How to Save Money on Running Gear


A post shared by Beeb Ashcroft (@beebashcroft) on


This is a partnered post.

Last May, I completed my first-ever 5k race, Run on The River. Running has been a great addition to my fitness regimen – having a race to train for gives me a tangible goal, but I can still work my my training around my hectic schedule, since the beauty of running is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. Running requires virtually no equipment, but over the past year I’ve collected a few items that make my jogging routine easier and more fun. I’m not one to dump a lot of money on unnecessary gadgets, so I thought I’d give you a rundown of what items have been beneficial for me and how I’ve cut costs.

Saving Money on Fitness Gear 101

Mama told me you better shop around: Before I buy anything, I research my options, check out reviews and read discussion forums. For example, I subscribe to r/xxfitness on Reddit, which is a forum for active women. I’ve found it helpful to see overall opinions and recommendations from other ladies who run and share my needs. From there, I can compare product categories to see how the price and quality stack up between similar items.

Groupon

Clip those coupons: Once I find something I like, I make sure to check Groupon Coupons before I place my order to see if there are any coupon codes that can save me money. Boasting a collection of 78,880 promo codes and sales across 11,833 stores, Groupon Coupons can help me find extra savings with a quick glance. Trust me, it’s worth the 60 seconds to check for a promo code before you hit “Purchase”! I’ve linked to the Groupon Coupons page for each retailer below so that you can see what sales are currently active.

Running Gear: Favorite Products & Where to Shop

Clothing & Shoes:

Activewear and shoes are the only gear you “Have” to have for running, but unfortunately, that’s also the most expensive part! I try to stock up on leggings whenever there’s a clearance sale (usually around New Year’s), but as time goes on I’ve gotten more picky and started to pay more for leggings that I know won’t pill up or ride down. With sneakers, I try to take advantage of price reductions and special coupons when I can, since they’re always so pricey. I had a run gait analysis done last year and specifically asked them to look at my shoes so I could get an idea if I was buying the right kind of footwear, since I don’t want to mess around with something that isn’t going to be supportive; I think that the price you have to spend on your shoes really varies based on personal needs.

Here’s a few deals currently running (pun intended) for shoes and clothes:

Accessories:

There is very little that you need to go running beyond clothes and shoes, but as I’ve become a regular runner, I’ve found a few items that make my life easier. I’ve bought all of these products on Amazon, which is one of my favorite places to shop! Not only do they carry affordable items that generally have free shipping, but you can also snag Amazon coupon codes from time to time that will bring the price down even further. These are my favorite running accessories available on Amazon:

  • FlipBelt – retails for just under $29: This belt is sold by Level Terrain and fits around your waist, holding a phone and keys or other small items. If I’m running around the block, I need somewhere to put my keys, and I personally can’t run without music so my phone is always there, too. I was using an armband previously, but it was getting cumbersome trying to get the phone in and out and keep it from slipping down; it also didn’t work for my house key, which actually fell out and left me searching by the road for it! So after looking around, I saw the FlipBelt recommended many times on Reddit and decided to go for it. I haven’t gotten the opportunity to use it much yet with our terrible Oregon weather this year, but I like it so far – I can put my large phone in it easily without it shifting.
  • Thermos Intak Hydration Bottle – $9.99: I wanted a water bottle that could easily track my water intake over the day, and I opted for this one. It has a simple dial at the bottom that you move each time you refill it, to indicate how many bottles you’ve had that day from 1 to 6. The bottle holds 24 ounces, so I know that if I refill it 5 times, I will have met my water goal for the day. It’s a simple thing, but it helps me, and the bottle is nicely made and sturdy. I had this bottle on my list for a while and ended up ordering it in February with a few other things because there was an Amazon coupon on offer that month which saved me over $8, paying for most of the bottle!
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo – under $10 per bottle: In order to keep my hair healthy, it’s important that I don’t wash it every day, so dry shampoo is my friend. Although I tie my hair up and wear headbands to try to protect it from sweat, I still feel gross after working out and didn’t feel like a little bit of powder was cutting it. Batiste seemed to be the hands-down favorite with female athletes on Reddit and once I tried it, I saw why. It thoroughly sprays your hair down and works through to get rid of oil and make your hair feel clean.

