nasty, but really does help replenish your energy.
Marathon Training Book
I recommend Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide.
Photo by lululemon athletica.
Any of you thinking about running a half or full marathon this year? What training tips or money saving tips do you have?