How I Afford My Running Kit

*disclaimer- this is not a sponsored post. This post is not endorsed by any of the stores/brands mentioned or linked. I am just sharing what has helped me in the hope of helping you! *

It’s no secret that I’ve started taking my running more seriously over the last 6 months. I ran competitively at school, continued running a bit through 6th form and uni and then *poof* the love went and I stopped. A year ago my life dramatically changed and I started running again as something for me and my dog to do together in our new place of living. Boom! The love was back but the problem was, I had no real running kit anymore. I barely had any activewear at all left to be honest.

When I moved a year ago, life also got a lot more expensive. A new flat with higher rent, more driving, an anxious pup going to doggy daycare as we risked eviction from our new place when I was trying to leave her alone. All of this means I have very little expendable income. When I say very little, I mean very little. Like, debating how much I need/want Netflix some months and thats only £8.99 that would be saved.

This means that I am not in a position to be buying the latest trainers in the newly released colours of the season or a £100+ hydration pack. Choosing to tackle an ultramarathon means my runs are long. Choosing to tackle an ultramarathon in September means my runs are HOT. Both of those factors mean I need appropriate kit at a budget friendly price. I’ve got some tips below if you find yourself in a position like mine or just want to save a few pennies while you’re shopping.

  1. I buy my shoes from sportsshoes.com . I over pronate so I wear a stability shoe. My first pair I bought this year were Saucony Guides £39.99 instead of £119.99. I wanted to be able to rotate shoes so I also recently bought the Under Armour HOVR Guardians £57.49 instead of £114.99. I have also started some trail running so have just ordered a pair of trail shoes, Nike Wildhorse 5 £62.99 instead of £104.99. A total saving of £179.50. MAD!
  2. When you want to try new supplements/ nutrition products have a look around your IG. It is highly likely that one of your fave influencers out there probably has a discount code. Buy samples/ small amounts first. This way if you don’t like the product, you aren’t out of pocket by loads of ££ and you aren’t stuck with a load of product you don’t like and aren’t going to use. Before I started working with Kendal Mint Co. I found an influencer with a discount code and ordered their welcome pack. It allowed me to reduce my spend and try one of each of the products before ordering what I decided I wanted more of. The most risk free way of trying new things. If you want to do the same, my discount code is: charlotteclarke10
  3. You don’t NEED a fancy big brand hydration pack. When I was shopping for mine, the temptation was SO REAL to buy into a big brand and spend £100+. For what? to look like the other runners on IG?! It was actually my boyfriend who said he’d bought his from Decathlon and to look there. £12.99!!!!! They don’t have the exact one anymore but I’ve found one here for £17.99 that is basically the newer version of mine AND it comes with a 1L water bladder included.
  4. Shop around. Do you have an amazon prime account that can get you what you want/need with free next day delivery instead of paying for it from a brand website.
  5. Have a look online for discount codes too. I’m very lucky to work for a University in my full time job so I get student discount. Lots of websites and brands have random discount codes available online. Just have a little look before you place your order.
  6. Have a look for 2nd hand. Places like Ebay and Facebook Marketplace are great. I got my Tomtom running watch for £40 on Facebook marketplace and it does the job! There are plenty of people who have ordered trainers in the wrong size and missed a return deadline so turn to these sites to sell their items. I for one, am keeping my eyes open on Ebay for a pair of Hoka one one trainers because I just can’t afford a full price pair and have no shame in saying that

These are just a few tips from me. It can be stressful trying to work out how you’re going to afford new things for yourself especially when you need them but just don’t have lots of money to spend. I know I am very privileged to even be able to buy things for myself full stop but I thought I would share some things that have helped me and could also help you. The things I have bought for myself have been spread over the last 6 months rather than as and when I fancy something.

I hope these tips help you out and save you a little money like they have for me!

Char x

Peanut Butter Dulce de Leche Tarts

That’s right, look who’s back with a brand new tasty recipe! This one is definitely not a #fitnessfuel snack but rather the most delicious nutty, caramelly, groan worthy sweet treat.

The most time consuming part of this recipe is making the caramel but you could easily make that either the night before or whilst you’re doing other bits around the house. I chose the ‘boil in the can’ method of creating dulce de leche from condensed milk to avoid the need for extra sugar and butter. If you are time poor, there are quicker recipes out there for creating caramel using condensed milk, brown sugar and butter.

