Saturday, January 23, 2010

Whoever Said All You Need to Run is a Pair of Shoes Was Lying

"Garmin - ✔. Water - ✔. Gatorade - ✔. Dry clothes - ✔. Coffee mug - ✔. Headband-✔. Gloves - ✔. Cell phone - ✔. Gu - ✔. (Whoever said all you need to run is a pair of shoes was lying...)" This was posted on Facebook this morning by a running/blogging buddy of mine, Dena just before heading out on her 20-mile run. I couldn't help but chuckle when I read it.

You do often hear (especially by non-runners), "Well, you picked a good sport because all you need are your shoes." I guess maybe that's true if you live in a nudist camp in South Florida. (The closest I've come to that was the Take Pride in Your Hide 5K, but that's a different story.) Anywho...if you're a runner, especially a distance runner, you're well aware that you'll need more than those shoes. (Funny, my barefoot running buddy, Josh, will tell you, you need everything, but those shoes.)

Even if you're a shorter distance runner, you're going to need some basic attire and equipment. In the summer you're going to need moisture-wicking, technical-fabric shorts and tops. In the winter you'll also need moisture-wicking clothing, but in the running tights, and long-sleeve variety. Plus you'll probably need some additional layers for warmth. Ca-ching, Ca-ching....

And summer or winter, don't forget that hat. You'll need a visor to keep the sun off your face and out of your eyes in the summer, and during the winter you'll need a hat with more head coverage to keep all your heat from escaping out your noggin. 100% UV protection shades are a must for the eyes as well as sunscreen for the ole bod (year round). Ca-ching, Ca-ching....

And don't forget those socks! They're not cheap either! Ca-ching....

If you're running less than an hour you probably won't need a lot in the way of hydration or energy supplements (depending on the temp). But if you're going those longer distances, you'll need to add the expense of a sports drink and probably some sports gels. And for those longer runs you'll probably want one of those hydration belts to carry all those goodies. Ca-ching, Ca-ching....

If you're a gadget hound or someone who likes to keep track of all your training statistics, you've probably doled out a few hundred dollars for a GPS such as a Garmin or Nike's version. Oh and then there are heart-rate monitors that are just as popular. Ca-ching, Ca-ching.... And what about those rainy days? Are you one of the thousands who spent thousands on a treadmill last year? Ca-ching, Ca-ching...

Do you race? I remember the days of $10 and $15 registration fees for 10Ks! (Okay, so I'm old.) Today expect to pay $25, $30, $40+ and for a half or whole marathon expect to pay $60-$100+ then add in the travel and lodging expenses, if the races are any distance from where you live. Ca-ching, Ca-ching....

Now back to those darn shoes....even if you rebel and insist on wearing your short gym shorts from the 70s with the white piping, your cotton tube socks with the color bands at the top that go all the way to your knees (thinking that will count as a sunscreen), and a stretchy terry-cloth headband to keep the sweat out of your eyes, you're still going to end up shelling out quite a chunk of change for those shoes (well, unless you're my friend Barefoot Josh).

Okay, so running isn't the cheapest sport. That's okay. We love it anyway. Heck, most of us are addicted to checking out the latest shoes or testing out the latest nutrition, energy, and hydration products on the market. Chances are that you make a monthly if not weekly visit to the local sporting goods or running shop to check out all the new gear (don't worry, I won't tell). And we look forward to the next race for which we're training even though we might have to take out a home equity loan to pay for the registration, air fare, hotel, and food for the trip.

So, they next time someone says, "Well at least with running all you need is a good pair of shoes." just pat them on the shoulder and say, "Bless your heart."

34 comments:

trailgurl said...

I just said this exact thing to a group of friends after I ran a half-marathon. :) Great blog! You hit the nail on the head.

RunnerDude said...

Thanks Trailgurl! Hope you had a great race!

Bob (Downtown Runner) said...

How true! I run mostly at lunchtime so I carry my gear back an forth in a bag. It's gotten to where I've created a checklist in the bag so I can make sure I've got everything. A couple of times I got to the gym only to find out I was missing gloves, or my Garmin, or my earmuffs, or even my shoes!

AshleyR said...

I love it! I was talking to my hair stylist one day about how much money I had just spent on running gear. She said she thought all you needed was a pair of shoes. I told her only if you enjoy getting chaffed on your thighs and armpits and being drenched in sweat. Even with all the money I spend on gear and races it is still cheaper than my previous sports hobby of riding horses. I don't even want to know how much money I dropped on that sport for 30 years!

Steven Cohen said...

If you want to do it right it is some cha-ching! I have the Garmin, the technical clothes, the new shoes, even bought a road ID, so I wouldn't have to carry my license any more. The beauty of it is that once I'm going, my training is free! When I ski I have to drop $50 - $80 on a lift ticket, and drive for 2 or 3 hours there and back, even though I'm happy enough to wear my older skis, boots, pants & jacket. Luckily, my cold weather running gear works well for ski gear, too! And then there's golf (not much of a workout), in which my clubs are good forever, but I pay through the nose for each outing!

Jamoosh said...

So you are saying "Cotton" isn't the "fabric of our running life!"

:-)

christinaleigh said...

So funny...I laugh all the time when someone says running is a cheap sport. No such thing!!!

HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

Oh man, this is so true! And now, as I'm slowly starting to dabble in the world of triathlon, I'm thinking I need to get a REALLY high paying job, haha! SOO much fun gear to be had!

southofthecliff said...

I may not have to buy shoes, but please understand I'm trying to bring back the "Flashdance" look. Leotards and legwarmers aren't cheap, you know.

barefootjosh.com

RunnerDude said...

Hi Bob! Nothing worse that realizing you forgot your shoes! I've done that on occasion myself.

