With 2018 just around the corner, I am sure there will be countless articles on how to inexpensively improve your health in the new year. Predictably, running will be on that list. Just put on a pair of sneakers and run around the neighborhood. You'll feel good, lose weight and it won't cost you a dime.
Well that might be true if you're running a mile or two. However, as some of you know I am an avid long-distance runner and if you start putting up serious mileage it can be expensive. Very expensive. In fact, I think you'll be surprised at how much it costs me to run 20 miles.
Now, I will say that I have mediocre skills as a runner. Many of my running compatriots can cruise through a 20 mile run at a much lower price than someone like myself, who needs more energy and supplement assistance. Nonetheless, I am confident in saying no one can run 20 miles for less than $7.
As for me, this is the direct cost of a 20 mile run:
- Shoes - Lets say my running shoes cost $100 and they last me 300 miles. A 20 mile run costs me $7 in shoe wear.
- Energy Gels - For any run longer than an hour, I help maintain my energy level with GU brand energy gels. They cost about $1/each. I will take one after 20 minutes and then one every 45 minutes after that. A 20 mile run around these hilly parts, might take me 3.5 hours. So I will consume at least 4 GU gels for another $4.
- Electrolytes - I take a Hammer electrolyte pill before starting and each hour thereafter and they cost about 25 cents each. So that's another $1.
- Anti-Fatigue Pills - Hammer sells a helpful supplement that reduces fatigue causing amonia. I will also take 4 of these pills during a 20 mile run and they cost another 25 cents each...another $1.
- After I am finished running, I take-in two scoops of Recoverite which replenishes your glycogen. That costs about $2.
Add it all up and I directly spend $15 to run 20 miles. This isn't even close to the actual amount as I spend money on clothes, asthma medicine, obligatory running watch, gas to drive to wherever I might want to run, contact lenses and the occasional massage to relieve the soreness. Not to mention I tend to get injured a lot and have spent substantial amounts on Physical Therapy, acupuncture, dry needling, MRIs, doctor visits, etc. Then, of course, there are the substantial race entry fees and flight/car/hotel costs when I travel to a race.
However, just to step out my door and run 20 miles it costs me $15+. While distance running is surprisingly expensive, I wouldn't stop for the world. It's my therapy and I am grateful for every step I can take.