For new runners, one of the best ways to start out is to train for a 5K race. Even though running is affordable compared to other sports, in order to train successfully, you definitely have to invest in the right gear. The problem, however, is that high performance often equals a high price tag. An easy way to save money without compromising on quality is to search for promo codes and cashback offers. You can find online offers for everything from shoes and other running basics to the gear you need for different weather conditions.
This step-by-step guide will help you create and follow a plan that’s right for you while also saving money on everything you need to succeed.
Train with a Plan
Running can be as simple as putting on your shoes and heading out the door. However, without a plan of attack, you’re more likely to encounter a number of setbacks. Experts agree that the best plan for beginners is to do intervals of running and walking. Runners World explains how intervals help you build up to more consistent running, whereas if you try to push yourself too hard at first, you could end up frustrated and even injured. An easy and inexpensive way to start an interval plan is by using a running app. There are plenty of different running apps for every level, and most are free or cost no more than $5.
Strength Training and Cool Down
Your plan is to run a 5K, not enter a bodybuilding competition. That said, you won’t get the best results from running alone. According to Breaking Muscle, strength training reduces your risk of injury, especially when you strengthen your core, hips, and glutes. Plus, building strength makes you a more efficient runner. To achieve the right balance, alternate run days and strength days.
While you can do strength exercises using your own bodyweight, many new runners feel more comfortable joining a gym so they can ensure they’re targeting the right muscles. To save money on a gym membership, it’s always smart to search for discounts. If you have benefits through your employer, ask if a discounted or free gym membership is included. If you’re a college student, you may be eligible to get a discount with your student ID. Seniors can often take advantage of gym discounts too. For example, if you have a Medicare Advantage or Medigap plan, you may be able to join a gym for free thanks to SilverSneakers, which provides access to equipment, events, and classes at thousands of fitness centers nationwide.
Whether you’re running or hitting the gym, don’t forget to cool down and stretch at the end of any workout. Along with cooling down, many runners also benefit from using a foam roller to increase blood flow to sore muscles. Foam rollers have become a popular piece of sporting equipment, which means you can often find one for a reasonable price at discount stores.
Dress for Success
This phrase is typically used in the business world, but it applies to athletes too. Instead of a power suit, though, runners need good shoes and clothing that’s made for high performance. Even when you’re on a budget, don’t overlook these “extras” because they can make the difference between a good run and a run that’s miserable. Another savings tip is to determine which items are worth spending more to go higher-end, and when you get away with spending less. For example, having the right shoes is an absolute must for running success, so they may be worth the splurge, whereas you can spend less on things like tank tops and shorts. No matter what you’re purchasing, you can save by using coupons and promo codes from major retailers.
Every runner needs the right gear to be successful, but that doesn’t mean it has to cost a fortune. There are countless benefits to running — it’s a sport that’s easy to get into, it’s a fantastic way to reduce stress, and the cost of getting started is relatively low. With this training plan and money-saving tips, there’s no reason not to hit the pavement today!
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