How to Get Cheap Quality Activewear 

I don’t know about you, but I’m obsessed with active wear. Over half of my wardrobe is filled with running shorts, tech t-shirts, and sports bras. Why? Because they are sooo comfortable and I need them for running (priorities, duh). But finding cheap running clothes is hard and finding cheap clothes that are also quality is even more difficult. There are too many brands out there with badly made sports bras or leggings because they’re a “fad” these days. Most of the time they’re not even comfortable! Since I’m a broke teenager, breaking the bank for quality, fully priced $50 shorts or $90 leggings is not an option, I have discovered a few tips and tricks to help you score the most quality activewear for the cheapest prices. (*my budget for any clothing item is under $25).

Outlet Stores: They are a blessing to mankind. Outlet stores are brand name shops (like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Lululemon, etc.) that carry marked down prices on products. Normally these shops are in clusters called Outlet Malls so it’s easy to go on a shopping spree 😉 They are located all over, so all you have to do is google one nearby, if you are unfamiliar. Most of the time, Outlet Stores have 20%-30% off of everything in the store, which is nice, but the clearance rack of the store is where the real deals are at. Clothes on these racks are more like 50%-70% (!!!) off. Seriously, I’ve bought Nike shorts for like $7 and a Lulu sports bra for $23 by scouring these things. It’s impossible for me to leave an outlet mall empty handed! One word of caution, ALWAYS try on anything before you buy it at outlet stores because sometimes they are discounted for a reason; the fit may be a little off or something, but most of the time you’ll be fine. 

Online Shopping: My favorite way to shop; scrolling through the sale section with the filter on $0-$30 while eating chips in the comfort of my own home. Hit up your favorite brand’s websites in the off season to find some *killer* deals on stock overflow. I only recommend shopping on your trusted brands website so that you won’t have to worry about sizing if you already own some of their clothes and you already know they carry the quality that you are looking for. I also recommend signing up for email subscriptions for your favorite brands to be the first to be notified of sales (after all, it’s important to shop fast because if it’s on sale, since there is a limited number of items left! The cheapest items are always ones that the company is trying to clear inventory of) and to get secret discount codes (my personal favorite). I also love online shopping because you can read reviews for all the clothes you might want to get to determine if the fit will be right and if it’s what you are really looking for. I commonly shop on the Athleta, Oiselle, and REI sites for the best deals; Athleta never fails to have a good deal!! Note that it will be easier to get the cheapest stuff if you are sizes XS (me!) or XL because you are extra special 🙂 

Warehouse Sales: I love a good warehouse sale. Basically, brands (usually smaller) bring all their overflow items to one place, slap a cheap price on it, with the hopes of clearing their inventory and sample clothing. So many good deals in one place can get a little chaotic, but well worth it! Again, it’s important to sign up for an email list or follow your favorite brands facebook to get notified when and where these sales are. Normally, they are exclusive so you will have to apply for entry as soon as you are notified or the attendance will fill up before you have a chance. It helps if you are located in a big city, where most regional sales might occur. So get out there and start searching for warehouse sales near you! 

Discount Department Stores: Marshalls, Ross, TJ Maxx, you know the drill. I hate shopping in these cluttered places, but there’s no denying that they can have great discounts as long as you know what you are looking for. Most of the time, the activewear sections of these stores are loaded up with poor quality wannabe brands that carry fashion statement activewear that is neither functional nor long-lasting. But, if you search hard and for long enough, you might just come across a gem (gasp). If you know what brands are quality, you can pick out the quality clothes from the bad ones. There also may be a lot of brands that you’ve never heard of because many indie brands outsource their products to discount brand stores for exposure, some of which are really good, so you can do some research and read reviews on the brand of you are not sure if they make nice clothing. I was shopping at Marshalls once and came across a load of Lorna Jane leggings (super nice Australian activewear company) for $14 each (normally $120 I think) so now I own 3 pairs of them and have no regrets. 

Cheap stores that are actually good quality: These are stores that are known for cheap quality but actually have really nice activewear. My two favorites are Old Navy and Target. Old Navy always has super cute active gear that is actually really nice. I had two pairs of yoga pants from here that I wore like everyday, and they lasted me through the entirety of middle school- and I’m pretty sure they were only like $20 each. I also love Champion, the activewear brand at Target. They very recently changed their logo and upped their quality but low clothing prices remain the same, especially if you hit up the clearance racks (my best friends). 

Many of these things you guys probably already do, but I’m a passionate deal seeker and activewear wearer so I hope that these tips will help you save tons of money while expanding your wardrobe 🙂 

February Finds

 

Over this short month of February we have been trying out new foods and gear that we think you will enjoy or would benefit from trying as well. From dried Edamame to running with a fanny pack????

 

  1. Dried/Roasted Edamame: This was the oddest thing to stumble across at the grocery store and I knew I had to try it! For those who don’t know Edamame is the official name for soybeans, or what Tofu is made out of. I got the organic box and it only contained two ingredients: Salt and Edamame. I was convinced.These are actually addicting! They are full of protein and healthy fats (14 grams of Protein for ¼ cup of beans!) and are surprisingly delicious. I highly recommend these for a snack after running or when you are craving chips/salty foods. Although the sodium content is actually very low.