I have opted to create my own pastry without using flour because boy do I know how hard it is to get hold of that right now!! I knew I wanted to create these but I also wanted a recipe that you would actually be able to make even if you cant buy flour. What’s the point in giving you a recipe you can’t try hey. So what’s the flour replacement?….READYBREK! I know, crazy but trust me! …. does that mean these count as breakfast….

This recipe made 15 tarts for me. With some extra dulce de leche to enjoy by the spoon…. (don’t tell me you weren’t hoping for that!)

Ingredients:

  • Filling:
    • Caramel: one can of condensed milk
    • Manilife Deep Roast Peanut Butter
  • Pastry:
    • 400g Readybrek
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 125g softened butter
    • 1 egg
  • Topping:
    • Milk or Dark chocolate

Method:

Caramel:

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil
  2. Place the can of condensed milk in the water. Ensure the whole can is covered with water. (If the can has a removable label, remove this first.)
  3. Simmer uncovered for 3 hours. Keep topping the water up to keep the can covered.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. Open the can ONCE COOL to reveal a delicious gooey dulce de leche!

Tarts:

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Grease your cupcake/muffin tin and set aside.
  3. In a bowl rub together the softened butter and Readybrek until combined in a crumb consistency.
  4. Add the sugar and egg. Combine together to form a dough. The consistency wants to be mouldable but not super sticky. (If you need to make it firmer, as a little more Readybrek. If you need to make it softer, try adding a little milk.)
  5. Roll out onto either a floured or ‘readybrek’d’ surface until around 3mm thick.
  6. Cut into circles using either a round pasty cutter or if like me, a wine glass (haha)
  7. Place into your prepared tin, pressing into the edges
  8. Bake for 4.5 minutes, just the pastry.
  9. Remove from the oven and carefully press the mixture back into the edges if it has swollen.
  10. add a layer of Manilife peanut butter to each pastry case
  11. top with a layer of your homemade dulce de leche to fill to the top of the pastry case.
  12. Place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  13. Remove and allow to cool. Remove tarts from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool.
  14. Melt your chocolate and either drizzle on top or cover the top.
  15. Place in the fridge to set.
  16. Enjoy!
  17. Ration yourself so you don’t eat them all in one go!

I hate to blow my own trumpet…. but honestly these are incredible. You WILL NOT regret giving these a go. EVERYONE is making banana bread right not. Don’t be like everyone else, make my tarts instead. I am yet to make a lockdown banana bread and I am proud of that and I aim to keep it that way.

I would love to know if you make these and if you do, how you get on and what you think of them!

Happy Baking!

Char x

Salty Deep Roast Peanut Butter Flapjacks

Here I am coming back at you with a delicious new flapjack recipe in collaboration with Manilife Peanut Butter. Boy is this a gooden.

These are the perfect pre or post run snack to either give you that pre run energy boost or post run replenishment. Or…. if you’re anything like me, an all round the clock snack because they’re irresistible.

I mean, just look at that texture….

This recipe made 12 flapjack bars for me.

Time: 10 mins to prepare. 14 mins to cook.

Ingredients:

  • 300g oats
  • 125g salted butter
  • 125g sugar (I used 75g caster and 50g light brown muscovado for a deeper flavour)
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 3 tbsp Manilife deep roast peanut butter
  • a couple of pinches of salt (optional but delicious)

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to around 180 degrees celsius
  2. Grease your tin/dish or line with grease proof paper. (I find greaseproof paper more successful for getting flapjacks out of the tin and allows them to cool quicker out of the tin)
  3. Melt your butter in a pan
  4. add sugar and syrup until it’s pretty much all combined
  5. add your peanut butter in to melt into the liquid
  6. Turn the hob off, add your oats and mix until combined
  7. Pour into your prepared tin/dish
  8. Sprinkle a couple of pinches of salt on top
  9. bake in the oven for around 14 mins (check at 12mins) It wants to be nice and golden on top but still soft as it will set more as it cools
  10. take out and allow to cool
  11. slather more peanut butter all over the top and sprinkle a little more salt on (optional but delicious)

Tah Dah!

Easy peasy. A delicious nutty oaty treat perfect as I said as a pre run boost or post run pick me up.

Enjoy!

Char x