If you follow me on social media you will know that for the last seven months I have been very, very slowly working on my fitness. I hope I am smart enough to have learned not to rush into things and hurt myself or burn out or let perfectionism get the best of me.
Yep. I am smart enough.
Between my many health issues and my connective tissue disorder and its associated hyper mobile joints it is super important that I do things in proper form and that I truly take my time and do not push myself.
I’ve made mistakes. So many mistakes. I’ve burnt out. I’ve rushed it along. I’ve pushed too hard. I’ve suffered injuries, set backs, given up, and just said, “I’m done. I give.” But I don’t do that any more.
I planned this out very well before I began and I rigorously made, “what if,” plans that accounted for all of the above in a loving way. I also nurtured myself by truly taking, “The Four Tendencies,” to heart and working with my nature instead of fighting it. PS: READ THAT BOOK. LIFE CHANGING.
This has resulted in months of slow fitness improvement and self efficacy building. I began walking, and am now running. Slowly. Methodically. Yes, even joyfully.
In order to do this healthfully I knew it was important to wear good shoes and running gear. For me, compression gear helps hold me together and acts as support for my health issues. But guys, it’s SO easy to spend $500 on running gear!
Yep. NOT HAPPENING. So here are some hacks/hints/tips to save yourself some money on your fitness journey.
Shoes. People. Let’s discuss this. You think you know your shoe size. You don’t. Get fitted at a running store. What you wear for daily life is not what you wear for running and you NEVER, EVER, run errands or walk around in the shoes you run in. You will put wear on the shoes differently for walking than you do for running and ruin them!
I got sized and figured out what shoes felt good and why they felt good. The last, the shape, the support. I then went on a mission to find shoes that fit my size 11 narrow ankle and wide forefoot. Believe it or not. I found them at Walmart. For $17.99. These shoes won’t last as long as more expensive shoes (the soles will wear quickly), but they are cheap enough to be replaced more often than I would ever replace a $200 pair of shoes. I’m not linking to them, because we all have different feet and expectations and I don’t want you to think they will work for you because they do for me.
Compression leggings are essential for me. I’m heavier so things move around a lot and support around the middle is great, but most importantly, support and compression on my legs is a life saver. It holds my joints together and supports good form. I am considering running compression socks in the future, but haven’t bit that bullet yet.
I tried inexpensive leggings at Walmart and Target and even Old Navy (Although at $30+ I wouldn’t call them inexpensive) and while Old Navy was the best performing in my opinion, I couldn’t afford to buy multiple pairs of them and I really wanted at least two pairs so I didn’t have to wash them every time I ran.
Suddenly a light bulb went off and I remembered an online advertisement: For $24 I could get TWO pairs of Fabletics Compression Leggings.
I asked on my running group’s Facebook page if anyone had tried them and they all seemed to be pretty happy with them with a comment or two on them eventually stretching. It was good enough that I took a risk at the price point – especially considering they had phone pockets.
I have had them for over a month now, and so far so good. The compression is stronger than the Old Navy version and I like that a lot. I find myself reaching for them over my other pair. I don’t know if they will continue to be my favorites, but at this point I would say they are. Do read the size charts, because they size a bit differently.
I bought a running bra at Walmart for $10 with high hold/compression. I like to feel absolutely no jog. I always have to go down 2-3 sizes on the band to account for the fact that most bras seem to be made for larger chested women and therefore too much space in the cups without sizing down.
Then just about any shirt will do, but I have picked up several wicking work out shirts from the thrift store for $0.99 each. I have a couple outfits now and don’t have to do quite so much laundry and plan ahead quite so rigorously.
I am looking for some sort of knee support for my right luxating patella, but I haven’t figured out which type I want/like. I’m always checking the thrift store bins for one.
Lastly, I snagged a fanny pack from my uncle’s house because, apparently, they are cool now? I don’t know, but I keep my inhaler, lip balm, keys, and extra poo bags in there.
I picked up each item over time as my commitment continued and renewed. Old Navy leggings first. Then after a month, Walmart shoes. And so on. I am pretty set for a bit, but am looking for some shorts when I thrift along with a knee brace. Shoes will need replacing after my birthday.
Guys. I’m seven months into my consistency commitment to being physical (whatever form that might take: walking, running, yoga, yard work). I’ve never accomplished this before and I am so proud of me right now! Wishing the best for all of you. I’d love to hear about your running hacks and achievements in the comments below.