 

  1. Vanilla Clusters Kashi Cereal: At first I really liked this cereal and like the other Kashi cereals, it is full of whole grains and natural ingredients. But, I am not a fan of overly sweetened cereals and it tasted very sugary to me. Instead of trying for breakfast I might put it in Trail mix or even a before-bed dessert.

 

  1. Straw propeller Oatmeal: This oatmeal is AMAZING. I am not exaggerating. First of all, it is completely organic and made with wholesome ingredients. Second, these oatmeal cups are perfect for breakfast on the go. I tried the PB&J oatmeal cup and it was filled with dried strawberries and peanut butter chips. After pouring in the required amount of hot water, I put the lid on and waited 5 minutes then BAM you have a nutritious breakfast to enjoy on the go (or not). The last point I would like to make about this oatmeal is that it kept me full until lunch which is rare for a lot of my breakfasts, but this wholesome breakfast kept me from getting hungry mid-day. Buy here!

 

  1. Running with a fanny pack: I have an android phone which is on the larger side for running and it often doesn’t fit into any of my pockets. I hate carrying it but I still need it just to be safe while running outside. The solution? I gave into the “Fanny pack craze.” I purchased a slim running one from my local Marshalls or here that was big enough to fit my phone and my keys. I took it on my long run, of course under my shirt and I wore it so the pack was against my back (not the traditional way) and I was pleasantly surprised. There was no issues with the pack bumping up and down and frankly I forgot it was there. The only thing that I didn’t like about it was that it was hard to adjust to my smallish waist size but other than that it was perfect.

 

  1. During the winter I usually have to do training runs on my own which means more music! But, my headphones literally always break within 2 months, which is weird because I never break or lose my stuff. Anyway, I bought these Panasonic headphones because they were cheap and thought hey, if they break, who cares. Although they aren’t specifically for active use THEY WORK SO FREAKING GOOD. They have lasted through lots of sweat and rain and they actually stay in my ears (I have really small ears so that’s a bonus). Although I’ve only had these a couple of months, my brother uses the same kind and they still work after 1 year of use, so I HIGHLY recommend these if you are looking for good cheap earbuds to run with or just in general.

 

  1. You can never have too many pairs of running shorts so when I see a good pair on sale during the winter off season, obviously I’m going to buy them. The Athleta Track This Run shorts are amazing quality and have a secure waistband. I love them since the leg opening is on that smaller side, and I have really skinny legs so these shorts actually fit me well. Also, they were on sale for $16 so it was a great deal (they still have some left right now!). They remind me a lot of the Lululemon Speed Shorts, with the same design but a much better deal if you catch the Athleta ones on sale. Buy them here!

 

  1. ZonePerfect Nutrition Bars are probably my favorite thing at the moment. My dad bought me the huge Costco box that contains both the Peanut Butter and Fudge Graham flavors and they are to die for. Ok, so maybe they aren’t the healthiest bar- they’re basically candy because it’s covered in chocolate but they do contain 14g of protein, so that counts for something right? These are definitely a guilty pleasure so I only eat them after really hard workouts when they are well deserved.

 

Valentine’s Day running costumes

I love Valentine’s day. I love running. So why not put those two together for a 5k?! Running Valentine’s day 5ks in my opinion are the most fun. Reason #1 these are usually fun runs that you can do with your friends (or significant other *wink wink*). Reason #2 there are so many costume ideas and running v-day puns to choose from. Stuck on costume ideas? Or even just need some puns to put on your running buddy’s valentine? Well read below and feast your eyes on some ideas that will surely knock your compression socks off.

Costumes:

Simple  t-shirt heart: Cut out a large heart from felt that will fit on the back of a t-shirt. Glue onto the t-shirt using a hot glue gun and write one of the puns below on it using a Sharpie. This is an easy costume that doesn’t require a lot of crafting skills.

Pun Ideas for t-shirt:Screenshot_2016-06-01-15-49-59.png

  • My heart is racing
  • SeXC
  • Smiles for miles
  • RUNdezvous?
  • Looking for a 10k bae (or 5k?)
  • Catch me if you can
  • Your PR isn’t the only number I want
  • Heart & Sole
  • Fast and Fab
  • Love on the run

PJs for days: Wear your pajamas to the race (bonus points if they are vday colors) and either glue a sign or using the heart method above, write the message “Marathon & Chill?”

Beach vibes: Wear a Hawaiian shirt with a white t-shirt underneath. On the white t-shirt, using a sharpie, write the message “I love long runs on the beach.”

