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The Economics of Running, Part II September 25, 2009

Posted by Richard Lowe in Thoughts & Musings.
Tags: , , ,

When I mentioned this article about the hidden costs of running, one thing I’m discovering that the writer overlooked is the cost of food! Seriously, now that I’m running about 20 miles a week, I’m hungry at least every 2-3 hours. Buying food—especially the right food—can get expensive!

Yesterday was a record-breaking day for me: I had breakfast, two lunches, a snack, then a huge dinner. And I still woke up hungry the next morning. While most of my food comes from cooking balanced meals, I obviously can’t be preparing a full meal anytime I get a bit of hunger. So I decided to put in some time and seek out food that can either be made quickly or taken with me on-the-go. I went to the grocery store and roamed the aisles for food that fit those requirements.

What I came back with was a good mix of food and a bill that touched about $60. Not too bad, except that these items are more like my snacks and don’t include the cost of my meals for the week! I imagine I’ll go through them in about two weeks, so let’s do the math: at $60 every other week with a training schedule of 25 weeks remaining, that’s a total of $750! Talk about a hidden cost!

However, I know that nutrition is extremely important* and I feel like I came back from the store with food that will help me train successfully. Anytime I start to doubt spending the cash to train for this marathon correctly, I just remember my motto: “Doing everything I can to not pass out at the LA Marathon.”

For a few extra bucks, it’s worth it.


*Marathon nutrition is something I’ve been meaning to write about but haven’t had the time. It’s a huge subject!


1. runshorts - September 25, 2009

I find the cost of on-the-run “food” also adds up – gels, beans, gatorade. A long run costs me about $4 in nutritional supplies, although admittedly if I made my own sports drink and gels it would be cheaper (but it would cost time, convenience isn’t cheap). I guess there’s worse stuff we could spend our hard earned money on.

RJL - September 26, 2009

I haven’t gotten to the point in my training where I’m buying food for long runs, but yes, that’ll be something to factor in! Oh the costs of running—but I say: well worth it!

2. Chelsee Lowe - October 4, 2009

Like the picture… that’s like all your staple foods!

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