RunnerDude said...

Hi AshleyR! Oh may, I be horse riding would be a tad more expensive. My daughter wants to do that. I keep trying to get her to buy runnin shoes instead. :-)

RunnerDude said...

Hi Steven! You are exactly right! Even though we may have to drop a few bucks to get started, we don't ahave the weekly dues like for golf or some other sports. We do have those race fees, but most of us aren't racing every week, and those race fees are still cheaper than most greens fees. Glad you pointed that out.

RunnerDude said...

Hi Jamoosh! I'm sure Body Glide would love for you to bring back cotton running apparel! :-)

RunnerDude said...

Hi Christinaleigh! Same here. Does make me chuckle. Kind of like when you tell someone you ran a marathon and they ask if you won. LOL!

RunnerDude said...

Morning Heather! Oh man, I've heard tales of the cost of being a triathlete. Read Jef Mallet's book Trizophrenia, it's a great humorous look at the life of a triathlete.

RunnerDude said...

Hi Southofthecliff!Not so sure about the leotards and legwarmers, but having a big tub of water dropped on me after a race sounds kind of nice.

She-Fit said...

WOW! Running isn't cheap! I never knew you needed all this stuff. I saw a man run a full marathon this past weekend in AZ without shoes. . . 26.3 miles without shoes on!!!! Now that is crazy

Kerrie T. said...

On Friday, I bought a sports tank top for treadmill runnin gin the gym. I was getting too hot. Well I ended up wearing it under my rain coat with my stay-cool arm sleeves on a long run on Saturday. My husband was less than pleased that I bought another shirt. "You buy something new every time you go running!" he complained. He thought I should wear the free cold-weather shirts Champion sent me to test. "But it's raining!" I reminded him. Dressing for a run: It's a complicated process, isn't it?

buryblue said...

Agree with you Runner Dude that our sport can be expensive but it doesn't have to be. For anyone starting out as a beginner I would still tell them the most important piece of equipment (unless you are a barefoot runner) is the shoes. After that whilst it is more comfortable with technical shorts and shirts you don't have to have them. I do get the impression that some runners won't set out the door unless they are wearing a utility belt with food and water for a week and are weighed down with all manner of electronic appliances.

I tend to get new shoes as gifts for birthdays and christmas and often get given a technical shirt when I buy shoes.

Just playing devils advocate ( as I do generally agree with you!)but In a way wouldn't it be dearer to sit on a sofa and vegetate and drum up expensive medical bills?

Another great post Runnerdude

regards Paul

RunnerDude said...

Hi She-Fit! Well, it doesn't have to be way out-of-control expensive, but for most you do need more than just the shoes. As for going barefoot....meet Josh http://www.barefootjosh.com/

RunnerDude said...

Hey Kerry T! It can get complicated, especially with weather like we have in NC. One week it's 60, the next week it's 19. And this week we're supposed to have a monsoon!

RunnerDude said...

Hi BuryBlue! Great points as always! Yep, running doesn't have to be expensive, but it does tend to be more involved than just the shoes. If you're an heavy sweater like me and live in a hot/humid climate like NC, then cotton is evil. LOL!

southofthecliff said...

She-Fit (great name, ps):

While I can vouch for the do-ability of enjoying long runs without shoes, my word cannot be trusted when it comes to sanity evaluation. My feet work better than my comprehension of reality.

Kathy said...

Down here (Mexico) 10Ks are $10MN to $30MN (we use the same sign as you do to indicate pesos) which in USD is 0.80USD to $2.40USD and get Poweraid, shirt and police along the route. So, come on down! :) Half and full marathons are around $150 to $200 (so that is $12USD to $16USD).

Also, I'm not sure WHERE I'd get a Garmin, but I'm guessing that there is a sport shop in DF (Mexico City) that probably has one. I'm not of the caliber to need one though, so for me, it is Cytomax, shoes (bring them from the US once a year) and so far, no technical clothing either. Maybe I'm just cheap. :)

Actually, my neighbor is bringing me some Nike shorts and shirts I got off Ebay, so soon I will be sporting the look also. :)

The tradeoff for all this cheapness is the weather. Currenty 90F/32C and that is winter weather. Summer is 115F or so. But I'm thinking that you can relate on some level, considering where you live.

RunnerDude said...

Hi Kathy! Envious! You go girl!

Dena said...

If I ever feel bad about the cha-ching I spend on my sport, I just talk to my cycling friends. NOT a cheap sport. =)

...Barbie... said...

This post is awesome and so so so true. I am glad I am not the only one who goes to Dicks and Sports Authority every time I am in the area ... which is weekly. Love it!!!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Barbie! Welcome to the blog!Thanks for the feedback. Yep, I'm on a first name basis with the guys at Dick's Sporting goods. LOL!

KMo said...

i like how she included "the headband", because in my head a picture of will ferrel in a 1985 matching sweatsuit and fro hair with a big sweatband around his noggin came to mind! hahaha

but you know, getting that magical pair of shoes is not always an easy task. brands change. feet change. your running gait changes. or if you're a girl: your mood changes and you want something different!

RunnerDude said...

I hear ya KMo! I hate it when I finally find a shoe that works and then (Murphy's Law), it's discontinued or revamped the next year and doesn't fit the same. So, the search goes on.

Chad said...

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Are you crazy?! You are not supposed to utter this. ;)

Noah Moore said...

Great post RunnerDude, but I can not let my wife see this!!! :)

No really, I figured up the amount of money I spent on medications and doctors when I was 90 pounds heavier and running is much cheaper.

RunnerDude said...

Hi Chad! LOL! Love it!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Noah! Oh definitely cheaper (healthwise) than not exercising. Definitely worth any expense. Your story is proof of that!!