Prefontaine, my crush: Infinite costume ideas

  1. If you are running with a guy, have him dress as Prefontaine. On your shirt using the heart method above, write:
    1. PRE mine?
    2. Will you PRE my Valentine?
    3. Fire on the Track and in my heart
  2. If you are running with friends, all wear sweatbands and fake mustaches (Pre style) and wear the above puns on your t-shirts as well

Running buddy costumes:

Best Running Friends (1 of 2) - Hoodie sweater

Buy this sweatshirt here

All of the costumes I have mentioned can be group costumes but these can also be specific for you and your BRF (best running friend)

  1. Shirts that say “SOLE mates”
  2. Each person wears a red shirt with half a felt heart glued onto it. Write “Best Running buddies” on each half and run together forever
  3. Get your girlfriends together with matching shirts that say “Sole sistas” or “Sisters in sport”

Conversation hearts:

  1. Using two large cardboard pieces, cut out two hearts of the same size

  2. Measure out 1.5-2 feet of ribbon and glue the ends on the top of one of the hearts
  3. Creating a loop, glue the other ribbon ends on the other heart creating a wearable
    sign
  4. Paint the pieces Conversation heart colors and write cute sayings, or borrow from the Pun Gold mine that I have supplied you with earlier. 🙂
  5.  You can also just do this using felt hearts glued on

 

Even if you aren’t crafty, fun socks and red/pink running wear will be sure to please!

We want to see your costumes! Tag us on Instagram with your vday costumes for a chance to be featured!

Garmin Forerunner 15 Review

One of the most important (and only) pieces of gear that a runner needs is a watch. Both beginners and professionals alike need them to time their runs. Watch prices can range from $10 all the way to $500! I started out with a cheap $15 digital watch in my freshman year and used it to time my basic 30 minute runs with the stopwatch feature, but when my coaches started wanting me to track my mileage, I realized I had absolutely no idea how far I was actually running. After much research, I settled on the Garmin Forerunner 15 and purchased it for $125 at my local running store. 

Let’s be honest, technology is expensive! Especially if you’re looking for a GPS watch that uses satellite to track your mileage. But it’s completely worth it! In fact, this is one of the cheapest watches that will accurately track your mileage. After one and a half years of usage, I’ve learned everything about this watch and have uncovered both its perks and disadvantages. 

Pros:

  • They come in a huge variety of colors! I had a hard time choosing between teal and purple, but they also have blue, black, red, and green.
  • (The shadow is super classy, I know)
  • There are different sizes of the watch interface. The men’s watch has a slightly larger screen (but obviously you can buy it if you just want larger numbers on screen).
  • It’s water resistant which is super helpful during rainy runs and when washing it if it gets sweaty (which it totally inevitable). 
  • It’s super easy to use. The information guide is very explanatory and there are limited features that keep it from being confusing. 
  • The watch strap will fit any size of wrist. Honestly, my wrist is like the size of a 5 years olds and I can still adjust it smaller than I have too. On the opposite spectrum, the strap adjusts large enough to be the same size as a chihuahua dog collar, which is typically larger than the average wrist size.

  • It has pacing features that you can set. For example, you can input 7 minute miles, and the watch will beep to notify if you are running too fast or slow. Similarly, you can set a goal of a 20 minute 5k, and the watch will beep to keep you on pace. If you first mile is too slow, it will adjust to give you a faster pace. This is super helpful during tempos! 
  • It’s very durable. I’ve owned this watch for over a year and a half and tracked over 700 miles with it, and it still operates like new! Not once has it broken or glitched out. 

Cons:

  • There’s no stopwatch feature! This is the most frustrating part because stopwatches are so basic! Instead, if I’m timing intervals, I need to wait for GPS to sync before each one, and delete the data after each interval since it only has a memory of the last 5 data pieces. This sucks if I’m trying to time my rest, so instead I normally GPS my entire workout including rest and do a lot of math afterwards. It sucks because I don’t get a specific time for each rep. 
  • It’s pretty thick, it measures about ⅓ in. in width; unfortunately though, this is pretty common for all GPS watches but it’s still very noticeable and gets caught on my clothes at times. 
  • The GPS takes a while to sync. Again, although a feature of many other watches, the sync time where I live (PNW) can take up to 5 minutes which is not ideal if you are running with a group and you have to make them wait for it to sync. You have to remember to start syncing it during your warmup. 
  • The battery life decreases dramatically in cold weather. When not synced, the battery life will last for days, but when synced it’s a lot different. In normal weather, the synced battery lasts about 3-4 hours, but in winter in temperatures below 40 degrees (F), the battery life is about 1 ½ hours. 
  • You don’t know when it’s fully charged. When you plug it in, a large triangle appearing on screen but doesn’t tell you the battery percentage, so I normally leave it plugged in overnight until I know for sure it’s charged up, however this is a waste of electricity. 

Overall, the Garmin Forerunner is a budget friendly option for those who want accurate mileage and something very easy to use, however it doesn’t have a stopwatch feature (!!!!). Fortunately, Garmin watch models are constantly being updated so hopefully sometime in the near future they will fix this! This is a great watch for beginner runners and those not looking to track intervals and workouts as such, but more serious runners should overlook this model 😦