Are you a runner? What are some of your favorite accessories?

Total Gym XLS: June 2014 Update


We received a complimentary Total Gym XLS for the purposes of this series; this post also contains affiliate links. This article is an account of our personal experience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Always consult with physician before embarking on any fitness program.

Last month was so much better for Jai and I from a health standpoint. Knock on wood, flu season is over, and just in time for the weather warming up and creating the perfect setting for getting more active. We’ve been able to use our Total Gym XLS a bunch and really benefiting – Jai has been doing a wide variety of strength training exercises, while I’ve been really focusing on ab workouts. I can feel my core strength developing along with my knee strength, and I can see overall muscle tone improvements, so I’m feeling great! Check out our video to hear more on what we’ve been working on and the results we’ve been getting.




Total Gym XLS: May 2014 Update


We received a complimentary Total Gym XLS for the purposes of this series; this post also contains affiliate links. This article is an account of our personal experience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Always consult with physician before embarking on any fitness program.

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to give you a Total Gym XLS, so last week I filmed a video to let you know what’s been going on: Namely, being sick non-stop since December! Thankfully, we’re both feeling a lot better and knocking on wood that we won’t catch any more bugs for a while. We’ve been so thankful to have the XLS around this last month as we started our special “Couples Challenge” with our favorite food plan, and it feels great. I’ll be keeping you posted each month on how our fitness goals are coming – we have a little catching up to do after sickness kept interrupting our workouts for so long, but I can already feel my core strength coming back as I’ve been focusing on my abs a lot. I’m excited for this spring and summer!

On a side note, I’m always telling you how convenient Total Gym is – and case in point, right after I finished this video, I did a workout in that exact same dress. I love not having to change into special gym clothes, since I’m in the privacy of my own home! ;)




Did flu season impact your fitness goals this year?

Total Gym XLS: Week 21 Recap

Total Gym in Our Living Room

We received a complimentary Total Gym XLS for the purposes of this series; this post also contains affiliate links. This article is an account of our personal experience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Always consult with physician before embarking on any fitness program.

Here’s our measurements for week 21:

Measurements - Week 21

This last week was a brutal one for me – I’m still sick, and I’ve been having the worst insomnia for over a month. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I went to the doctor last week. Things are slowly starting to improve and I hope I’ll be able to kick this cold soon. Everyone around here is getting hammered with the cold and flu, so I think it’s just an especially bad year for it. I haven’t been exercising at all, because I have chest congestion and coughing fits don’t lend themselves well to working up a sweat.

Jai, however, is flu-free and has been getting some great workouts! He’s been using the 6-8 Minute Workout DVD, and has been commenting on what a good workout it is. It’s pretty amazing how a targeted routine can work your muscles so well in a short period of time! It’s been especially easy to follow the DVD since we moved our Total Gym XLS into the living room temporarily, so it’s been right next to the TV – we’ve been doing some construction projects in a room adjacent to our “Exercise room”, so we just emptied it out temporarily while we completed those minor renovations.

We had originally planned to wrap up our Total Gym series at the end of January, but we’ve been loving the feedback and encouragement we’ve been getting and enjoying the chance to share our journey, so we’ve decided to extend the series – we’re going to continue sharing a monthly Total Gym XLS video and our measurement results right here on Beeb-Log through the end of summer 2014, so we can continue to update you on our progress, favorite exercises, and more!




If you have a question or exercise you’d like to request us to demo, leave it in the comments below and we’ll include it in our next video update in February!

Total Gym XLS: Week 20 Recap

Total Gym in The Sunshine

We received a complimentary Total Gym XLS for the purposes of this series; this post also contains affiliate links. This article is an account of our personal experience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Always consult with physician before embarking on any fitness program.

