Scope Out Local Races1 of 12
It's no surprise that the farther you travel for races, the more expensive things get. Airfare, hotels and restaurant meals can add up quick. To keep costs down, look for races that don't require overnight stays or high transportation costs. Keep in mind that many local running groups often put on no-frills races; sometimes free of charge or for as little as $5 per race.
You can also piggyback on an existing trip by searching for races where you plan to stay. Search ACTIVE.com for races by city—locally or away.
Plan Your Race Calendar in Advance2 of 12
The longer you wait to register for a race, the more you'll end up paying. Races will often offer special early bird pricing for those who register well in advance. Plan ahead and pony up the cash before race fees rise.
Become a Volunteer3 of 12
Some races reward volunteers with a free entry to a future race. Giving back to the running community and scoring a gratis bib is a win-win situation.
Join a Local Running Club4 of 12
Many running groups offer discounts to local races, stores, restaurants and sometimes even massage therapists and chiropractors. The cost of an annual club membership can quickly pay for itself if you take advantage of these deals.
Investigate Health Insurance/Employee Perks5 of 12
Many insurance companies will pay a portion of gym memberships or sometimes even race fees. A quick inquiry to your insurance representative could leave you with money in your pocket.
Save on Running Shoes6 of 12
If you know what shoe works, consider buying it online rather than in a store. The running shoe review website RunRepeat.com recently conducted a study analyzing the cost of running shoes and found that on average, consumers save 38.14 percent ($46.19) by purchasing their shoes online. Want to save even more dough? Pocket another 19.36 percent ($14.50) by buying last year's model.
Other things to keep in mind: Heavier shoes and more arch support often cost more. If you need these features, don't skimp, but if you can get away with a lightweight shoe, it might save you some cash.
Take Care of Your Gear7 of 12
An easy way to avoid buying new running gear is to take care of the things you already own. For technical fabrics, wash them in cold water and hang to dry rather than putting them in the dryer.
To prolong the life of your running shoes, consider alternating two pairs. And if a pair of shoes gets wet, stuff them with newspaper and put them in a sunny spot; never put them in the dryer. Heat can shrink the upper material and break down the outsoles.
Rethink Your Fuel8 of 12
Instead of spending $1 to 2 energy gel, try out some all-natural alternatives. Honey packets, dried fruit and homemade energy balls are all cheaper than name brand fuel. And instead of a sports drink, consider hydrating with a mix of water, orange juice and a dash of salt. Just make sure to practice with your new fuel before key workouts and races.
Consider Free Entertainment9 of 12
If you're addicted to your ear buds, try listening to free podcasts or borrowing audio books from the library. If you must listen to the latest hits, subscribe to free streaming services like Pandora or Spotify instead of downloading albums. Listening to a few commercials might be worth the savings.
Avoid Injury10 of 12
The thing that can save you the most money might just be the trickiest. Doctor co-pays, PT appointments and lost race fees all add up fast when you're injured, so stay healthy by balancing hard miles with rest days and cross-training. Your wallet (and your body) will thank you!
Join ACTIVE Advantage11 of 12
For deals on travel, gear, races and more, sign up for the ACTIVE Advantage program. Members receive exclusive deals on running shoes, race registrations and everything a runner needs to conquer race season.