Monday, August 31, 2009

Opportunity Cost of Running

When I read this article The Opportunity Cost of Running I thought it was pretty interesting, especially because another one of my interest is economics. Not so much the supply and demand curves econ. but rather the science and numbers behind why thing act and react the way they do.

This article touches a little on the opportunity cost of running. So I figured I'd do a rough estimate on some of the financial aspect of what my opportunity cost of running is.

Estimated cost for 2009:
Race fees-11 races(avg race fee $75) $825
Shoes- about 6 pairs a year at $95 each $575
Equipment-bottles, lights, gear, ect... $250
Consumables-gels, powerbars, gatorade, coconut water, race day food ect... $400
Travel accomidations for races- $1500-$2000 including one destination race (Boston this year)
Clothing- $500

Now the interesting part the opportunity for me to be doing other things than running. i.e. I have a part time job that pays me about $15 hour (before taxes). So if we figure that I allocate that rate to the amount of time I spent running it should provide me with an estimate of the amount of money I could be earning. This is somewhat flawed because I would not be able to spend the exact amount of time running at my part time job, nor would I, but it is hard to quantify time relaxing, reading a book or taking classes.

On average I spend four 2 hours a day during the weekdays running and generally two 4 hour days on the weekend, on average. So that is
16 hours a week running X $15/hr = ($240/week) X 45weeks(b/c I don't train that much year round) = $10,800.00 before taxes.

GRAND TOTAL: $15,350.00 (and that doesn't include blogging time)

So, all in all running, at least to the degree that I do it, is not cheap. However, the main reason running is so expensive for me is that I not only love to run but love to race, and as the article suggests the opportunity cost of giving up something you love is incalculable, so keep running recession of no recession.

Some other great econ related books that I recommend:

More Sex is Safer Sex by Steven E. Landsburg (Trust me its Econ related)

Blink, Outliers, The Tipping Point By Malcolm Gladwell (All 3 are great)

Talent is Over Rated By Geoff Colvin

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