It’s our 20th week using the Total Gym XLS:

Measurements - Week 20

Last week, I was following the 6-8 Minute Workout DVD. I was impressed by what a challenging workout I was getting in such a short amount of time – Jai tried Day 1 of the men’s program on this DVD, which was similar to Day 1 of the women’s program, and we both were commenting on how our abs were so sore in the following days! For anybody crunched on time, this DVD is an awesome companion to the Total Gym because you don’t feel like you’ve skimped on your workout when you finish, even though it’s brief. The main challenge to using this DVD is the fact that my Total Gym and TV are in different rooms, so I either have to pause the DVD and run back and forth between rooms, which really interrupts the flow and efficiency of the workout, or I have to move the XLS into the living room so I can watch the DVD as I follow along. It’s not really practical for us to move the Total Gym permanently into the living room, but I’ll figure something out. (A portable DVD player would be one solution!)

I never got the chance to finish Days 4 & 5 of the DVD last week, and you want to know why? Guess what – I’m sick again. Yes, I just barely got over the lengthy holiday cold, and now I have a new one. I’m so sick of being sick! This is a full-on cold with blocked ears/runny nose/sore throat/chills/sweats/nausea/vomiting, so once again, I’ve been trying to take it easy. Fortunately, this one seems to be developing and clearing faster than the last one so hopefully there will only be a day or two more of the worst of it. It’s especially frustrating getting sick again so quickly when I’ve really been trying hard this month to get better rest, reduce stress, exercise, be mindful of eating my fruits and veggies, etc. But this has been a gnarly cold and flu season – our area news has been talking a lot about hospitalizations for the flu – so what can you do? I’ll be glad when flu season is over! BLECH!!





Got any tips for keeping up your energy while recovering from a nasty cold?

Total Gym XLS: Week 19 Recap

Our Exercise Room

We received a complimentary Total Gym XLS for the purposes of this series; this post also contains affiliate links. This article is an account of our personal experience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Always consult with physician before embarking on any fitness program.

This was our first week back in action after getting sick over the holidays – here’s our measurements:

Measurements - Week 19

Since I’d been out of commission for a couple of weeks, I had a plan for easing back into my workouts. I spent two days picking out 3 or 4 cards and just doing those; then I did Day 1 of the 6-8 Minute Workout DVD. It’s a 5-day program, so I’m going to follow that this week and then start doing some other DVDs and longer workouts next week. This is a great way to scale back up my workouts without doing too much all at once; if there’s anything my stair machine knee injury taught me, it’s that you should not overdo it when you’re exercising. The great thing about the 8 minute workout is that while it may be brief, it’s intense – you’d be surprised what a good workout I’ve gotten just following that short routine!

This week, we also discovered yet another benefit to having a gym in our home. We had very stormy weather last week, and on Saturday night the power went out for maybe half an hour. While we waited for the power to come back on, Jai decided to do a workout on the Total Gym by flashlight instead of just sitting in the dark. I found it very entertaining that he was working out during the power outage! ;)




Total Gym XLS, Week 18: New Year’s Update!

We received a complimentary Total Gym XLS for the purposes of this series; this post also contains affiliate links. This article is an account of our personal experience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Always consult with physician before embarking on any fitness program.

As I mentioned yesterday, Jai and I both got sick before Christmas and it was one of the worst colds I’ve had in a long time. Usually, when I get a cold, it hits its peak and then slowly starts to let up, so I feel a little bit better every day – but not this one. This cold stayed at the same intensity and just did not get any better, and it just kept going and going for about 2 1/2 weeks. I took an unprecedented amount of sick time off work (for me) and although I did continue to work out on the Total Gym XLS when the cold first started, I soon gave that up. I’ve had a bad cough/chest congestion, and moving around just made me feel worse in that regards so I opted to let myself rest and recover. Jai also got a lot of achey muscle pain with his cold, so we’ve just been a mess overall. ;) Now that my cough has finally let up, I started working out again yesterday, and it feels so good, physically and mentally!

So with our sickness hiatus in mind, here are our measurements after about 2 1/2 weeks off:

Measurements - Week 18

New Year’s is typically the time when people are making resolutions and getting started with a new fitness routine, so if this is something you’re working on, I’d love to hear all about it!




