STUDY: Runners have money smarts *cough*

Posted: September 3, 2011 in Articles

So it seems that runners, on average, are more conscious of their finances. Who would have thunk? I’ve always been frugal since childhood but I didn’t know there was a correlation. Nifty.

Amby Burfoot’s article on Runner’s World points to a scientific study that concluded just that:

Some behavioral sciences researchers at Boise State decided to find out a little about women ultra marathoners. Prepare yourself not to be shocked. These women had a strong healthy-lifestyles orientation, and scored high in psychological coping and task-orientation. They trained nearly 12.5 hours a week, 64 percent of the time solo, and 80 percent were self-coached. Sounds like an ultra-runner to me.

Here’s the curious finding–the thing I didn’t expect to read about. These ultra running women were “financially conscious.”

Now, I know a number of runners who are accountants of one type or another, but I had never thought about this piece of the running-numbers game: financial smarts. It makes sense, however.

Unfortunately, Amby forgot to include a link to the original study, which I eventually found anyway. Go ahead, fellow running geeks, feast on this… um… abstract.

Anyway, this got me into thinking about my running-related habits. In the past year, the vast majority of my new clothes have come in the form of event singlets and finisher’s shirts. I use all of the race freebies like the breathable black cap from Ion Energy Drink, the red Coleman visor, and the Unilab sports bottle. Whenever I ride a plane, I carry all my stuff in my Corregidor backpack instead of a fancy wheeled luggage carrier. For my race baggage, Unilab sling bags are always on call. Yes, there are a bunch fancy gears being sold out there but I try to keep mine to a minimum.

I have never worked out in a gym. I prefer running outdoors where I can feel the wind and the scenery changes constantly. When I’m not in a hurry, I will walk the 2K+ to Cubao or the 3K+ to Ortigas. We are so used to taking the tricycle, the jeepney, and the taxi for even the shortest distances. If you think about it, most of the places we go to are just 20mins away by foot. Unless it’s raining cats and dogs, I try to walk as much as I can not just to save money but because I genuinely enjoy it.

Much has also been said about running producing a lot of stats, making it a magnet for the goal-oriented, spreadsheet-loving nerds. Guilty as charged. I have both financial and running Excel files. I keep track of all my expenses just as obsessively as I track my weekly mileage. My calendar is full of scribbles detailing my training plan. I guess that’s just how it is for serious runners. You have to love numbers, and the numbers, in the form of PR, will love you back. Applying this to finances, you’ll get more savings.

How about your own experience with running? Are you better at finances or worse because of it?


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