Total Gym XLS: Week 15 Recap

Total Gym Handle

We received a complimentary Total Gym XLS for the purposes of this series; this post also contains affiliate links. This article is an account of our personal experience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Always consult with physician before embarking on any fitness program.

It’s week 15 using the Total Gym XLS:

Measurements Week 15

This week’s update is short and sweet, simply because I wasn’t here! With my trip to Michigan, I was gone for the large part of the week and wasn’t here to use my XLS. However, this didn’t negatively impact my measurements this week which is great, and I certainly got a different kind of exercise running around airports while I was traveling. ;) Jai hasn’t been able to use the machine as much recently because he’s been doing a lot of construction and is already very sore from that, so he has to be careful not to overdo it and end up with muscle soreness that impacts his work. His strategy for this coming week is to take advantage of all the great stretches he can do on the Total Gym and see what opposite muscle groups he can find to work out.




Are you traveling for the holidays? How does it affect your workout routine?

Total Gym XLS: Week 14 Recap

Total Gym Workout DVDs

We received a complimentary Total Gym XLS for the purposes of this series; this post also contains affiliate links. This article is an account of our personal experience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Always consult with physician before embarking on any fitness program.

It’s week 14 with the Total Gym XLS:

Total Gym Week 14 Measurements

This week, I’ve been really digging in to the stack of DVDs that came with our XLS. I’ve really been enjoying the AbCrunch Workout With Rob Glick, which is the the companion piece to the AbCrunch attachment. It’s a short DVD, so it would be easy to do if you were time crunched for ab crunches (Har har), but it’s a killer workout. I have done it twice in the last week and my abs are so sore – in a good way – that it hurts to laugh! Jai was also impressed with how much of a workout this gave him.

I’ve been combining the AbCrunch with other ab and upper body exercises from the deck of workout cards and working out for about an hour. On “Alternating” days, I’ve been having fun looking at some of the other DVDs: Last night I did part of the upper body portion of the 5-Day Advanced Program, and last week I had a look at the GRAVITYPilates Infused Core. The Pilates DVD works your legs a lot, so I ended up shelving it for later since I didn’t want to put too much strain on my knees; I already did some kneeling AbCruch exercises earlier in the week, so it’s important that I don’t push it too much, since my knees do still get sore easily from working out and I have no desire to re-injure myself by going too hard. This makes it more challenging to get a full body workout in, and I have to get creative to think of how I can alternate muscle groups each day, but that’s totally OK!

I’ve been fighting to make more time in my schedule to take care of myself, which is why I’m enjoying spending more time using the Total Gym. This hour of working out includes my warm-up and cool-down stretches, flipping through the DVDs, adjusting the machine, and so forth. I worked out like this for several days last week, with one day being a quick and simple workout as I didn’t have as much time, and two days off. It’s so awesome being able to modify my workout routine around what’s going on, rather than having to say, “Oh, I guess I can’t do weights today because the gym closed before I could get there.”




What has your workout routine been like this week?

Total Gym XLS: Week 13 Recap

Total Gym With Exercise Cards

We received a complimentary Total Gym XLS for the purposes of this series; this post also contains affiliate links. This article is an account of our personal experience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical condition. Always consult with physician before embarking on any fitness program.

It’s lucky week 13 with the Total Gym XLS – here’s our measurements:

Measurements  - Week 13

It’s totally awesome having the Total Gym around during a busy holiday week like this one, where I had not only Thanksgiving treats but also served as a judge for a cookie contest! Between all these extra calories and added activities with family, friends, and work, it’s easy for the holiday season to throw us off. But fortunately, by having the XLS right in my office, I can get a quick workout in no matter what’s going on. Regular gyms close on holidays like Thanksgiving – but my gym is ready for me anytime I need it – any day, any hour! And I’m gonna need it to work off all the cookies I had to taste as a judge. ;)




How do you keep your fitness momentum going during the holidays?